Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Age of Aquarius on Wall Street, Walking on Yoga Mats and Rocking in Unison With Our iPods on Full Blast

The Age of Aquarius is supposed to commence on November 11th, 2011 - an age of a more completed enlightenment, breaking free of the wheels set in motion by the Industrial Revolution and authoritarian rule, while striving for a more holistic and emotional based way of living. It is a lovely notion, but, unfortunately, my faith in such a global revolution is non-existent. Across Canada today and around the world, thousands rallied in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, demanding a cessation to the corporate domination of governments and absolute rule. Perhaps it is cynical to point out that much of this counter-corporate movement has been coordinated through the use of iPhones, Androids and a plethora of things sold to us by the dragon they wish to slay.

Things will change - this is one of the only certainties in life. But just as the uprisings in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Libya and the like are under the banner of freedom and democracy, we know that the likelihood of success is limited as the people in those countries lack the educational and social foundations for such a revolution to be a success.  A gradual transition and global support is the only path to realising such dreams, and this will always be shaded by the ulterior motives of... well... the corporations and the governments that they are in cahoots with.

The same principles apply to this anti-corporate movement made popular now in the West. Sadly, I believe that many people protesting today were motivated by the desire to be part of a movement made fashionable by the media and celebrities. It is like the armies of Yogis you see walking through the streets with their mats rolled up and decked out from head to toe in Lululemon garb - the magazines full of advice on how to "simply be" and "simply live" alongside elaborate Yoga holiday destinations, overpriced supplements and fashions which cost an arm and leg (i.e. a correction in this month's Yoga Journal stated that so-and so's dress cost $495 - OUTRAGEOUS! Yoga simplicity Inc. to the nines!!!!). That is not Yoga, it is fashion and watered down physicality. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's getting people moving, and it might send the odd person down the real path of Yoga, but THAT is not Yoga. I do not intend to sound negative or preachy here, but I feel like this must be a point clearly made - a bit like telling someone that yes, that looks like a stick, but it's really a crocodile!

If people truly want to end the corporate domination of all things, then it needs to come from one's changing of personal consumption habits. The fact is we have a choice, most of the time, of what we will buy or not buy. Accompanied this fact is another: corporations make money through what people buy and the contracts they make with governments that, in the West, we supposedly elect. This latter part is, logistically, the most difficult, though most people will find the immediacy of the former, myself included, to be the most taxing.

We live in a disposable culture of virtual this and that and perpetual upgrades. I love my iPod and the fact that I can carry most of the music I own on a small device. I love the fact that there are computers that allow for people to email and post their thoughts. And while the world laments the passing of Apple's Steve Job's and can not deny his brilliance and how much his products have changed our lives, he is a prime example of how certain corporations have made us their bitches. Look at the line-ups when the next new iPad or iPhone comes out. It seems to be a very costly routine every 6 months to year. Are they truly that much better and that necessary? I have owned a computer - PC - since about 1996. My basic use over that time has been email, the Internet, word processing and Powerpoint. Recently, I can add YouTube, e-books and iTunes to my list. Overall, while graphics, ease and speed have improved vastly over the past 15 years or so, does the perpetual upgrading of machines truly represent this progress? Personally, I don't think so. Yet, like it or not, every 4 or 5 years, one's machine becomes dated because of the technologies, and we need to fork out for another. That is painful as a family, but a killer when you reflect on the businesses, schools and other services all forced to upgrade. Again, does the bang match the bucks spent?

As for the political side of things... well, simply look around. In my country there is not leadership and low voter turnout. In the US, Obama gave us hope and the rest blocked any progress or success he might have achieved, flouting their Tea Party and suggesting that a total moron like Sarah Palin is the way of the future as walking in the the whole Creationist mentality toward the Rapture - something that does not sound quite so warm and fuzzy as the Age of Aquarius!

In the end, despite our lust for fireworks and a good rhythm sounding strong from the drum, this will result only in shattered glass, leaving us to pick up the shards. The true revolution will be one of subtle personal decisions in our day to day lives. We have become a culture, in the West, that no longer know of any other way than our present manner of living. To change, we need to gradually make modifications on how we do things, prioritise accordingly, and hopefully realise that organic relationships trump  the materialism and attempts to purchase pleasure and happiness. Perhaps the Age of Aquarius will slowly manifest as week seek a deeper state of being and try to understand our selves and our place/purpose. It is a taxing undertaking and, in our present state of convenience, will dissuade the majority from proceeding down this particular path. In the end, however, life is your journey to take. The corporations can never own that, though they masquerade as they might. In this - our selves - lies our emancipation and peace; the ultimate revolution.


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