Saturday, November 26, 2011

America Unraveled

As the holidays approach, it should be time for unity and community; getting together with those you appreciate, those you love, those you don't see so often. The holidays are a time to purge all the bad of the year and come together to enjoy the cold season with loved ones, family, and friends.

Unfortunately, this years black friday sales were anything but loving (but then when are they?); consumerism eats this holiday in a single bite as many even skip Thanksgiving to sit for a day or two in the cold to buy an inexpensive big TV or laptop or whatever. The deals are good but your time is more precious; what good is being out there verses being with your family, enjoying the time with them? You buy two big TVs so you can spend quality time with your kids? Of course not, you buy them to get away; you encourage your own distraction away from them.

What's worse, if you don't give a crap about your holiday, fine but employees were forced to come in for some stores' insane, midnight openings; these employees were made to miss Thanksgiving because they had to work that night. It's unfair but people just hark on that it's lucky they have a job; sure it is, unfortunately we are getting close to the analogy of the men and women in single color overalls on the factory line doing some meaningless task everyday of their life, toiling away for those with money to afford cheap toilers. We all have families, we all deserve to be with them regardless of our economic strata. I know a father that works all the time; he's a work-a-holic but his kids have zero regard for him because he doesn't feel like a father to them, they have no respect for him; he's a stranger in his own home because he chooses work. Those employees were not given a choice unless that choice was work or be fired. Scrooge has come home and Crotchet is going to be working this Christmas; fuck that cripple Tiny Tim. That's the message of America today.

The holidays aren't the only onslaught of peace and good-will towards man; a personhood amendment in Mississippi that sought to, eventually, fight abortion rights, a racist town in Montana collecting more racists and weaponry, statements from politicians like "gay marriage would make our country fall," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wants the right for religiously affiliated hospitals, charities, elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities to refuse women birth control, plus let's not forget all the police violence as Occupies around the country were brutally broken up. These are all examples of our willingness to do atrocious harm to each other; few give any care or regard to anyone outside their household and that's not what society is; that's not what it means. We ought to be closer than ever but we are more divisive now than ever before; lines are drawn deep and thick, separating us from those who spread their butter-side down.

Newt Gingrich recently declared that "child labor laws are stupid," and said that schools should have a master janitor (getting rid of all unionized janitors) and the kids could do the work and get a little money for their efforts. It sounds like an okay plan (crappy for those who are employed as janitors) but why do we want to instill that mindset in our kids? The world is already cold and revolves around money, there is no reason to taint our children by saying, "Here, you work, you get money...that's America." Kids should help (not work) around their school because they have a pride in it and for it; because the teachers are good and make the lessons informative but also fun so you encourage socialization and participation along with learning, because the class sizes are small and you get the help you need, and other such idealistic thoughts about the educational system. Kids shouldn't be working for money; what of the lesson that sometimes you just do good things to be good, maybe to feel a little warmer, feel connected to people and the community; be apart of something bigger than yourself that isn't the Almighty God but people, beautiful community; neighbors working together. It's a dead dream but hold it; I know I will.