I come on strong about shit that annoys me. In this world, one can forgive a human being, and still hate their behavior.
In the end, I really just feel like, hey... there is more we agree on than disagree on, more than likely. Even the politicians here in town who do things I don't like, occasionally do something I really do. Todd Stroger, who runs Cook County, put through a tax hike that was needed -- the poor were going to lose their health care if he did not put through an unpopular tax. He stood up and did what was right. He deserves respect for that. I wish him well.
Mayor Daly -- I always liked him, and probably always will, but I do not agree with the idea of a machine controlling Chicago, making inside deals with pensions funds, etc... I think he has a great legacy and all that. I am never going to try to be politically expediant (which is different than the often misused term politcally correct) about how shit like selling public property makes me feel and write. I do not think he should be selling off bits of government to the most savvy bidder. That he doesn't know better, tells me that his time truly is over. He should take a few years to just live his life and not be the mayor. I do not know how anyone can do the kind of high pressure job a mayor does. I like to think I can rise to whatever occasion, but that does not mean I will do so without said occasion...
Politics is all about taking sides. People choose their sides in good ways, stupid ways, indifferent ways, and dangerous ways. I take the stand that money should not be the center of ones life. We have worshiped at that sacred cow too long. I think living for luxury is empty and frustrating. The Tao says that the happiest man is the one who can hear his neighbors cock crow, yet has no urge to even venture off his property to investigate.
Of course, give me a few million bucks and I would probably sing a slightly different tune. Of course, it would be much harder for me to fly through the eye of that needle.
There was a time when I viewed wealth as property stolen from the people. The anarchistic idea that no one owns anything appeals to me in spirit, though the practicality of that is to trust a great big old beuracracy, like in the soviet union, to give everyone apartments and jobs, etc... I thinik the spirit of independence inside of most people would rebel from giving anyone that kind of power over the united states. Private property. I think there are other areas that real change can be made in, and getting rid of property in the states would mean war.
A horrifying war. The French Revolution, but fought not between some great US and little them, but between the army of the US and Cops and Intelligent operatives and the civilians who did not want to give up their mansions. Do people deserve mansions?
I do not think anyone gets what they deserve, and a lot of us are thankful for that. We do not want what we deserve, we want mercy. Everyone who has lived a human life has a few regrets... if they have any wits about them at all. So, if someone has a lot of money, what the hell? I hope they use their bucks wisely. I wish I had more. But... I see the other side, the socialistic viewpoint of Castro. If that were even possible in this country, I would think about throwing myself behind major structural changes for the US. BUT... only if there was wide support, and that is just not going to happen.
All evidence to the contrary, americans are convinced that they have a chance of being rich, so they do not want to do away with riches. Certainly, the media mostly covers people who have a lot of money. We worship Hilton because she has money. Otherwise, she would have ended up in jail, treatment, etc... far from the big screen. In the eighties, this impulse was sickening, under the dreaded Reagan, when everyone wanted to make as much money as possible, and Trump was worshipped. The media acknowledges that most people are not living quite the same story book life in People magazine, and dismisses them as just not quite as interesting as a celebrity baby story.
So, how is that for obtuse meanderings. I have given my okay for the continued use of public property, going against the anarchists -- though loving thier spirit and wishing them well, I still think that they over-estimate the sanity of the masses. I am one of those big government democrats in that respect. I think that a combination of capatalism and nationalism is basically a reality in this world. Almost every country operates on these two principles.
People have in their heads that the government is terrible at everything. This isn't true. It is if they are underfunded and over worked, or corrupt... okay, but normally the government does a decent job on a lot of things. Removing the middle men and providing services directly to the people seems like it would save everyone a lot of money, except the rich industrialists who presently own stocks or whatever in the industries.
If I could just set up a country from scratch, I would nationalize electricity, wi fi service, health care... the electricity because we have to ignore what the market says on this, and make our move away from fossil fuels. I like nuke energy, personally. WHY NOT? The big fears that they will blow up? Unlikely. Wind, water, whatever... the government needs to use their powers to force the shift away from gasoline. Again, this is never going to happen in the states.
I would fund the government, partially, with income from providing basic services which are right now, basically, monopolies. Like electric companies. One has no choice. I thought this was outlawed in this country, the whole monopoly thing? The Governement provides such services in a lot of countries. In my country, we would too. This would make us unpopular with the US, maybe get a coup attempt started on me by the CIA. So, health care and maybe major utilities could easily be nationalized.
Of course, this is a slippery slope to go down. When does the individual matter to such an entity as a government that can come in and take thier businesses? This again leads to giving governments too much power. The balancing act between wanting Big Brother around when you need him, and not when he is just a third wheel... is the american experience.
Ahh, and what the hell does this have to do with forgiveness? I feel forgiving right now, and the idea of violence, disruptions, chaos.... well, I feel them enough, too.
I think often of the soldiers fighting around the globe. I really grieve for them one and all, and wish them all the best, in my way. I wish that I could get behind the entire idea of ending war once and for all. Unfortunatly, that requires the agreement of people who simply will not stop fighting. The Taliban gets more powerful because they become the force of Islam fighting the great satan of the Christians. A Holy battle that promises virgins. God's own war, you are told.
I can sympathize with the killed and the killers. I have definate ideas on how hard I personally would fight against any government that tried to Taliban the states with a government based on religous extremism. I simply would not go down without a fight, a big fucking fight. But, do I have a right to tell others how to run their countries? Sure. And they have a right to ignore me and do what they think is best, as well they should...
In a pefect world, though... open education systems would offer people the ideas of liberty, and a caring government would nurture this as a sacred right for all people. There would be no need for the Taliban. They simply would have to follow more secular laws. This does not mean they have to go against their God. There are a lot of Muslims in the states who get along just fine living here. Ask them if they want to go back and live under the Taliban, and they will point out that their americanized children would probably get stoned to death for the shit they pulled in junior high. I like societies that allow for personal freedom.
The utmost freedom. Freedom. More precious than anything man can put in the bank. As a writer who explores everything and anything, and sometimes uses inflammatory language when I do, I can understand that I am a threat to the status quo, however small. But, what status quo are we talking about? I certainly do not want to throw bombs at anyone, or force an ideology down their throats, or convince them of some religious commandment...
Writers want to inspire. Writers like me also enjoy pure, old fashioned rabble rousing. Sometimes a poet should try to stir the savage blood, sometimes they should chastise it.
this work is protected by a commercial common use license. Feel free to spread my words...john scott ridgway