Saturday, February 9, 2008
The United States of America
The only thing that makes the United States anything close to united is the fact that it's all on the same landmass*. We Americans live in a country so divided that we periodically measure, chart, and map our division every four years. Some states are blue, and some are red. Society is governed by what people see on television, and that is controlled by how many people are watching what. The blue states have the same kinds of televisions that the red states have, and they all tune to the same things, but still this should not be considered a uniting factor.
*yes, I get that Hawaii and Alaska don't really count, but I meant mostly as a whole
The people in America have stopped reading newspapers. Most haven't read a newspaper in a long time. Today most of us get our news from word of mouth, or television. Relatively, very few people get their news from the Internet. Any news we get is a production created by a relatively small amount of people. If, at any point, all of these people are wrong all at once, the entire country is uninformed. Still, this should not be considered a uniting factor.
Society is what we make it, not what those who would call us our leaders tell us how it has been made. Celebrities in the business, media, and political industries of the United States should not have the power to dictate the opinions of those that they would consider to be their lowers. Those of us beneath should not allow ourselves to see through the eyes of those above.
Why do people care about what celebrities think? Why would people believe someone who they see on television if they've never met them face-to-face? Why would people let themselves be manipulated to serve the needs of the capitalistic society that we have built? I use the word "we" because it was all of us that built, and are building the United States of America. We make America what it is.
What a lot of people don't realize is that there are people living in the blue and red states. This nation is neither red nor blue, and its states should have no color but that of the entire United States, if we are so truly united, as we claim. If we were truly united, we would not fear each other. If we were truly united, we would be in harmony. Unison has deserted us for a very long time. We live not only in fear of our neighbors, but of our government. No one wants to believe that this is true, but what of torture, lies, and deception? What of wiretaps and secret prisons?
A war is going on in our name against a people that most of the people living in the United States know nothing about. A fight is being waged to protect us against an enemy that we have never heard of, except from those who have lied to us so many times, and whom we still continue to want to trust, despite all evidence of the smart decision being taking action of the contrary.
Those in power claim to represent the people of the United States, but the random chosen citizen of the country can name more characters in their favorite television show, movie, or band than Supreme Court Justices.
The public school system of the United States is no longer based around learning; it is based around the number that corresponds with a student's name - their GPA. If a student's GPA is high enough, they will be able to attend college, if they are accepted, if they find a way to pay the college, if they get the chance at all. High school drop-out rates are higher than any which have ever been recorded, and nothing has changed, except the barring of soft drinks from lunchrooms, which, shockingly, has not caused rapid correction of obesity in children, which is astounding, since how students could attain soft drinks from anywhere but their local public schools remains a mystery.
In a culture that promotes going along to get along, we are giving up our liberties to those that we have been told to trust, but who are apparently undeserving of such esteem. We are at a war against a people that most of us know little to nothing about, for reasons twice as mysterious. We are uneducated sheep who know only of money, or the lack thereof. We are the people of the United States: We are unhappy, but we are too divided to do anything about it, with liberty, and justice for all.