If This is Normal, I Opt-Out!



Our way of life is the problem

When Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, he clearly and firmly announced to the planet:

“We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.”

Let’s just say the Pope of Hope is working mighty hard to keep his promise.

With that in mind, since Rosa Luxemburg believes the first revolutionary act is to call things by their true names, well…get ready for some revolting:

“Our way of life” is based on violence, expansion, consumption, domination, and predatory capitalism.

Our way of life means 1 in 31 American adults is in prison, on parole, or on probation, yet we live in land of the free.

It means the US military—the planet’s worst polluter and recipient of 54% of US tax dollars—can carpet bomb civilians from 15,000 feet in the name of “humanitarianism,” but somehow we dwell in the home of the brave.

Our way of life means homelessness. It means sweatshops. It means “illegal” is a noun and “union” is an insult.

It means nearly 200 animal and plant species go extinctevery single day.

Our way of life means there aren’t any cod in Cape Cod, and soon no ice at the North Pole.

It means strip malls; it means strip mining.

Our way of life means New Hampshire license plates read: “Live free or die.” It also means New Hampshire license plates are manufactured by prisoners.

Our way of life means Mumia abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier remain in prison, while war criminals like Madeleine Albright and Dick Cheney walk free. Speaking of war criminals, our way of life also means President Obama can take time out from waging two wars to accept a Nobel Peace Prize.

Our way of life teaches us what to accept as “normal” and, as a result, normal means every 46 seconds, a woman is raped in America. It means depleted uranium and landmines. Normal means gay bashing and racial profiling; veal crates and vivisection; clear cutting and ocean trawling.

Normal will have you taking off your shoes at the airport, getting shot at by trigger-happy cops, but never having to walk more than two blocks to find the nearest Starbuck’s. (Did I say walk? I meant drive, of course. Walking…how Third World of me.)

Every square mile of ocean hosts 46,000 pieces of floating plastic? Women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid? The meat and dairy industries slaughter 9 billion animals each year and are responsible for 51% of human-created greenhouse gases?

All normal. All part of our vaunted way of life—the same way of life that has removed 80% of the world’s forests and over 90% of the large fish in the ocean and will not stop until they’re all gone.

Make no mistake about it, our beloved way of life was built on a nearly exterminated indigenous population, an African slave trade, and all those killed in places like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Southeast Asia, Central America, Middle East, etc. etc.

It was created on stolen land, using stolen oil.

Our way of life is built on terror and it is maintained by terror—the terror of cops, prisons, military, and the psychological terror of propaganda

The first step to end terrorism remains this simple: Stop practicing it yourself.

Many Americans automatically defend their country’s rampant illegalities because they perceive these actions as falling under the seductive justification of “defending our way of life.” The US constitutes roughly 5% of the earth’s population but consumes more than 25% of the earth’s resources. Maybe “our way of life” makes us the real terrorists.

Besides, if our way of life is so sacred, so ideal, so worthy of being defended by any means necessary, why do we need so many homeless shelters, alcohol and drug rehab centers, rape crisis hotlines, battered women’s shelters, and suicide hotlines? Why does a sexual assault occur every two minutes?

If America is the world’s shining light, why are its citizens left with no choice but to organize in a desperate attempt to protect human, environmental, civil, and animal rights?

If America is the zenith of human social order, why does our vaunted way of life provoke terror as a tactic and an emotion?

With the point of no return fading in the rearview mirror (or at least obscured by an SUV), the time is long overdue for all of us to recognize the real enemy is that which inspires terror. The real enemy just might be what we see as normal.

The precarious state of things on Planet Earth is not some preordained theology or an unstoppable force of nature. We’re in this mess thanks to human decisions. If different decisions had been made in the past, different outcomes would’ve likely occurred.

If different decisions are made and different actions are taken—starting right now—perhaps different outcomes can still transpire.

I say we find out…

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

This sort of says it all and sums it up at the same time. If some sort of Andrameda Council exists and has won a decisive battle against the elite, I am waiting to see signs of it. Obama is more criminal than ever; more wars are being planned; our environment is getting worse; we still have chem trails raining pollution down on our heads; we are still being radiated; our oceans are still filled with garbage; our rivers, streams and lakes are still polluted; Russia is threatening nuclear war to protect itself; Isreal is threatening to exterminate Iran with our help; our economy is near collapse; OWS protesters are being terrorized by the police; our government is totally a joke; Obama is a racist turning the tables on all of us "white folk"; the homeless numbers are growing every day; our troops are being brought home from Iraq to wage war against American civilians who are suddenly the "enemy" of politicians in charge at the moment; peacefully protesting is labeled "terrorism"; old women and pregnant girls are being sprayed with pepper spray; all of our industry is being gutted in the name of "creating jobs"; TSA Nazis are patrolling the highways looking for terrorists without looking in the mirror to find a real one; young children are being terrorized for selling lemonade; CPS is stealing our children and making them disappear; FEMA camps are still being built under our noses. The list goes on and on. At some point violence will unfortunately be generated out of necessity by American citizens and used as an excuse to declare martial law and begin to herd many of us up for slave labor or worse. Obama will still be calling us a "Democracy and the Home of the Free and the Brave" while referring to Lady Gaga behind her back as a "d.....bag surrounded by white folk with too much styling gel in their hair"; patriots will be jailed and patriotism will be criminalized. And regardless of all of the bad news and more, so many of us still love our nation and look to our politicians for answers and political solutions rather than violence, and this will continue even while so many of us begin to silently disappear within the FEMA camps. Obama will still be doing photo ops and giving speaches about creating jobs.  

Wendy's picture

Hi Star,

Hope you feel better soon. The free energy e-cat cold fusion device actually being made and sold helped me feel a bit more hopeful. Perhaps there are things to be grateful for in your personal life - it sounds like the list you came up with is all bad news from the media.

Thanks so much Noa, your list is very inspiring.


Noa's picture

Well said, Starr. It's natural to feel overwhelmed when the world is imploding around you, but we must find the strength to persevere or they're already won. Below are some "tweaked" excerpts from a pep talk I gave to someone else who was feeling overwhelmed. I hope it helps...

It's going to take tremendous strength, courage, faith, and stamina to get through this. I expect my hopes to be trampled many times before this is through. I expect things are going to look impossible and dismal. It's going to be hard to pick myself up after each fall, but what is the choice? Play or fold. You may feel like you're drowning, but if you keep your wits, you may find that you're only in a bathtub. You need only to stand up to save yourself.

Think of what lesson you came here to learn. This will help you find your way. Remember, it's always darkest before the dawn. The sun will come out tomorrow. I wonder how many times their efforts at controlling the weather have failed. How many times have they failed to fool or control the people as planned? They're getting desperate now, and sloppy. They've become so blatantly obvious, that people are waking up like never before.

I found a new Occupy chat tonight that I really like. Everyone in there was consciously aware and fun! Bloomberg came on LIVE and announced how they had foiled a terrorist plot to bomb NYC. He pulled out a bomb made from an elbow joint and some wires, and everybody laughed! We were all like, 'yeah right, tell us another one.' People don't trust the government anymore. We know we've been lied to. The jig is up.

I believe the ego-doers underestimate the human spirit. We see it in the heroic efforts of the occupiers everyday. They remain non-violent, even in the face of police brutality. It's like they're all in touch with their higher selves. I find it miraculous that there hasn't been major splits in the movement -- some people determined to use violence and force, and head the movement in another direction. That's why Bloomberg had to invent a terrorist to distract the attention from the OWS camp. They can't pin a legitimate crime on the protesters. They're working too well together. The ego-doers are losing control of the masses, and they know it.

Once the evil f*cks lay off their toxic tactics, the Earth will heal herself. Our bodies will naturally heal themselves. Some people say the ETs will help us get rid of the toxins, that they are helping us as best they can, now. Could be. The crop circles seem to be a positive indication of that.

I've begun looking at life in a new way. I see myself as the hologram of the whole. I am the microcosm of the macrocosm. I've started to act like what I do has tremendous importance to the big picture. If I don't want a dirty planet, then I have to do my part to clean it up. If I want peace and love, then I must radiate that to everyone I meet. Hypocrisy has no place here.

I'm committed to acting with integrity. If it's against my moral values, I won't do it. I won't sell out my soul for money, comfort, or any of those ego-based 'things.' Without my convictions, I am nothing. If they want to kill me for being who I am, or saying what comes from my heart, then so be it. At least I'll die in good conscience.

When more people stand up for what they know is right, like Bradley Manning, like Julian Assange, like so many others... then the world will respond in kind. We must claim the world we want to live in. Wishful thinking is not enough. We must be the change we seek.

We are the divine part of the divine whole. In the grand scheme of things, there is justice. There is balance. The pendulum returns to center. I have to believe that the natural order will put things right.

Our universe is created from light. Darkness is not the equal opposite of light. There is no dark switch. There is only light, even within the hearts of the dark ones. Everything they're doing is unnatural. They are lost in the darkness they've been taught to worship. They are afraid of the light, afraid to be who they truly are.

Fear is the opposite of love. Love is creation and light is its breath. Let your light shine. Love thine enemy as thyself. Shine your light of truth to all who need it -- like Sgt. Shamar Thomas did to the cops in NYC.

It only takes one candle to illuminate the darkness. Together we can bring the world of darkness into the light.

The Gathering Spot is a PEERS empowerment website
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