544918_242788312531103_783314617_n

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve been called this. Honestly, this now offends me more than being called a nerd ever did, because when you called me a nerd you were actually acknowledging my want and desire for knowledge, you were actually validating that I preferred to have my nose stuck in a book than kicking a ball into a net.

Now however, whenever some government or other tells me something, and I don’t trust it out of hand, yes I guess that makes me a conspiracy theorist. What you haven’t taken the time to understand is not that I’m theorizing. I understand the dynamics of power and the flow of wealth and capital to dictate the oscillations of said power. We are all dancing to the tune of the song they want us to dance to, and turn our heads to the left whenever they’re doing something to the right. It doesn’t take much digging (or as I call it, doing research) to realize that there is no grand conspiracy out there. It is not conspicuous or heinous, it is actually being done right in front of our faces, but since denial is the greatest delusion we collective choose to accept, then yes, I guess all those of us who are angry, frustrated and want something different from all this corruption, cronyism and abuse of power, yes, we are conspiracy theorists.

Thing is, we haven’t theorized anything. We picked up some history books, read some papers, connected some very unsubtle dots, and realized, well, it’s all just a game. And we’re the pawns. So don’t insult my intelligence when you call me a conspiracy theorist, because I don’t insult yours by going ahead and calling you an idiot.

Advertisements

How the West Lost its Compass

How the West Lost its Compass

I’ve been trying really hard to wrap my head around the colossal mess unfurling itself in our world. I can’t for the life of me understand how such a blatant act of aggression, a clear violation of a country’s sovereign territory, could have little to no consequences. All I do is hear the big powers flapping their beaks, balking and clucking at Putin, all just a big show to do nothing. This latest bout of Russian expansionism is only another drop in the bucket, because after Syria and Georgia, I am starting to wake up to something that is very unsettling: the West’s moral compass isn’t worth a penny.

The big, dark scary ghost of World War II has long been gone, the shadow of the Cold War willfully forgotten. Why would we remember a time before the pax americana of global capitalism? How could we possibly not enjoy the bliss of unchecked and unregulated financial alchemy that has elevated the rich into strata they never thought possible? Well, it seems that capitalism’s victory is bringing with it a reckoning, a storm of blowback from placing all our bets on a pot that is fundamentally flawed: you cannot make something as intrinsically worthless as money the world’s primary objective.

Like a junkie obsessed with his next fix of heroin, we keep doping and doping and doping, not realizing that we are no longer tending to our health, we are no longer caring for our appearance, we are no longer striking lines in the sand to curb the depths of our depravity, we have for all intents and purposes lost our souls. Like the picture in Dorian’s attic, we have become grotesque, vile creatures who portray an air of stability and civilization to those around us, while the reality is that behind the veil we have become corrupt, we have become ugly. All of our youthful charm and wondrous curiosity: gone. Everything we are now touching is turning to rot before it turns to ashes. We have become subservient to chaos, because as far as I can see, there is no justice for the wicked, there is no order in the system, and there sure as hell is no consequence for evil. 

The West used to stand for something more. We used to strive for discovering new frontiers, for solving the unsolvable, for reaching for the impossible and turn it real. Now however, we do none of this unless there is a profit to be made from it, and this bottom line has morphed us, and by contagion the rest of the world, into serfs. What we have become makes me ill, because I have to finally accept, in its totality, that the suspicions I held all along, yet had some hope that perhaps the system could work out, were right. Crimea was the latest of many straws that has broken this camel’s back. What we are doing, or rather not doing, and where we are headed is cause for immediate concern, and I am not going to sit still while we are being pimped by out by self-anointed elites, just because they have more money in their bank accounts. But I’ll keep my rant about the elite for another day.

Europe’s recession has pushed a number of countries towards harrowing austerity measures to combat decades of inept governance at the hands of seemingly myopic politicians. The decisions carried out by both sides of this reconcilable political spectrum has done nothing but ensure a systematic transfer of wealth from one pile to another (which as you no doubt know by know, is not our pile).They entertain us by throwing the ball from the left side of the court to the right side of the court, while they sneak out the back door with kickbacks and subsidies and contracts and favors. But then I am reminded that when too much wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few, democracy becomes impossible. We fought for liberty, yet are ruled by plutocrats. We want capitalism, but what we get is cronyism. 85 people hold the wealth equivalent of the bottom 3,500,000,000 people. This is not a number conducive to progress. These are not figures that command respect, but rather deep concern. So where does that lead us?

We are falling into cycles of theft disguised as booms and busts and we don’t react because we are blinded by the spectacles they throw in our faces. Thinking back to the 2008 global financial crisis, I can only recall one person that is actually seeing jail-time: Bernard Madoff. But that one is easy to figure out: he stole from the rich, so he’s going to spend a long time in jail. Everyone else that created hundreds of billions of dollars of loss in the form of real estate value, retirement funds, pensions, you know, the working classes’ chance at a measure of peace and happiness at the end of a life of slaving through a system of debt, well those guys, they got off scott-free. As a matter of fact, they’re doing exactly the same reckless and dangerous activities that led to the near collapse of the entire international financial system. But hey! Who cares right? As long as the top 1% keep getting fatter, richer and more powerful, the rest of us can keep wriggling and whining. Unless we actually stop and do something about that.

We are due for some good news. In fact, we don’t just need good news, we need to restore some honor to humanity, and there are a number of ongoing crises around the world that are a disgrace for our modern 21st century world to just abide by. Resolving them would put us on the fast-track to redemption. Having gone through two World Wars, witnessed extremist nationalism and genocide, not on our doorstep, but in our living rooms, I want to believe that we know better by now. We like to claim we do, with high minded and haughty speeches about human rights and humanitarian missions. Yes, we like to talk and talk and talk, but to actually do anything, especially if we offend someone in the process, or mess with precious campaign contributions, no no, we’re not going to rattle no cages. We’re not going to intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian issue almost 5 decades running. I know it’s a “complex” issue, but for a species that has put a man on the moon and cured frigging polio, I think we can handle a territorial and ethnic-religious dispute. Syria? The conflict keeps going and going, with casualties in the six figures, yet I hear al-Assad is running again for President again. Sure, why not. If the mark of a good leader is slaughtering your own citizens, then godspeed buddy! And the conflict that requires URGENT attention and have an end put to it, the one that everyone loves to not talk about: the Democratic Republic of Congo and the entire region surrounding it. Last year I wrote a small article on the insanity that is the DRC. More than 5 million casualties since the beginning of the war, which is half the population of my country of Portugal or the population of Louisiana. Gone. In what is the most vile representation of 21st century colonialism, we have gone far past the point where future generations will look back at us in disgust for our inaction. They will admonish us for the cowards we are, for not having an iota of integrity and demanding an end to this. In the time it has taken you to read this, 4 women were raped, each one of them with a story more horrifying than the one before. Why? So we can get a steady flow of rare earth metals we need for the microprocessors inside our smartphones and laptops. Seems like every modern convenience is bathed in human suffering, in one way or another.

So what do we do about all of this? What do we do about Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Israel-Palestine, North Korea, China-Japan, Thailand, Burma, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, the DRC, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, economic problems in the West, and the climate crisis? I can’t begin to offer solutions for all of this. I’m not that smart, and this is not something that any one person can resolve. I don’t know what to do, but we do need to start doing something, ANYTHING. We are witnessing the death throes of an era, a system in its collapse in the wake of a new, hopefully better one. But the transition to a new paradigm need not be so chaotic, so bloody. It has to be better. We can do better. For all our sakes. We need to make these issues a part of our daily discourse, awareness is everything. A problem unacknowledged can never be resolved. And only when we start redeeming ourselves, case by case, will we be able to find ourselves facing north once again, and only then will this sour taste leave my mouth. And I hope we do. I’m tired of being this bitter.

Cuckoo Faster Than You Can Say Knock Knock

Seems like in order to thwart a rapid descent into crazy town, I have to increase the frequency of my posts, because if I let all this crap simmer in my head, I’ll go cuckoo faster than you can say knock knock.

I know I’ve subjected you, my dear readers, to a lot of rants about just how reckless humanity is in the exploitation and destruction of our environment, and today I’m going to rant some more, because this is getting ridiculous.

I don’t know what the fuck we think we’re doing, and I include myself in this equation because I’m no saint either, but this collective tantrum we are throwing as a species is just batty. Like a toddler in a grocery store, we know what we want and we want that candy on the shelf. Not just one bag of it, we want aaaaall of the candy. Paying no mind that someone needs to pay for it, we scream and we wail and we cry and we flail our arms about the floor because we’ll be damned if we don’t have some candy.

Well, I’m sad to say, sad to see, that that is exactly how we as a collective species are behaving. We’ve had a taste and oh my goodness is it yummy. Consuming feels so damn good, and I mean why shouldn’t it? It’s the (well not quite) epitome of human expression: we harness the resources from this Earth, we convert the raw goodness this planet is kind enough to provide us with into delectable consumables that we just go crazy for. All we do is quest to consume and through the rapids and the woodlands we have trekked to find an absolute mastery in just how to rape our world. It’s gotten to the point that we fully justify our psychosis because we must “grow” and so we chant this mantra over and over again, and then throw around words like recession and boom and bust and whatever the hell else to justify the horror we are bringing unto ourselves.

We are murdering our ecosystem and we are doing it with a Joker smile on our face. We are slowly, but surely, making it impossible for billions of human beings to thrive and prosper and to become fully actualized contributing members of our species. Now, when I say fully actualized, I don’t just mean the job, the family, and the white picket fence. I mean fully actualized by becoming leaders of the community, paradigm shifting scientists, awe inspiring composers, and tear compelling artists, everything and more that we are capable of doing and should be focusing absolutely in. This is our imperative: to get past this infantile period of our history as a species, be calm, and focus on the big game. We are not meant to be stuck here, in this status quo of Caligula-style debauchery of the few versus the many. This does not have to be a zero-sum game.

But no, we prefer the rat race. The suffering of hundreds of millions while I sit here typing these words, or you turn your attention away to watch the latest episode of this week’s drama. You know I’m right, you’ve thought this before. But this collective couch we are on is oh-so-comfortable and we are oh-so-tired from our oh-so-crucial employments. Or not. Maybe you aren’t tired, maybe you’re just jaded. How many times have we watched that inspirational speaker or motivational documentary, and you get up and you shout “YEAH! I’m going to do something and I’m going to make a change!” but then you start to think about the magnitude of the problem, how much there is to do, how alone you are in facing it, and you end up sitting back down and changing the channel just to find the latest news report the US administration is retreating on environmental protection stipulations from its latest negotiations on a Pacific trade deal. Why? Because it’s too much hassle trying to get all the parties to agree to environmental protection standards. Why? Because externalities like air quality, clean water, and coral reef health don’t bring in any profit. Same with land exploitation, deforestation, soil erosion and degradation, as well as the annihilation of entire ecosystems along with their fauna and flora. Millions of species have gone extinct since we discovered the candy on the shelf, and by sheer and utter barbarity, complete and absolute single-mindedness to turn a profit, we have trudged on, full steam ahead to get as quickly as we can to a point of no return.

I see it already, fields of nothing but trash, uncrecycled good, dead or dying animals around it, and the poor souls who will have to face this reality every single day until their last breath is drawn. I could ramble on and on about how dire our situation is, and I didn’t even get into how our ecosystem is turning against us to maintain some semblance of a homeostatic equilibrium, but I won’t, cause honestly I just want to go curl up into the fetal position and cry.

I want to not want candy anymore. I’m done with it.

Redefining Stupidity

So I was sitting here and the daily email from Foreign Policy’s Morning Brief came in. Here’s what it had to say: “The European Union is considering new banking regulations to limit depositors’ liability for risky trades made by the bank, though the new law does not go as far as the “Volcker Rule” introduced in the United States.” So setting aside the fact that it took a while to kinda learn the lessons from the 2008 global financial meltdown, my little home continent feels as if for some miracle of circus magic that the banks in Europe will behave themselves this time around. For some quick context, the Volcker Rule is a part of the Dodd-Frank Act which effectively creates a line that separates a bank’s advisory and creditor roles, in short, it curbs speculative behavior which is not in the direct interest of the client/depositor.

Image

Now what has happened here? Well in order to get a bill passed across 28 countries, you can be sure it’s not going to be comprehensive or effective, if anything it will be one more band-aid, which seems like the only thing inside the EU’s First Aid kit. France and Germany had a particularly strong hand in lobbying for a watered down bill because God forbid their multinational Too-Big-to-Fail banks be broken up into smaller chunks. The sheer fact that this economic bloc refuses to deal with the worst case of delusion since once upon a time a parrot thought he was a monkey is what leaves me dumbfounded. National pride and sovereignty have contributed more to this economic crisis than some pistol-blazing bankers. I mean heck, we know what they’re like, let them run loose and bubbles and crises will happen. That’s why it is the state’s responsibility to curb and regulate over-exposure, risk-prone behaviors and so and so on. So what is happening here? Rather than uniting as a true bloc and recognizing that in a 21st century with rapidly emerging economies to the east and south, we don’t really have any other choice if we wish to remain relevant.

What I’m saying here is not rocket science, heck all it takes is one brief look at history and you quickly run out of fingers to count all the examples where unity in the face of a challenge had better results in reaching a common goal than if each individual had been acting on his own even if there were general guiding principles in the behavior. This is why Lincoln’s Union was called a UNION and not “a set of individual states acting independently of one another because we must preserve our sovereignty and state pride even if we have to adhere to general laws even though we’re pretty sure it will lead to the collapse of the socio-economic order.”

I’m so sick and tired of talking about this, but it seems to me that when people willfully choose to be stupid, it should be shouted down from the rooftops, especially when we’re talking about those very individuals drafting the decisions for the 500 million Europeans who live here and the global repercussions these decisions will have. What makes sense in this 21st century picture of ours is a Union, through and through. Enough with all this shouting at the skies that sovereignty is important and national pride and history and culture and bla bla bla. Last couple of times the nationalist bandwagon was allowed to circulate, it did not have very pretty results. Populist and nationalist rhetoric is oh so easy when the economy is in the shitter, but it does NOTHING to get back into a good path.

Echoing a previous post of mine, what we want here is not growth, it’s stability and sustainability. These are two complex terms with a gazillion ways of looking at them, but what is needed is a passing of obsolete industries and the introduction of new businesses which are relevant for the times, and even more importantly, which will lower the unemployment of qualified youth who right now find themselves bored and frustrated because their economies told them “study hard! get degrees! get indebted and you will get a career in return!” and then went and did a perfect 180º turn and walked away.

A little something about revolutions: it’s never at the hands of the older, comfortable and financially secure working class. Time and again regimes which have stretched too far have fallen to the young, not the old.

So yes Europe, time to wake the f*ck up and smell the air around you, cause all this bullshit you’re spreading isn’t convincing me or the other 500 million of us looking at you and asking “really?”

Doing the same action over and over again expecting different results isn’t insanity, it’s just plain stupid.

Why Conventional Economics is a Form of Brain Damage

I’m sure I’ll get letters about making a statement like this, but we have to realize just how insane we are being. Ok ok, I’m not the sanest person out there to be preaching sanity, but what the global economic system is basing its fundamental principles on is nothing short of batshit crazy.

Let me backtrack a little to the dawn of the capitalist system. The world was filled with possibility and the sky was the limit. Resources were bountiful and most believed in many cases, were unlimited. So we created a system that has infinite growth as a cornerstone of the economic landscape. All notions of supply and demand, growth, progress, development, are so misled that unfortunately a tweak here and there won’t work. It is not only systemically warped, it has festered culturally and psychologically. You start to bring up arguments of sustainability and resource depletion to economists and tycoons and they look at you as if you’re some environmentalist hippie at best, circus crazy at worst. The mere thought that we don’t in fact have unlimited resources isn’t even a part of their equation. It’s a rat race to gobble up all the cheese, and once that’s done, I guess the rats will learn to cannibalize each other.

The main indicator that these people are clearly nuts, is the fact that aquifers, ozone layer, biodiversity, air quality, soil, are all considered to be externalities. The natural processes and cycles that we need to survive on this planet are seen as nothing more than statistical noise, since it doesn’t factor into the profit motive or economic growth. A system that is so utterly disconnected from reality cannot be allowed to continue, and any insistence that a boom/bust economic cycle is a “natural process” for our globalized, interconnected world is complete bullshit. They might as well be smiling at us while flicking us off telling us that we have no choice in the matter, that that is just the way it is.

But let me make things very clear: the way you are conducting your business, the way you are steering humanity all because of a bunch of an artificial number deep in some bank statement, all because of economic “growth” does not excuse you from leading us ever faster towards the extinction of valuable resources in the planet. I need not list the myriad corporations and so called governments that are complicit in this, by the end of the day, almost all of them are. We are trapped in this cult-like belief that blind competition and vicious ravaging of the planet’s resources is the only way to go.

Have you driven past a dumpster lately? Have you seen how insane it is that we have planned obsolescence (engineering breakdown into our products to drive deeper consumption) built right into our economic model? We are designing and building things so that they break so that we buy some more so that they break a little later. What the fuck am I missing from this picture? I must be seriously deluded to not look at this and not go crazy from frustration! How are we able to cure disease and send humans into orbital space and create artificial cells, but for some reason we have to have TVs that last 18 months??? How arrogant could you possibly be?!? You people are a perfect blend of psychopaths and sociopaths all rolled up into a shitstorm of warrant-less destruction, you’ve kidnapped our futures and there’s not a single figure of authority out there to “rescue us”. And what’s even worse, that makes the rest of us have such an intense case of Stockholm’s Syndrome that we’re all speaking fluent Swedish.

That fine line that separates just barely keeping up appearances, and straight-jacket cuckoo, is just this: we are all so happily enthralled with this crappy version of reality that we have been sold, that I honestly find it amazing how I don’t wake up in a catatonic state. This is insanity. They call us consumers for a reason. Not contributors, not collaborators, not creators. Consumers. We consume everything in our path just so that we can consume some more. You know what also behaves like that? Cancer.

Feeling lost? Don’t!

Opening up any news site or sitting down to watch the evening news is a very tiring experience. The constant onslaught of information we are bombarded with really has my moral compass going haywire. On the one hand I sit here, wanting to contribute in some way towards the countless problems out there, yet on the other hand feeling completely paralyzed by the sheer amount of work yet to be done. It’s not easy to wrap your head around this, I still have difficulty doing it. I mean the amount of things that could really go wrong and throw humanity into a complete standstill is really huge. As a nice little contrast however, is that everything that could go right is stupefying. There are a series of particular paths which could effectively lead us towards thinking back on this period in history as humanity’s step away from adolescence. I like to think back on this when I start getting misplaced notions of being lost.

Let me just rant here a little bit and bring you into the context of things and you can then be the judge of whether we have a lot of work to do or not.

I get this foreboding feeling that Mother Nature is revving up its engine and we should be prepared for just how much ass-kicking she’s about to give us in response to our unrelenting polluting, not to mention the indiscriminate ravaging of our planet’s resources. The impacts wrought by global climate change are going to be more and more evident the more we insist on delaying this little huge problem because of silly economic interests. We live in a closed system and we’ve decided to shut ourselves inside the garage with the car running and expecting to breathe easy. Our children are going to be thrilled with this collective attempt of ours at mass suicide.

By the year 2050 (that’s less than 37 years from now, it’s not that far off really) we are going to have approximately 9.5 billion people living on this little planet of ours. That’s another 2.5 billion people stuffed into our cradle within a generation’s time. If you think things are iffy right now, well add another 2 500 000 000 hungry and thirsty mouths into the mix and you tell me, how are we going to deal with this? Considering the advances we’ve made in crop yields, we still can’t keep global hunger at bay. Not even mentioning the fact that all other resources will be drained faster than a slurpee cup on a hot summer’s day. But nope, that’s not something that should bother us. We’re fighting now over some barrels of oil, imagine when we’re doing it for a can of clean water. Yolo right?

The economy. Ugh. Our globalized economic and financial system has gone completely topsy turvy. There is something that the large corporations know that we haven’t realized yet. The world is no longer made of states. I mean, we like to play into the idea that we have our own countries that we have a say in how they run. But Exxon, Shell, Wal-Mart, Volkswagen, Apple and so on, these are the new states. We are mere principalities in a global aristocracy run by the kings of the market who have in their hands the control in the only thing that grants a voice in this world: money. The financial, monetary and industrial titans of our world keep a monopoly over fiat currencies, we’ve reached a point where the 1% are pretty much guaranteed their place in society as the super wealthy. If you were in that position, would you give up your spot that easily? I mean I’d like to believe that I would, but then I start to think about it, and just realizing what’s in store for us in the next century makes me think, nope, I’d like to be in a position of relative power and wealth to be able to deal with what’s coming around the corner. So yeah, they have that spot pretty solidly secured. And they’re not going to give that up easily.

One of the main things which could turn this whole thing around is education. The current and future generations of digital natives have all of humanity’s knowledge at their fingertips. This is unprecedented, and if well utilized it will have world changing consequences. And hear me when I say that it is only them that can think of a way to get us on the right path. We need people who can think completely out of the context of the last century. We are stuck in a paradigm that, and mark my words, will lead to the end of our civilization. These kids running around nowadays with access to the aggregate of our knowledge inside their pockets, they are the ones that are going to save this world. They are more awake than we give them credit, more preoccupied than we think, and more capable than we believe. The only thing that is keeping them from reaching their true potential, is the rest of us. We are failing, deliberately or otherwise, to actually show our kids how to make the most use of these tools. Education as we know it is a system that needs to be thrown in a bin and rethought from scratch to meet the reality of the 21st century. What they need to know is not facts that they could look up in a second on their phone. Facts are not going to resolve things. They need skills. They need to be innovators and problem-solvers. If we don’t start focusing on harnessing this generation’s true potential in becoming militant paradigm shifters, we are fucked. Whatever game is being played is no laughing matter, we are effectively gambling with the lives of hundreds of millions.

So, our headcount now includes global catastrophic climate change, staggering overpopulation density problems, a global economy that is so stagnant, it’s in the toilet, an education system that’s been bitten by a zombie (spreading the zombieness to our youth) , and a bunch of other issues I don’t want to get sad about right now.

Now what keeps me sane, what keeps me walking towards that little bright spot of light at the end of the corridor, is the simple fact that if we get a number of things in check, we will be on the doorstep to fulfilling humanity’s most sacred imperative: to endure. It is no secret that we are capable of amazing feats. From the arts to the sciences, what we have achieved as a species in relatively little time is short of breathtaking. You don’t have to go that far back in time for our current reality to seem like science fiction. The future is not around the corner, it is already here. Let me contextualize things.

There are ailments out there right now which can be alleviated thanks to the leaps and bounds medical engineering has taken. The deaf are able to hear again, and soon enough could hear as well as you and me. But what about after? What if we keep developing and we are able to hear clearer and further than before? What about the blind? We now have implants and bionic eyes which can bring back some light to the darkness. Some may only shades of grey or shapes, but soon enough they’ll be able to see as well as you and me. But what if it keeps developing? What if we could see further and clearer? What if we could see beyond our light spectrum? What if we could see in the dark as well as in the light? What consequences would that bring to our species? The maimed and impaired, once unable to walk or touch, can now walk on their own two legs or reach forward and feel their child’s face. Prosthetics has advanced much since the days of Captain Hook and aside from having legs and hands which now connect the brain to microprocessors built into the prosthesis which allows for further degrees of motion and reacting to our mental cues, we also have synthetic tissue that can transmit the sense of touch.  We’ve already seen certain individuals with prosthetic legs running on par with Olympic athletes. And how should we react to this? What about when we are able to lift more than ever possible, run further without breaking a sweat? Jump higher and leap further, what then? Have we even began to consider these questions? It’s already happening, we need to have a conversation about this because it’s socio-political intriguing that is going to bring humanity forward. It’s going to be the unavoidable developments that are happening on a daily basis. Did you know we’ve been able to teleport information across large distances? Yeah, that’s right. Teleportation and Quantum Entanglement. Shit just got real.

The dawn of artificial intelligence, the rise of robotics, the commercialization of space, the massification of crowd-sourcing, micro-financing, and so many other great things are happening right now or are on the verge of happening. We really need to re-evaluate what our priorities are and what we want to have constantly bombarded into our ear-holes by media banshees.

These things are happening right now and we are having our attention being redirected by a cadre of incompetent (or actors feigning incompetence) douchebags who hijack our lives simply by the measure of how shitty a job they are doing. Be it the political, financial or monetary masters of our world, we cannot just sit quietly and be spoon-fed all this bullshit and be expected to like it. Delicious and nutritious we are told to think. But really, we know we’re just chewing bullshit.

So it’s normal, it’s natural, it is expected that we all feel lost sometimes. But that’s simply because we are being forced to look the wrong way. If we just manage to cut through that first layer of bull fecal matter, we’ll be fine. Great things are coming. We just have to shift our priorities ever so slightly and a world of possibilities awaits us.

Has everyone lost their frigging minds?!?

ImageSo before I go off and give myself an aneurysm there are a couple of things I need to express before I go off in a long rant about why we’re all choosing to be willfully stupid and not calling bullshit when we see it.

So, for starters, we’re not idiots. There are those who either pretend to be idiots or pretend to not give a damn, but in the great scheme of things, above and beyond, in general, we are not a bunch of simpletons. One of the great things the internet has brought us, aside from information (if you know how to get it) is actually a far more useful trait: skepticism.

We are so inundated by information on a daily basis, be it from the mainstream media, be it from “alternative” news sources online, that the wide variety of information we get, oftentimes contradictory, has made us generally skeptical of the news we read, where it comes from, who wrote it, and for what purpose. Now, you may not realize this consciously, but you know you’ve had those moments when you read something and your gut just tells you “Wow, that sounds like a large pile of buffalo dung”. It’s that gut reaction that we need to hone and sharpen, because boy, are we swimming in a river of bull.

The thing with the news is that it represents the thin layer that lays at the top, when the reality of the matter is simmering beneath. Watch the coverage from all the news sources, be it television or newspapers, detract opinion and general partisan hackery, and the details themselves oftentimes reveal far more about the story than the general hoopla about this or that.

And now here is where my brain begins to simmer.

Syria.

Oh boy has it been a little while since we’ve had a new season of the hit show “America’s Got Bombs”. Disclaimer, I love the US, its people, its founding principles and its general resilience to everything that is thrown at them. So when I scold anyone, I do it out of love.

Those of us who were around to witness the horrors of 9/11, and then watch the fabric of fear being carefully woven and blanketed across the US will remember what it cost the country. Be it the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the run-up to Iraq, the lies being sold on an international scale, as well as national, to justify going to war with a country that (yes, it was being run by a crazy douchebag) had nothing to do with 9/11, Drone Strikes without airspace authorization, Libya, so on and so forth, I don’t get the sense as if any of this has ever sat well with me. Has that gut feeling of yours told you something isn’t right too?

Now we come to Syria. Keeping in mind that the country has been embroiled in a pseudo civil war since the Arab Spring two years ago, and given the fact that more than a hundred thousand people have died whether at the hands of Assad’s troops or the rebels (that just like the Lybian scenario, I have no idea what they stand for outside of being rebels) now, only NOW does everyone lose their frigging minds over 1400 allegedly gassed civilians with Sarin gas. Granted, it’s not “part of the plan”, I mean heck, President Obama declared clearly before the world that the Red Line would be the use of chemical weapons.

So we waited until someone, we don’t yet know who, gassed a neighborhood, allegedly with Sarin, and now the war drums are beating. The people that died in that neighborhood in the Ghouta region accounts for 1% of the total casualties so far since the conflict began. 1%. The use of chemical and biological agents is without a doubt heinous, and it should, and will be punished, but we cannot be so brazen as to declare, OH NO NOW YOU’VE GONE AND CROSSED A LINE! 98600 civilians get mowed down by machine gun fire, mortar shells, high explosives, air strikes, whatever is considered conventional warfare and no one lifts a finger. Set off a canister of Sarin and that becomes the de facto reason to go to war. Again. In the middle east. Again.

I’m not even going to touch the subject of chemical warfare, because Willy Pete and the Mark 77 have been used not that very long ago by the very agents who now want to persecute another middle eastern nation for its “alleged” use of Sarin. Not even going to get the hypocrisy argument running because I don’t have the time to run through every bit of “Do as I say not as I do” scenario involving a western power.

Getting to the crux of this issue, has anyone even remotely heard the media mention the word Iran. I mean ok, people have mentioned Iran here and there, but only in passing, even though it is clearly what is at stake here, not the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Ever since the Iran-Iraq war (where Saddam used chemical weapons against Iran sold to Iraq by the US who were still reeling from the ’79 hostage crisis in Iran), Syria and Iran have had a strategic alliance which basically means, in case of war, one will come to the aid of the other. For how long has the west been talking about the supposed dangers that Iran poses against the world, how their caricature of an ex-president Ahmadinejad loved to over-exaggerate and play the anti-Israel card, knowing how it irritated the West, all the while (aside from a stolen election here and there, and the egregious treatment of journalists and people attempting to speak their minds), Iran has in the end, been a pretty pacific player in the region. For all the bells and whistles being sung about this member of the Axis of Evil, it’s been quiet.

And why is that? Oh well, they know very well where they stand, and their situation is very simple. They know not to fuck with the US. Never since the time of the Caesars has there been a superpower so capable of ass kicking on a large scale. The number one, undisputed, supreme military force in the world, is without a doubt, the US.

Image

Now, just for a second forget about your own nationality and think of yourself as just a regular person chilling in Iran. Now imagine yourself within the context of this crude map I pulled off the net. All the little white stars are American bases in the region. If you were an individual walking down a neighborhood and you were suddenly surrounded by a gang of other individuals who had just spent the last 12 years kicking the shit out of your neighbors to your left and to your right, I think you might feel a little uneasy about things. A little paranoid even.

However, the gang isn’t stupid, they’re not just gonna knock down your front door and kick your ass. They know you’ve got a good security system (organized and not weak military) and a solid house (generally united population). They’re not going to try and start a rumble on your home turf. Oh no. They’re going to draw you out of your comfort zone and slap you around on a much more familiar territory. Your friend’s house, who you promised to have his back and now the gang is coming to collect from him.

So what does Iran do? If the US strikes, and Iran does nothing, it loses credibility within the Arab world and never again will it be trusted in issues of security, and the US is happy because Iran just lost brownie points in the region. If it does jump to Syria’s defence, well then, the US will be happy since they’ve been trying to pull Iran into a fight for over a decade. This was never about Syria. This is all about Iran. Well, and Russia (who is the supplier of choice for weapons to these two countries), and China, who well, alongside Russia is very much not interested in an increased American military presence within its sphere of influence.

We’ve seen this game play out before and we’ve seen where it leads. We’re not stupid, even more so because this plays out like a hollywood drama, every bit exciting and terrible to watch. What the hell are we doing people? I mean seriously, take a step back and just think, what the actual fuck are we doing?

It’s not that difficult to just stop for a second and realize that we’re doing it all wrong. We’ve had 5000 years of this bullshit, of just hacking each other because he said that or she said that or I want that or you took that, that it’s literally absurd how in a 21st century where enlightenment is possible due to the freeflow of information, that we’re still acting as if in awe at a premier of a Shakespearean play. We are deer caught in headlights and we’re not moving while they just keep force feeding trucks of bullshit down our throats.

This is not what we’re meant to be. This is by far not what we’re meant to do. I’m so sick and tired, reaching exhaustion of all the stupid nonsense out there on the international arena where if we just woke the fuck up and moved towards something other than the profit motive (at the expense of others) or penis-measuring contests (I told him not to cross the red line, well now he’s crossed and I can’t go back on my word so let me bomb his country back to the stone age) and just get on with the plan.

Christ this is tiring. I mean seriously, am I the only one who just watches all this and wants to stick a fork in my eye? Doing heart surgery on myself with a spoon and no anesthesia would be far less painful than watch the disaster that is our cadre of international leaders royally fuck all of this up.

I am angry. Actually no, I am livid. My friends and family have given up asking me “what’s with that face?” I haven’t even reached my 30s yet, but I have a feeling that if the world keeps going like this, a random vein is going to pop in my brain before I reach my 30th birthday.