It’s easy to look around and think things are headed in the wrong direction. Or am I the only eternal pessimist on this flight? Admittedly, I can get myself into a serious funk by paying too close attention to the reliable disappointments of mankind.
The newest trend in cultural stupidity, flash mobs, makes me wonder if we’ve hit our evolutionary peak and should now prepare to put all tray tables up, fasten seat belts and prepare for our final descent into oblivion.
Where do people get off thinking it is somehow acceptable to band together to rob, pillage and plunder because they received a message via Twitter? While we here in Glendale may be temporarily free from such large scale lunacy, we’ve got individuals in our community who are just as socially challenged.
I think there is a much deeper societal problem evident linking the individual criminal act to the more frightening and out-of-control mob. Through my eyes, it looks a lot like the “have-nots” of society are making their move to take what they can and ignore the consequences.
Perhaps I’m guilty of trying to place reason on random criminal behavior, but as long as the rich get richer and, the poor get poorer, I have a feeling we may be seeing more singular and collective acts like these in the future. In other words, unless we all do something, the remainder of our flight seems to be flying into some serious turbulence.
And this brings me to the reason for my pessimism — our collective inability to solve problems such as the growing disparity between that top 1% holding the lion’s share of wealth and just about everyone else in the world.
We are driving ourselves into the ground with baseless rhetoric of who should and shouldn’t be taxed. For the life of me, I’ll never figure out why so many people oppose being taxed to pay for our debt. It’s as if we all collectively decided to order everything on the menu for the last 10 years and then not pay the bill.
I know we have a tendency to be gluttons, but this is getting silly. And from the looks of the escalating mayhem, it’s also getting dangerous.
In our current state, we fix nothing and blame the other party when nothing gets better. Personal accountability has gone out the window in lieu of personal gain. Is it any wonder riotous rampages last for days on end? We have become a nation of sound bites and snipes meant only to push aside any responsibility for things like our economic woes. Everything is someone else’s fault.
We have huge issues in this country — this is no great revelation. But we are complicating things needlessly by failing to reach intelligent solutions to our financial problems because of some belief that political agendas are more important than compromise.
We had better drop the political posturing, and either get down to fixing some things for real, or putting on the oxygen masks and bracing for impact.
But how do we start? We could wait for our elected officials to reach across the aisle and say “Good idea! I’m glad you thought of it!” Then again, we might all be retired and on Social Security before that happens (provided there is a Social Security when we retire).
Maybe I’ll just take a stab at it and see if some other Average Joe out there on the other side of the fence might be willing to extend a helping hand. Maybe the two of us can start our own grass-roots flash mob and create an uprising of common sense and, dare I say it, intelligent political dialogue minus the posturing?
Here goes: I am willing to admit our president — the one I voted for — has made some decisions which I do not fully support. I say this as someone who wants things done right and not done for my party’s sake.
Now is there someone out there who will likewise admit the president they supported during the eight years prior also made some decisions that were not so great? I can admit our financial troubles have escalated since 2008 if someone else will admit they began sometime before that time.
Is this kind of talk so impossible to accomplish?
Unfortunately, the pessimist in me says it is probably nothing more than a pipe dream. The Ann Coulters and Rush Limbaughs of the world will continue to insist that everything wrong can be blamed squarely on the current administration. The current administration blames the other side. And the plane continues to fly with us as unwitting passengers, fuel dwindling, and no place to land.
Good thing our seat cushions can be used as flotation devices or we’d really be in a tight spot.
GARY HUERTA is a Glendale resident and author. He is currently working on his second novel and the second half of his life. Gary may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.