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Kool Aid

November 6, 2012

Social Commentary

Someone has put something in America’s Kool Aid and I don’t like it.  Maybe the world was full of delusional paranoids prior to September 11, 2001, but I don’t remember America that way.

I was born in 1965, so as a child of the early ‘70’s, I think I must have picked up some remnants of the flower-child, hippy vibe.  In 2001, I was just blissfully travelling through life – having survived the Big Hair Bands of the ‘80’s and no memory at all of the ‘90’s – thinking that the world was a beautiful place, and in the immortal words of Rodney King, thought “Can’t we all just get along?”

The planes that hit the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and crashed in that barren Pennsylvania field, destroyed more than lives, it destroyed something in our national soul.

Six weeks after 9/11, my then-fiancé (who is Muslim and a naturalized citizen)and I travelled out of the country to Belize for our destination wedding/honeymoon.  The airports were hushed like a funeral.  Strangers were patient and kind.  Citizens of other nations we met along the way gave us their condolences.  Us.  People who had never lived in New York City and didn’t directly know anyone affected.  But they told us they were sorry.  And wished us well.

I remember tearing up when the Senate sang God Bless America on the Capitol steps.  I thought President Bush’s slow uptake when apprised of the situation while reading a children’s book was over-blown and thought he seemed quite intelligent and capable immediately after.

Then came the long slow decline into the divided, angry mess of saber-rattling hyperbole that passes for public discourse in this country.  It feels like we are in a second civil war – only instead of battlefields in Pennsylvania or fire-breathing marches through Atlanta, the war is played out on cable news networks, fringe radio and at Chik-fil-A.

As Jon Stewart says, half the nation lives in a place called “Bullshit Mountain.”

You would hope that the most evolved (yes, I said EVOLVED) animal on earth in the 21st century would be capable of things like reason and I don’t know… facts.  That people would not self-segregate (or self-deport), into groups that think the “other” is the spawn of Satan.  A world where racism didn’t still rear its ugly head, where homosexuals were treated just like any other human being, as they happen to be, where women were paid as much as a man for the same work and had health care that covered birth control, as it does Viagra, and where borderline personalities were not actually elected to Congress.

Where people who were fortunate enough to be born in this country did not treat poor people like vermin.  Where hate speech was not cloaked in the guise of religious freedom.

Where educated people believed in science… you know… little things like global warming, or evolution.  That NO ONE in our educated, wealthy FIRST WORLD nation believed that dinosaurs and man ever romped playfully together on a dusty plain.  (Psst: The Flintstones was a cartoon – though having a pet dinosaur named Dino would have been epic).

But when a large portion of the population – as opposed to one or two homeless people who sleep in the city park – think the Homeland Security Agency is stockpiling weapons to unleash some sort of military action on the US citizenry, who believe polling booths are set up to automatically change their vote (to Obama), who believe Obama is a Muslim (which is tantamount to devil worshipper), who believes Obama is sympathetic to Islamic terrorists and has some sort of evil plan to help them “destroy America as we know it”, who refuses to believe against all evidence that Obama is a U.S. citizen BY BIRTH, who believes in a fourth dimension omnipotent being who unleashes catastrophic weather events on people who disagree with them, who equate homosexuals with pedophiles and simultaneously think that somehow gay people affect the sanctity of their own personal marriage, who believe there is this vast majority of people who are living high on the hog off welfare due to irresponsible breeding (have you SEEN these women at Walmart with all those babies hanging off them? That ain’t high on the hog.  If it were, more of us would be doing it), who simultaneously would legislate that said women HAVE to have babies whether they want to or not, and whether the pregnancy was the result of rape or their own Daddy, while also denying said women health care, including BIRTH CONTROL… well, there is no hope for those folks. They believe what they want to believe.

I truly feel like there is some sort of national madness that makes me actually fearful about what we would be capable of doing to each other given the chance.  Genocide still thrives in many parts of the world.  I can easily envision “my kind” being waterboarded (maybe to give up the location of the secret bunker full of zombies I keep as pets in my backyard)or left to rot in Guantanamo like the plot of some dystopian fantasy novel… maybe I am the paranoid schizophrenic and not the other way around?

By the way, did you hear the rumor?  I don’t know if it’s true… but I heard that Osama bin Laden isn’t really dead and as a matter of fact, is staying as a guest of the President’s in the Lincoln bedroom and that Obama and Osama… get ready… wait for it… are TWIN BROTHERS… Osama & Obama… how did we not suspect this before now?

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About reneadijab

Renea Dijab

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3 Comments on “Kool Aid”

  1. Cindy Says:

    Preach on, sister!

    Reply

  2. janineyork Says:

    “Then came the the long slow decline into the divided, angry mess of saber-rattling hyperbole that passes for public discourse in this country” is so dead on. Seriously sums up the political pundits’ rants and discussions that we are forced to endure if we dare to tune in to be better informed. Just try to spark a political discussion with any open mindedness and you will quickly find that religion trumps facts and party divides are so deeply ingrained that there is no room for discussion. People do not listen to your political thoughts, they merely use the time while you are speaking to craft their next argument as to why you are wrong and they are right. It is so exhausting that it is almost not worth it, but then again, I have do enjoy crafting my next argument. Loved this piece. My favorite so far.

    Reply

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