you see the faces of your children.
Global economics aside, the headlines are rife with “The Brink” headlines; things we are on the brink of. I like that word “brink”
brink [brɪŋk] n [from the FRee Dictionary http://www.thefreedictionary.com/brink]
1. the edge, border, or verge of a steep place the brink of the precipice
2. the highest point; top the sun fell below the brink of the hill
3. (Earth Sciences / Physical Geography) the land at the edge of a body of water
4. the verge of an event or state the brink of disaster
We are on the brink in many different ways, from global disaster to scientific discoveries of a magnitude we can’t even imagine, and yet within this mess of a symphony we have all the emotional components that ebb like a tidal force, from the collapse of one nation, the lies discovered about corporations, celebrities, politicians and others, to the brink of utter mediocrity when we celebrate the Kardashian wedding, throwing in Lindsay Lohan tossing shots for good measure.
In fact, the next most overused statement is “The Truth of..” where generally there is little truth to be found. As Jack Nicholson shouted in “A Few Good Men” : “You want the truth; you can’t handle the truth.”
I am on the brink of screaming at some of the idiocy that I feel surrounded by. Look at the rapid, and ever increasing degradation of the fabric of society. I spend more time trying to decipher the truth, find facts, live a simple and decent life and make a living to support my family and frankly it is getting near impossible to do that.
Food is either tainted, mislabeled or just bad for you. I can’t tell my a label where it came from because often you are told that it is packaged in the USA which does not mean it comes from the USA. An example of this is the tainted honey stories circulating how China exports the honey to us complete with contaminants and in some case just colored sugar water with a trace of honey. This story alleges that US manufacturers faced with shortages have mixed in this product. More HERE and HERE and HERE
Why is this not big news? Well can we trust our media? The premise of an unbiased media seems to be gone in the minds of the American public, although most reporters I know realize they are only as good as their last story (and that would be a great story were it not for the vast government conspiracists that keep this sort of thing under wraps tighter than the Area 51 alien bodies and crashed spaceship from which we gained our modern technology – except figuring out those damned stupid crop circles!
We’re on the brink of something, to be sure. With Libya collapsing and Ghaddafi, Khaddafi – however you spell it – looking more like Michael Jackson, and likely hiding in Saddham’s old hole, we are watching history unfolding with less interest than the wedding that Kim Kardashian flaunted or Rhianna changing her ugly red hair color, as if I care, as if it is important, as if this is that common cultural knowledge we are supposed to share that betters our species, or at least our nation.
But before you can say slow news day, break out the hypodermic for that daily fix of “The Brink” because now it turns out that…
Oh surprise me, please!!! The headline above it read BIG PROBLEM but in reality it is not a big problem but one that will get some press buzz, another idiotic oil head will step down and be replaced by a clone, as the oil continues to do its damage, as the global warming (whether man made or natural – who cares – it is getting hot!) increases destroying in the next handful of years what is left of the glaciers and forever (for us) altering the global weather patterns. Didn’t you enjoy the heat wave, America? Who needs to go to Florida for that tan. You can get it cheaper in Utah!
“Declined to answer” is the next favorite phrase almost always used because of on ongoing investigation, ongoing litigation, undisclosed terms of a settlement or just because we have no answers and would hate for you to think we are just plain STUPID.
Gotta love that 5th Amendment.
So it seems that the decline we face is based solely on the truth that puts us on the brink for which no one has a suitable thought and chooses instead to decline to answer. To cover this fact up we encourage the coverage of the likes of Linday Lohan shot putting at Kim Kardashian’s wedding (which, if celebrity nuptuals go, maybe over in another week) and then spend the rest of the time selling the American public on corrupt food products, police brutality against minorities, blaming POTUS for his shorter than Congress vacation, as we slowly all turn dark from the heatwave that we may have caused as a result of lax manufacturing controls, zero accountability for crooks, thieves and liars and of course, global warming regardless whether it was a result of creation or evolution. And for this, we always invoke the Almighty to bless us.
We are on the brink. We are surfers inside the big global toilet bowl of life and the chain has already been pulled. “Surfs up, dude!”
There is an old ditty: “Here I sit all broken hearted, tried to …”
Likely you have heard it; but it reminds me of the stagnancy that we seem to be facing in the muck of life right now – everything in decay, and running on less and less and getting less and less (except movies where we are killing and blowing things up geometrically faster than ever before as we scarf down that overpriced, over-caloried grub they feed you).
It is the beginning of the end; not of life, but of life as we know it, or, for us older folk, as we knew it. It will never come this way the same again, and that is both sad, but also “inevitable,” as Agent Smith would tell “Mister Anderson” in the Matrix films. It is, after all, the way of all things, each phase of humanity clinging to the remnants of what was believed to be a valued and prized possession, watching in horror as it decays into whatever form follows – ugly by the standard of the past.
And yet, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, inevitably something positive does come from the negative, even if a whole lot of negative has to happen first.
My favorite example is the barbarism in the Middle Ages. What a pitiful life that must have been. No technology, no decent medical care, no luxury goods. Every day was a struggle for survival and your day was spent farming, raping and pillaging. And unless you whored yourself and your kids to get in the Royal Court or chumming with the Lord of the Land you were, in essence, nothing.
It is as inevitable as the structure of a screenplay or novel. there is a beginning, a middle and an ending, without which there is no story to tell. And that is what Shakespeare was trying to impart; the world is a stage and we are but the two bit actors who for a time get a moment to bask in the glory or a structured life before it passes.
Ask anyone on the street and their world extends only to the places they frequent in the habits they indulge. This might be girls night out; football game, trip to the city, whichever city that may be. Along the way not one stops and says; “Hark, it is the dawning of the end as we know it; for doth hither from yonder shall begin a new dawning of the age of man. Pour me another brew wench.”
And in our bubble zones we are; those skilled to pontificate science illuminate us in fleeting filamentary moments with a universal vastness so incomprehensible in size and age that we cannot even place our puny lives along the timeline. The universe just did not really notice us at all. And the same may be said of the creator of all the muck and misery. Of course that does not deter absolute faith, for we are capable of absolute, total, blind, ignorant faith in just about whatever pleases us, whether that be a celebrity, a politician, a teacher, a cause, a God, you name it; not from stupidity but more from a desperate need to find that place along the great timeline.
We build our world, for lack of a better myth, one structure at a time and like Skynet in the Terminator films, which mirrors our giant tech companies, which mirrors Skynet to begin with, whether the chicken or the egg came first takes a back seat to how that egg will be used and who will get to eat it.
Freedom to choose. But what are we choosing? Financial ruin as the once greatest place on Earth cannot make its loan payments? A government that was for the people and by the people now from the people and apart from the people – the people who understand nothing about the government anyway – who decide that we need to eavesdrop on the populace for their safety, and need to control the beliefs of those who believe that we have no right to believe. Government is fat – the budget is fat, the taxes are high and the waste immense. Bombs built must be used or new ones cannot be bought, which means no job for the little guy building the bomb in that giant mechanism called a war machine.
And yet we are a peaceful nation, with a big war machine that needs to be fed to help the economy turn and provide jobs for the minions and that’s fine; but lets start calling it that. The fact that we call cow steak and wrap it in clean white plastic trays does not change the fact that it was a large stinking animal that had to be slaughtered and chopped up into bits so that you would have something to eat with that fine Cabernet you shelled out $100 for –or the cheap purple colored $9.95 wine you bought at the supermarket because the label looked French and made you feel special.
Our debt and the interconnected global economy has reached the point of implosion, bad news for our way of life, and worse news for the rich and powerful who rely on the sustenance of this system of economic gambling to further their control and power. Take away the wealth and power and their coach turns back to the pumpkin it was all along except that you accepted the belief that they were different than you.
How do you change destructive debt without injecting new revenue and how do you get new revenue when you make nothing and have no skill other than eating Big Macs and drinking beer? We build nothing that is not made up of pieces from everywhere else in the world because some ass sold us the concept of cheaper is better. And yet visit any antique store and find quality furniture that far outlasts the modernized crap you buy in the huge factory chains who can’t be bothered adding a ceiling to their stores so you think you are saving money on the products. A watch from the 1940s still works while your digital, fancy stylish overpriced, subatomic timepiece dies after a year. Cheap goods made to look expensive so they can charge. Formed plastic to look sporty, whether sunglasses or cars, all the same logic at the heart – make it look pricey and they will buy it, above their income level and driving the economy through the accumulation of debt. And that is the system we have enjoyed for so long, happily chugging along. Each house a urine stream apart, your patch of grass, your fake bronze Wal-Mart patio furniture, your built in BBQ and the large patio umbrella that floats around in the breeze. Ah the good life. Football games watching vastly overpaid and otherwise talentless people on your overpriced huge screen plasma, nuclear fuel injected 85.5” flat screen so real in pixels that you could almost touch the players and be a part of that team you love to promote and advertise for despite receiving no payment or royalty.
But if you call in the next ten minutes we will DOUBLE your order of crap and throw in a micro, super, spiffy deluxe junior. And remember, you can’t buy this crap in stores…until you find it there.
Well the system is collapsing and has been for some time. First luxury goods, now basic economic models, as debt payments suck the lifeblood and the ceiling stops further false living. We have a disaster of an economic model. Our critic, China, who owns $1.7 Trillion of the debt and likes to bitch us out has a disaster of an environmental policy; their vast factories spewing out record pollution in the bid to make more toxic crap that gets shipped to America to sustain our phony lifestyle. I laugh as they try the a-Pad rip-off iPad, and then the fake Apple stores, and they make everything free of labor unions and human rights and pollute with abandon. So while we may be bringing the world to the brink of economic collapse, the Chinese (and many other countries in Asia and the Middle East) are bringing about an environmental collapse. Will Soylent Green become the world food staple?
The beginning of the end means that the world as we know it is going away. This matches the older generation who knew better; people who experienced what manners and respect and culture was all about. As they fade and leave the new breed of humans who are transitory, selfish and angry, a new lifestyle will develop that matches the collapse of the old system. Think Terminator without the robots. Think Escape from New York, that old movie when Kurt Russell was far younger than he is now. Think Gotham City without Batman. Old people almost welcome death – what they knew died off a long time back. How sad to feel it was for nothing but the fleeting happy memories of family that you loved.
Ask yourself this one question. When the economic model collapses and the supply and demand system of our infrastructure collapses because the supply chain no longer functions, when you have no electricity, and no groceries at the supermarket, or gas for the car, or wages for jobs that stopped existing because without the chain it all disintegrates back to regional villages that must pass through a modern version of the wild west before figuring out a new way of social compliance, social equality with a currency of work – yes call it socialistic or communistic, no doubt it will get a label; but imagine what happens then. And would you want to live there? But then look at our city and ask yourself how will you provide for your children?
It is not all doom and gloom. I offer an example of a rich celebrity parent with a screwed up child who has none of the virtues of the parent. And then later another generation; that kid has kids and somehow, perhaps as a result of struggle, that kid decides to struggle for improvement. We have seen this before. After WW II, as immigrants poured into the US, there was a work ethic unmatched. You only have to look at the volume of what was built by brute force to see that ethic. Look at bridges that still stand today. Buildings that still stand – not prefab, standard, rectangular buildings, but buildings built with gilded edging and styled designs by architects with a vision and people who wanted to make a mark. Now we just erect. Mass erect. But a few generations down the road there will be a positive upturn, a rebirth, a regrowth. It is just a shame that we will not get to see it.
I look at my desk and the contents of it. The desk came from Thailand in pieces. The Monitor from China, the guts of the PC from all over the world, assesmbled here after preassembly elsewhere. My Texas Instruments calculator has nothing to do with Texas – made in China, my yellow highlighter made in Mexico, My Aurora Fountain Pen made in Italy, My high end Mead pocketbook comes from China – in fact 99% of what sits in front of me comes from somewhere else because imagine the strength of our economy if it had been made by an American, an American with a skill that translated to a sought after quality that would last – if only we were not such a bunch of cheap bastards who like to live beyond our means. This proud nation that has the materials to do it. So buy slower, use layaway, and get your kids building things with their hands rather than Farmville. Social Media has a use but it is not anymore real than the avatars.
“Why I’m Not Buying the U.S. Dollar“, Warren Buffett, the Sage of Omaha, claims that the trade deficit will lead to foreigners taking over the United States and that this is a very, very bad thing, reports Capital Flow Watch – read that here http://goo.gl/jHVnK
Anheuser Bush is now owned by a Belgian company, Alka Seltzer was sold to Germany pharmaceutical company Bayer AG in 1979. Firestone, was purchased by Japanese company Bridgestone in 1988. Car and Driver and Woman’s Day Magazines, are now owned by Hachette Filipacchi Médias, S.A., which is the largest magazine publisher in the world and is based in France. Gerber, which owns 80 percent of the U.S. baby food market, was sold in the mid-1990s to Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Novartis. In 2001, Swiss company Nestle purchased pet food brand Purina.Unilever, a Dutch and British corporation, has been very busy purchasing some of America’s most iconic brands over the past two decades Invented in New York City in 1905, Hellman’s Mayonnaise came under Unilever’s control in 2000. That same year, the company also purchased Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The company also owns Popsicle and Vaseline. You can read all that in an article Economy in Crisis. Click on the text.
What is America? The old ideal of the founding fathers has been largely replaced by hype, control and legislation that makes Orwell’s Big Brother seem like a stepkid. It is acceptance of terminology like tightening your belt while fattening you up, and relying on a failing education system to stop critical and complex thinking except for a few choice locations where the already upper crust are molded into leaders. For the rest of us there is the Lotto! With a migrant rich culture that often does not fit into the system, especially since the system is divided into two classes – rich and other, not a racist division by any standards, our cultural development has been one of keeping the sheep happy. Welcome to the island! Don’t worry; be happy. Home schooling sounds really good, but to do so you better start farming your own vegetables and becoming self sufficient or you cannot afford it. And unlike the pioneer days, there is little left you can go homestead.
It will change. It takes collapse to change anything. It takes war to change anything. It takes global catastrophe to change anything. Because one thing we can call a sure bet is that humans do not change unless they are forced to.
And so we are faced with the following scenarios: total economic collapse resulting in civil strife, global collapse, civil war and a struggle for survival. Or perhaps an asteroid that impacts and makes the surviving humans start over. Illness killing off a mass of the planet, causing isolationism among the survivors – this can come from terrorism as well. Alien invasion (from above). The thing with aliens is that if they come in peace they are dead meat. If they are aggressive we are dead meat. You know the old saying; if we can’t sell it, eat it, sleep with it we have no use for it. There is a possibility of nuclear war, started by our good old oil buddies of the east, but more likely that will play out as they all try to wipe Israel off the face of the earth taking themselves along for the ride.
Change is inevitable. And in a way that is good. Human nature does not do well with Pleasantville because greed and a need for power always takes over. We are a savage race, no matter the Armani suit and the polished shoes. But if those science fiction Star Trek films are to be believed, the survival of the species relies on breeding out these qualities. And as Prof. Stephen Hawkings noted, to survive we need to be able to get off this rock so that pockets of humans more pioneer spirited can go forth and explore and create a spread of humanity that would be hard to wipe out. At least without human created Cylons who, as it turned out were also killing in the name of the one true God.
Pass the popcorn. The show is starting, even though we have to watch all the trailers first.
PS: Click the images for all sorts of related content