I have shied away from discussing politics here simply because I believe we won’t find answers for the world’s problems through the very means that have put us in the mess we’re in. As a race, we’re at the brink of Decision Time as to how we want to proceed on this planet, and all signs—financial, social, ecological, religious, and political—speak to the fact that what we are doing simply cannot take us to a road of peace and harmony we’ve longed for. We’re running out of time; isn’t that perfectly clear?
But some things are hard to avoid addressing. Take the latest events in the Middle East. Nothing I’ve seen recently portends more to “Decision Time” than the snowball effect of change that is suddenly rising, first in Tunisia, now Egypt and Yemen…and who knows where next. People, most of them young and educated (and male, of course), are taking to the streets demanding an end to the tyrants and dictators who have run their countries for decades. These majority demographics of 15 to 29 year olds are saying No More to corruption and repression—in other words systems maintained by state-supported torture at the hands of not-so-secret security forces or "morals police".
And, oh, how they’re squirming in Washington!
On the one hand, our official stance is to support the peoples’ right to speak out. Yet we can’t quite say we oppose our own long-standing policies of supporting repressive regimes we’ve either propped up financially, owe billions to, or have depended on for oil for as long as their corrupt governments have been in power. So whose side are we on?
Change for them would obviously be a good thing. But keeping “stability” (the bedrock of corporate prosperity) under the conditions rightly being protested---well, it’s all getting kind of awkward, isn’t it?
Do we support upsetting their cart of rotten apples? If we do, won’t that mean our own applecart of relative comfort and stability may also be upset? And then, who knows? Maybe OUR disaffected will start looking at the disparity between rich and poor (1% owning 95%) and start protesting, too. And how would our leaders respond to that? It’s a scary thought, especially since we spend more on our military than all the other countries in the world combined. Would “we” start turning that might on ourselves? And in whose name? For “our own good”? Excuse me; for whose own good??
Do the people know best or the corporations? Oh, but wait; corporations are officially people now, too. Well, what if we the people start protesting corporate policies? Who do we complain to, our Congressman? We know who they're working for. So who’s going to save us? I’m really confused...and a little scared. Whose side should I be on? I’m an American!
Yes, folks, it’s decision time.
- Stephen Jerrome
- Los Angeles, CA, United States
- I am a writer, photographer and musician living in Los Angeles. In the last few years, new written work--numerous plays, screenplays, and two novels--have demonstrated this to be the most productive period of my life. The journal I have also kept for thirty-five years has, of late, become a personal sounding board for my thoughts on peace and the state of the world...about which I remain hopelessly optimistic! My writing here will be in tandem to video "Peace Talks" I have recorded, and which will be released throughout 2011. You're welcome to visit my website, the "Studio 5" link, to see my photographs. As a classically-trained pianist, I have been composing music all my life. Two guitar re-mixes of piano music are attached here, as well as several music videos, including "Consider Peace" the title track of an up-coming CD. Balancing writing, photography and music has been a long and challenging path...not to be recommended! Yet this very Aries diversity reflects an enthusiasm for the modern world of which I feel very much a part.