Obama, McCain, March 19

…yawn

The state of global affairs has long passed the proverbial tipping point and is more likely flirting with the dreaded point of no return. Yet most folks, it seems, have confused the occasional weekend parade, I mean, protest with a full-blown movement.

News Flash #1: Anti-Bush bumper stickers and a heartfelt commitment to recycled toilet paper don’t constitute a movement. Neither do candlelight vigils, vegan diets, petitions, voting drives, letters to Congress, monthly donations to Greenpeace, yellow ribbons, red ribbons, pink ribbons, or becoming the change you wish to see in the world. All you need is love? Yeah…that and a million dollars a minute (what America spends on war).

Americans wield more influence and power than any people on the planet but, while an obscene number of humans in this world live in abject poverty, we live our lives in such a manner as to threaten every living thing on Earth. For example: A primary component in your beloved cell phone is “Coltan” (Columbite-tantalite), a metallic ore found mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mining and sale of Coltan is not only funding both sides of that nation’s brutal civil war, it has directly contributed to a 90% decline in the local Mountain Gorilla population.

News Flash #2: In America, there are no innocent bystanders.

How much more are we willing to tolerate before we act? Here is some of what we’re already enduring without any serious fuss:

*Epidemics of preventable diseases: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

*Poisoning of our air, water, & food (including mother’s breast milk)

*Global warming, climate change, animal & plant extinctions, disappearing honeybees, destruction of the rain forest, topsoil depletion, etc.

*1/3 of Americans uninsured or underinsured when it comes to health care

*More than half of the world’s top 100 economies are corporations, not nations

*A rising income gap

*Presidential lies, electoral fraud, limited debates, etc.

*The largest prison population on the planet

*Corporate control of public land, public airwaves, and public pensions

*Overt infringement of our civil liberties

*Bloated defense budget, unilateral military interventions, war crimes committed in our name, legalization of torture, blah, blah, blah…

Before you know it, the government might start spying on American citizens and detaining prisoners without charges while corporations ravage the earth in pursuit of profit, wiping out entire eco-systems in the process. Oops, sorry…they’re already doing all that without being stopped.

Take a look at your watch. Since yesterday at this hour, 13 million tons of toxic chemicals were released across the globe; two hundred thousand acres of rainforest were destroyed; more than 100 plant or animal species went extinct; and 45,000 human beings died of starvation (most of them children).

What will we say in 20-30 years when we’re asked why we didn’t do more to challenge all this? What will we say when we’re asked why we focused on imaginary evildoers instead of the corporate pirates seeking to rape the planet and control our minds?

Ask yourself this: Which do you prefer, a consumer culture or an ozone layer? SUVs or Redwoods? Cell phones or Mountain Gorillas? Would you give up the ability to text your BFF in order to save a species from going extinct?

The humans (and all living things) that come after us won’t care if we religiously read websites like this or we marched in parades (I mean, protests) or we held open doors for little old ladies…if they have no clean air. They won’t care if we voted for Obama or McCain…if they have no clean water. It won’t matter to them if we ate organic or drove a hybrid or switched to an energy efficient light bulb…if they end up stuck on a toxic, uninhabitable planet.

If anything, they’d probably just want to ask us this: What in the world did you have against your planet and yourself? After all, they’d assume, if we didn’t despise our planet—and ourselves—why would we stand by and let everything be consumed or poisoned or destroyed?

But before that question is asked of us, we still have time to ask this:

Will we ever disrupt our comfortable lives and dedicate ourselves to stopping—by any means necessary—global warming, US military interventionism, economic exploitation, factory farming, environmental devastation, etc. or will we continue defending “our way of life”?

The US constitutes 5% of the earth’s population but consumes more than 25% of the earth’s resources.

News Flash #3: Our way of life is the problem.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook. Read other articles by Mickey.

12 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on February 29th, 2008 at 7:21am #

    Our comfortable lives is not real. Remember the movie the Matrix. I use it a lot because it works in so many way’s. Remember when Morpheus asked Neo if he wanted to see the World the real World not the one the Matrix would like you to believe? Our comfortable lives, well how many people in jail how many people take prescription drugs you know the ones. Over eating, under eating and the big one you are told that to be a real person you need stuff money and to work to make that money. A little secret to make lots of money you have to put your head in a place that let’s just say is not good for everybody for good reason. Most people know this and live there lives the best way they can in this system and are always saying to themselves I am Ok, I am ok. Yes you are OK.

  2. Arch Stanton said on February 29th, 2008 at 10:54am #

    Fate, which foresaw
    How frivolous a baby man would be,
    By what distractions he would be possess’d,
    How he would pour himself in every strife,
    And well-nigh change his own identity—

    –Matthew Arnoold

  3. catherine said on February 29th, 2008 at 11:07am #

    Why do you think we have 20 or 30 years left, Mickey?

  4. hp said on March 1st, 2008 at 7:28am #

    I’ve read about a dozen articles of yours Mickey and it strikes me as odd, something always missing. This glaring omission of the dreaded ‘I’ word. You know, Israel. Makes me wonder what that ‘Z’ stands for..

  5. rosemarie jackowski said on March 1st, 2008 at 9:44am #

    About the “I” word – notice how the dem/repub candidates avoid it. Only Nader seems interested in bringing justice to the Palestinians. Another great article. Thanks, Mickey.

  6. hp said on March 1st, 2008 at 10:25am #

    Yes I do notice that. I also notice who their ‘handlers’ are. Who their biggest contributors are and who they are scared to death of. And it ain’t us voters..

  7. hp said on March 1st, 2008 at 11:58am #

    Not to confuse my implication, I consider the so-called ‘dual citizens’ of Israel and the USA, first and foremost beyond the shadow of a doubt, Israel first. Proven by their invariable voting with both their hands, words and money.
    Case in point, the five dancing Israeli ‘art students’ who were caught red handed filming the 911 assault as it happened. Police were called because citizens saw them high fiving and celebrating the event and thought they were Arabs. How typical is that. When police pulled over their van they found maps, box cutters, cash and Israeli passports. Oh, and it was reported their van was filled with tons of explosives. While being held for several weeks and questioned, they said they were here to ‘document the event.” Later, they and almost a hundred other Israeli Mossad spies were quietly released and sent home to Israel. Who released them? Why by golly none other than then assistant attorney general on 911 MICHAEL CHERTOFF, now Mr. Homeland Security himself and a, yep, you bet, dual citizen Israeli. Case closed.

  8. Regina said on March 2nd, 2008 at 5:19pm #

    when are you and others gonna get it. nobody cares about anybody else only what they think and want. People say they care but do things that counter what they say. People want to be rich, glamorous, and important they don’t care about kids dying in Africa. They refer to them as those people. They don’t care about the rain forest they don’t care about the water they don’t care about the poor they don’t care about people who have less. As long as they have got it all that is all that is important. You are driving down the freeway with at least 1 car length in rush hour people will cut you off make you slam on your brakes to keep from hitting them. People talking on cell phones on the freeway just change lanes they don’t even look to see if there is someone there. People are selfish, self centered, rude and careless. I know this sounds racist but people come from foriegn countries with the I’m in America now attitude and but bring their home country bad habits and you have to accomodate them or they will call you a racist. No one really sees the distruction of this country because it is people pitted against each other, factions, seperatist, and I hate American’s but I will use this country to “make a better life”. When times really get bad we will see how ugly people will really get.

  9. D.R. Munro said on March 2nd, 2008 at 8:32pm #

    That’s a nice mentality to have, Regina. If falling into the deepest depths of apathy is “getting it”, please . . . I want you to keep it.

    Besides, if you’re that sick of it, there is always suicide. The good old express check-out.

  10. Don Hawkins said on March 3rd, 2008 at 10:08am #

    In the movie the Matrix the name of the ship was the Neberkanezer. You only saw the name once in the movie and it also said Made In America. Regina I wish what you just said was not true but it is. Somehow we need to make that ship and it is not just in America but in all countries. I know what is being done Worldwide and America needs to change to say the least. Well I got a new SUV and want to try it out so I am off to the golf course. Just kidding doing a lot of reading today. Courage

  11. hp said on March 3rd, 2008 at 1:26pm #

    I could have sworn it said “made in China.”

  12. Mike McNiven said on March 10th, 2008 at 1:34am #

    Mr. Z, please see the following on BHO:

    http://www.pscelebrities.com/whitelightblacklight/2008/03/obamas-good-and-proper-war-by-paul.htm