Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Sermon [Spirituality & Disobedience]

Hola! Everybody…

Well, my dear Mets won yesterday and their fate rest in their own hands today. A win today guarantees them another day.

* * *

-=[ Disobedience ]=-

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

-- Abuelita

Every election cycle I am reminded of the political naiveté and apathy of Americans. Nowhere else is cynicism so deeply ingrained. I am a skeptic, I question everything, but I am no cynic. Cynicism is the disease of defeatism. And much of the American electorate suffers from it.

We all like to point fingers. We love to talk about the stupidity of the American electorate, how we are like so much sheep. But the very same people pointing fingers are also the ones doing jack shit about the situation. The finger pointers are the worst cynics because they’re the first to spout their disappointment about the “lesser of two evils.” They’re the first ones to whine because the slate offers candidates that don’t satisfy their preconditions for political engagement 100%.

For me this is indicative child-like thinking. Welcome to the real world where things don’t exactly fall in place as you would like to, and where unsavory forces co-opt power! Duh! It’s also thinking that contradicts itself. Why? Because it’s the very same thinking that creates the apathy and cynicism contributing to the current political mess.

Those in power want you to feel defeated; they want you to be turned off to politics because it’s easier for them to control the less than half of all eligible voters who actually vote. And if you’re going to sit there and tell me that you vote and write the occasional letter, I will tell you, sothefuckwhat?!!

Democracy is a participatory venture. If you allow someone to handle your freedom for you and that individual tramples it, then what’s to be done? (<--- rhetorical question).

Would you allow someone else to care for your car? Would allow someone else to take care of your lover’s sexual needs? If your answer to these questions is in the negative, then why would you turn over your precious freedom over to the care of a politician?

::blank stare::

We like to complain and avoid political discourse because it’s a bore -- it’s such a turn off. But who the fuck told you freedom was easy?!! You think you can sit on your ass, ignore your community and everything else that's going on, vote every four years and that equals freedom or democracy?!!

Too many of us are turned off by politics and that’s the whole scam you ma’fuccas. That’s purpose of modern American politics -- to keep you turned-off and cynical. Let me turn you on to a secret: political discourse is often not pretty nor a feel-food-kumbaya-let’s-jerk-each-other-off process. Moreover, it shouldn’t be! It’s supposed to be contentious and it’s supposed to elicit uncomfortable feelings.

This election cycle is different from past ones, however. For one, you couldn’t find two more ideologically opposed opponents than we have to day. Forget the fact that perhaps neither candidate creams your Twinkie; this is politics, not the dating game. At stake are two diametrically opposed and competing ideologies. One side (the conservatives) idolizes the market and sees it as the answer to all our problems. The other (moderately progressive) side sees that good government is the only entity able to rein in unchecked and unbridled power. One side abhors government, while the other sees government as the steward for our basic freedoms.

Make no mistake about it: those sitting on their asses and ignoring this historical moment because it makes their belly flip are the problem. That’s the problem even if those people vote.

I’m going to break my unofficial rule of keeping my blogs to no more than a one-page Word document and leave you with something you can do rather than just railing, as I have done.

The cynics’ major weapon is their complaint regarding the intelligence of the general population. After all, who else but a nation of idiots would elect an idiot to the highest office in the land?



I think it’s more important to talk about how people experience the times we live in -- times of unchecked free market ideology as the fundamental principle guiding our values. The problem with free-market idolatry is that we forget that it dehumanizes people. Because increasingly radical models of efficiency propel free-market ideology in order to maximize profit, it becomes easier to consider human beings as commodities rather than individuals striving for dignity. All other human attributes -- certainly the spiritual and the creative -- become unimportant.

This is the logic -- the underlying moral principle -- that even parents and school boards apply when they decide that music, art, and teaching critical thinking is extraneous to public education. It’s what rationalizes the thinking that its a luxury to consider your own children as living, thinking beings and more efficient to see their education solely in terms of future “workforce development.”

This is brutal -- a cannibalization of what is most precious and most fragile about our humanity -- our children. In case you didn’t get it the first time: through education, we the protectors of children, subject our young to the brutal conditioning that makes them commodities for the market.

Then we complain that our children don’t think.

I know a barely literate woman fight and win against her own school board so that this wouldn’t happen. She did it because she said that teaching to a pen and paper test wasn’t education. This is where you come in. You don’t have to wait for the perfect candidate who changes everything in one fell swoop. I have news for you: this will probably not happen. In addition, even if such a candidate would appear, most of you would not vote for him or her. There’s no Santa Claus and your soulmate was hijacked and sodomized on his/ her way to meet you. I know that’s messed up breaking this news like this to you, but somebody needs to smack you in the face.

However, you can make a difference in your life. Don’t just vote, get involved. See something you don’t like? Work to change it. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be something as simple as making sure the traffic light on the corner works, that the books in your library are up to date, or that the computers work.Or, it could be as big as something like causing your community to think differently about education.

And when you do vote, get involved, talk to people, argue, disagree, agree, whatever, just stop bullshitting yourself and pointing fingers because all I want to know is: what the fuck are you doing to make difference in your life and community?

Some of you put more value and care in your car than you do in the protection of your freedom and that’s the tragedy because while you been washing your car, they’ve co-opted your world.



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