SO I have this folder on my google docs (drive, whatever, I roll old-skool yo.) filled with half-finished reflections on the hunger project I did last week (the longer I go, the less fond I grow of the whole “APP” thing. It’s catchy, but I just don’t like it that much. I’m not sure why I can’t seem to pull all my thoughts together into a coherent post, but I was lying awake just now troubled by the things left un-done in my life, and the need to change it all. I can’t do a lot right this second, but I can post things on the internet! It’s a start.
Laine and I have realized that we need a change. We need to do something different, and I realize that that something needs to be for something greater than myself. That’s why I’m a teacher, why I was going to be a cop, why I went to Haiti, and why I like working with Cache Creek (although, convincing evidence exists on facebook that this last has as much to do with playing with tiny adorable puppies as it has to do with living for more than myself…)
It occurs to me that since I’ve been done with this hunger project, I haven’t changed my diet all that much, unfortunately. Partly that’s been a result of circumstance, but part of it simply missing real food. I had to stop a little bit early of my original plan because we were going on the winery tour, and there was no way I’d survive on an empty stomach. I have these little piles of change sitting on my desk staring accusingly at me over that, so I had better confess to my crime. I did the best I could on all this, but damn do I love food.
[WARNING: VITRIOL AHDEAD]
It’s emblematic really, all these things I want to do, but feel powerless to change. All the injustice in the world, and I feel like I can’t even touch it. Here’s a heat map of areas w/ the highest homicide rates in Chicago. The dots are schools closing because the fucking government can’t get their shit together. You don’t have to a social scientist to see what’s going on there…
The Keystone XL pipeline. I can’t even explain how raw this issue leaves me. It’s big business trampling literally everyone to build a pipeline that will profit no one but themselves. It’s an environmental disaster we’re building, the lobbyists have it bought and paid for in Washington, and it makes me want to scream. (Here is a link for more info, it’s a little biased, but at least it’s talking about what’s really going on with this, http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/about-2/why-oppose-kxl/
People are being massacred in Myanmar, but CNN has nothing on it. Literally nothing. No links, no embedded journalists. All they care about is North Korea making big angry noises that are the geo-political equivalent of a fart in a crowded room. Oh, and the fucking big ten tournament. I swear to God, I can’t think of anything I want to hear about less. They did, by the way, actually mention this story a couple days ago. It, however, didn’t receive enough views to keep it on the main page. In case you aren’t already aware, all the major news outlets are businesses. They get most of their money from advertising. If a news story doesn’t get enough views, the ads on it’s page aren’t seen by enough people, so it gets replaced by something more people will click on. People may be dying, but basketball gets the clicks. It’s not right, but there is the grim fact.
The longer I live, the less I can tolerate sports. If you have a camera broadcasting your sporting event, you are no longer playing a sport, you are supporting advertisers. I know, it makes me a bad person by today’s standards, I’m not sitting on my couch for 6 hours a day watching a bunch of overpaid twats and criminals throw a ball about in 30 second blocks split up by trillions of dollars of advertising. I say today’s standards because every sitcom out there has at least one character who loves, more than anything, sitting on the couch watching sports. This is the ideal the media creates for us to follow. Here is the example of what you should be doing. Why create this model? So you’ll watch more commercials, and buy more stuff!!! Don’t get me wrong, I like stuff. I have some kick-ass stuff. Lately though, having “stuff” isn’t enough.
I’m not advocating Communism by any means. Capitalism, like anything really, is fine in moderation, but for myself, I have to make a change. I think about the billions of dollars spent every day trying to sell me shit, and I mourn the people who won’t get help that money could have bought. (I, of course, took a break mid-rant to check facebook, and liked a page, why? so I could win some stuff… sigh.)
So I’ve now veered wildly off-topic here, but I’ll try to close back on course. Everything I’ve done the past few months, and hell, even years has led me to a point where I need a change in my life. Pursuing the “American Dream” isn’t what I want. I want something different. I don’t know what yet, but I’m working on it. I feel my heart breaking over all this and a million more things, and I need to change it. I have to admit that it’s gonna take time, but I have to do something.
[EDIT] So I was thinking about this in the shower just now, and decided I should be a bit more clear. I’m not saying watching sports is bad per se, just that it displays how warped by consumerism our society has become, and that I feel a lot of people don’t see televised sports (in particular) for what they really are. Some of this comes from dealing with my students, and some just from watching it with a critical eye. I don’t want my readers to think I hate sports or them, just that I’d hope we watch consciously.