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THE UPSIDE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN

Across the globe, chaos is unfolding at unprecedented levels.  Every day, a new country goes down, a new scandal unfolds, and yesterdays’ are forgotten.  It’s so hard to keep up! I am aware that people are suffering, and things are bad and getting worse in a lot of places on this planet, so please don’t jump to your pitchforks and torches when I, quite sheepishly, say…

Maybe this is a good thing?

Yep, sorry to say folks, but this level of absolute, complete and total breakdown is our only chance at this point… the faster and more wide-spread the better.  We’ve proven, as a species, that we’re not going to respond to minor, isolated incidents and uprisings (You know – little things like destroying entire oceans, mass global revolts and revolutions, epic natural disasters, nuclear meltdowns and the like).  We’ll continue, apparently, to pretend nothing major needs to change.  Just print some more money, bail out some banks and all will be well in the world.

We’re conditioned now to pick up a paper and go ‘hmmm, look at that, Spain collapsed today, that sucks for them,’  as if this is an acceptable and reasonable scenario.  And while the perpetrators fix the very rates that ensure their wealth, while stuffing trillions into offshore accounts, I say… fine.  Let them. Speed it up.  Bring on more.  The bigger, and more flagrantly damaging to us all, the better.

Because the only remedy for what ails this species is a complete discarding of currency and economics as it currently ‘operates.’ Personally, I always embrace the theory that you can’t have a renaissance without the dark ages. Which brings up one more consistent, routine human behavior that should be momentarily illuminated.

What is the one time that human beings set aside currency and economics and do the right thing?  What makes them behave morally and decently, en mass? What is the one, single thing that has proven will make humans stop the childish, selfish behavior this monetary paradigm demands and promotes?

Disaster.

In the wake of disaster, for a brief period of time, people do the right thing.  They stop for a minute and forget about costs, budgets, stocks, rates and profits.  They pause, for just a second, and ignore bail-outs, bankers, politicians and that guy in the office next to you with the annoying tie that totally doesn’t match his socks.  For just a small period of time, they get together and do good things… because they’re good things to do.  All the bullshit melts away, and it’s clear as can be that none of that other nonsense matters, what matters is helping out people in need.  What matters is behaving morally and decently.

Forget about the cost, just get these people food, medicine, shelter and re-unite them with family and friends.  Re-build. Share. Care.  Basic stuff.  Volunteers clamber to help.  Cheque books open, wallets pour out, millionaires work for free to help out some people who just need some help.
Well guess what.  We all need some help.  Food, medicine, shelter.  Billions of people need some basic things.  Economically, globally, it’s a disaster, and getting worse.  On a massive scale, we need to behave like we always do during a disaster.  Time to put aside all of that meaningless crap that we have given value to that has none and listen to that engrained decency buried in all of us.  That real, genuine part of you that knows unequivocally what is needed.  You know what’s wrong.  You know what’s good and what’s just plain shitty about this world.  We all do.

And it won’t happen because of a rallying cry, it will happen because it’s a disaster, and we’ve got no other choice.  We’re still trying to dice things up into hundreds of individual disasters, but the reality many are realizing is that this is one, big, all-encompassing, human disaster.  In the wake of this realization, we will have to get rid of the corrupt banks, the ruthless corporate greed, the smarmy, rhetoric spouting politicians.

Not even violently.  We’ll just ignore them.  Just phase them out.  In the momentary clarity of disaster we’ll stop pretending any of this makes any sense.  We’ll start to talk to each other, find out we all feel basically the same way.  We all knew it was false and immoral and wrong all along.  We’ll stop fighting with our co-workers and friends and family because we’ll know what we’re really angry about.  Deep down.

Once this disaster hits full force, things are going to start disappearing.  And it’s a good thing.  There’s a lot of stupid, primitive crap we still give fake, assigned value to that has none.

  • The Fashion Industry
  • Jewelry
  • The Stock Market
  • Gossip Columnists
  • Political Punditry
  • Night Clubs

But it’s okay!  These things need to die off.  This is a good thing! These things need to be phased out.  And they need to be replaced.

“Well that’s all fine and good Mr. Writer Man but what will we care about instead!?”

And here’s where I think I’ve got a decent thought… SCIENCE!  Holy crap, if you want to find a little ray of sunshine in these crazy times, have you seen what science has been up to lately?  With barely any support at all, science is landing rovers on Mars, creating synthetic molecules and uncovering gigantic mysteries of our past.  They’re working on eradicating diseases, they’re out selflessly trying to warn us about upcoming problems and find viable solutions to them, studying ecosystems, gathering data, publishing findings.  Well shit, it’s almost as if those crazy people are doing it just for the fun of it!  It’s almost as if just the sheer advancement of human knowledge and understanding is motivation enough for them.  Surely they aren’t in it for the money and the fame.  Your nearest gated community is much more likely chock full of CEO’s, investment bankers, traders and real estate moguls than it is scientists.

What if those minds were applied sociologically?  What if we freed them from the shackles of currency and allowed their own existing systems of logic, examination and co-operation to take over?  What if the currency of the future was information and advancement of our systems of life?  What if the richest man in the world was the guy who solved the biggest problems and improved society?  Imagine that!  Holy shit folks, we live in what could so easily be the greatest time to be alive on this planet.  Why does it have to be so doom and gloom?  Why is collapse and war and poverty the only outcome?  Am I seriously the only one who takes a look at science and sees what truly matters?  Isn’t that the answer?

It’s an economic disaster, worldwide, no doubt about it.  Can’t we all get together and put aside the stuff that doesn’t matter and focus on what does?  The advancement of human knowledge and understanding… isn’t that motivation enough?  It could be.  It’s enough for me.  I’d happily shed my allegiances to country, to salary to social status if I could get up in the morning and know I was actually working towards the future!  Working towards a sustainable, socio-economic model guided by scientific principles, tangible results instead of greed and oppression for the social advancement of a few gambling addicts.

Wouldn’t you?  Wouldn’t all of us really?

Isn’t that what’s eating away at all of us in the end?

The knowledge that we could be doing so much more, so much better, and yet we’re still playing this same old game with the same old rules we know for a fact don’t apply to us anymore.  The knowledge that the majority of the things we do for money have no real, tangible benefits and completely fail to accomplish something meaningful.  That our ‘leaders’ do not remotely speak the same language as us nor share our goals or desires.

Do you want to go to war with China or go to the moons of Jupiter?

Is there a single human being who answered war?

Let’s be honest… right now, it’s looking bad, terrible even.  Hopeless.  Inevitable.

But it’s also the one chance we have to cut the bullshit and do the right thing.

The question is… Will we?

The answer is…  Likely not.

But we could

And that will be the defining decision of this era in humanity.  Will we?  Or won’t we?

September 3, 2012 Posted by | General Society Ramblings, Humans, Solutions!, The Great Collapse | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dollars, Debt and Standard Galactic Credits (A Collapse Net Exclusive Article)

Hello (tens of) readers, some good news!  The good folks over at CollapseNet have accepted my words into their midst as a regular guest writer.  Rather than cross post the full articles here in my blog I will instead be adding more detailed additions to my articles on my blog to act as supplementary additions to the pieces over at Collapse.  Please read and share the articles, and then come on over here for more in depth discussion or debates or add-ons, and some stuff that they reject (hasn’t happened yet, but surely will eventually.)

FIRST COLLAPSENET ARTICLE:

DOLLARS, DEBT AND STANDARD GALACTIC CREDITS

http://www.collapsenet.com/free-resources/collapsenet-public-access/item/8166-dollars-debt-and-standard-galactic-credits

So I quite like the heart of this piece but I was a bit concerned of two things, but they liked it at is was so we went ahead and ran the article.  I’ll elaborate on my concerns here, because I can!  And also hopefully to round out the idea some more and get into more detail.

The basic idea was that in all science fiction novels (and movies for that matter) currency is depicted with ‘Credits’.  As my friend and fellow comedian Carter Hortie observed, in a lot of ways we are now more advanced than early science fiction.

With all of the insanity around the globe in the last decade associated with massive flaws in our economic system, it seems to me that we ought to just go ahead and fast track to the seemingly inevitable “credits” found from Isaac Asimov to your average Schwarzennegger affair.  And what better time than now… when our current system is collapsing entire nations, and companies, and massive amounts of, you know, people.

My concern with how the article was written is two-fold, as I said.

1. I wasn’t sure if I was making any sense with my positive alternative example of the internet as the beginnings of a model for a system beyond the current parameters of currency.

and

2.  I didn’t have enough time to spend articulating how such a system of ‘credits’ would actually work, and thus had to resort to what felt like a bit of an empty, rhetoric and platitude filled conclusion with no real solutions (Something I hate in other people’s writing, but that is the reality of writing blogs and articles… there’s no time for a full blown, iron clad political thesis.)

But, if you’ll allow it, and if you care… and even in the likely event that you don’t… I’ll try and come up with some basic parameters as to what a futuristic, monetary system of credits would have to entail.  And I fully encourage any input in the comments, as always.  Don’t criticize my ideas, show me that you’ve got better ones!  It’s the only way we’ll move this confounded thing forward.  (We totally won’t.)

SOME THINGS THAT WILL MAKE OUR FUTURE CURRENCY BETTER (HOPEFULLY):

1.  The Future Global Currency (Hereafter referred to as “Credits”) will first and foremost need to have an adjustable Total Variable Amount (TVA), this is a whole-sum numerical value that is tied directly to population, energy, resources, economic activity, trade, etc.  A constantly evaluated and updated algorithm will have to be developed and perpetually fine tuned by a serious team of dedicated, specialized mathematicians.  Like the old system of the gold standard, this will keep a real, definitive salary cap on global economics.  Unlike the gold standard, this will be based on several tangible factors and real, measurable, useful items rather than some piles of shiny rocks cut into rectangles.

2. As is already happening, all of this new system will be digital, and paper/coin money will be obsolete and phased out.  The technology for this is already in place, and most people already use cards and digital online money over cash.  Once we fully move in this direction it will simply be more incentive to strengthen the technology and enhance it.  Right now it is still in the very early stages, but the basic idea is there with credit cards, online banking, etc.

3.  Money lending, interest, and the practice of making money by playing with numbers, trading, and manipulating money must be eliminated.  Sorry folks, but this concept is long overdue for a good, solid, tossing in the garbage bin marked ‘primitive.’  Credits should be earned, for work, trade, value and goods.  Day trading, money lending, debt, interest, derivatives, precious metals, stock trading, put options, housing bubbles… time to put these cancerous activities to rest.  Short, lucrative gains for a few, at the expense of the masses.  It’s not a moral or acceptable way to operate.  It’s the source of all of our problems.  Get rid of it.  No ifs, ands or buts.

4.  There must be an incentive built into the new monetary system for innovation and advancement of the species.  Personally, I would think that you would identify key areas of social and technological advancement that are either exempt from the constraints of the figures, or since we’re making the new system up, it has to be built into the algorithm somehow that scientific advancement and improvement of social systems are of extremely high value and should be incentivized accordingly.  Think this is utopian nonsense?  Consider that in our current system the people who are the best at manipulating others, taking advantage of the most people and exploiting the most resources mindlessly and with no intelligent oversight are rewarded with the most money and it is wasted on personal luxury items.  Wouldn’t you much rather the smartest people who have proven to have the most positive benefits for the advancement of the species, and have proven themselves to produce positive results are rewarded and can be supported in pursuing more solutions and greater problems?  Wouldn’t rewarding groups that solve problems be better than rewarding groups that sell more potato chips or find cheaper sweatshop slaves to make cheaper shoes?  Shouldn’t doctors that selflessly travel the world be rewarded greater than those who perform plastic surgery on rich, stuck up socialites?

5. Here’s a fun one.  No More Taxes!  That’s right folks, get rid of ’em.  Don’t need them.  No more parking tickets, no more fair hikes, tax raises, tax cuts, sales taxes, toll roads, toll bridges, toll booths, sin taxes, IRS, tax collectors… read my lips.  No.  More.  Taxes.  This is where we need to completely re-define our political system, and of course can’t do that in just this little blog, but more or less it works like this.  Rather than trying to ‘collect revenue’ by taxing, punishing and fining your civilians, you’ve got to have a microcosm of the Total Variable Amount and have a determined amount or percentage tied to Basic Social Structure (BSS) and then have room  to allocate more resources for more advanced levels of social infrastructure should it be plausible, possible and a proven benefit.  The key to all of this is that the infrastructure and the endeavors of the working class is born out of science; out of fact-based, peer reviewed engineering, not politics or revenue.  The whole process of taxation is outdated and in need of a serious re-examination.  As is the function of government.

6. Corporate Personhood… gone. Wall Street… gone.  The largest issue with our current monetary structure is that the pursuit of profits has completely destroyed any relationship between common sense, morality, honesty and all of that shit Jesus used to talk about and our currency structure.  If future humans are going to adapt and change our current trajectory, it can only be possible if individual rights, freedom and at the same time basic common decency can be made tantamount to the blind pursuit of profits.  Numbers and graphs are not real, people are.  The earth is.  Resources are.  Pretty basic stuff, but we’ve clearly proven that we’re willing to ignore all of the above in favor of blind pursuit of profits for a few at the expense of the rest (and the planet).

Alright, as always, I’ll probably update this later and add more detail and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  One thing’s for certain, our current system of money is fucked, and a lot of people’s lives are being needlessly ruined because of it.  Many are dying, many more will.  Pure evil is being tolerated and accepted for the simple fact that people want to make a cheap, quick dollar at the expense of their fellow man.  We all know the deal, and the sad reality is, it’s pretty obvious that most people aren’t going to acknowledge it and fight for something different, because they’ve been successfully scared into a state of apathy, fear and mental paralysis.

As always, I don’t think this blog will change a thing, I don’t think anything will change anything at this point.  It’s more just therapy for me.  Therapy and a deep understanding that a lot of you are having the same thoughts, and know that we’re headed for some pretty rough times… and a lot of you are already going through them, and looking for a better way.  I don’t profess to have any of the answers, nor to be an expert on anything.  Just making my fingers hit some plastic keys and some letters pop up on this here computer screen.

And I’ll keep doing it, because I think it’s important, and I hope you’ll do the same.  Sharing thoughts has created all of the best things in this world.  Keeping them inside has never accomplished anything, neither has stagnating and not trying to change things for the better… despite what so many will tell you to the contrary.  (With no basis in fact, no precedence and no instance in history to support this outlook.)

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Collapsenet, General Society Ramblings, The Great Collapse, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Could we just not do that this time around?

Hello humans, it’s me again.  I know we don’t always see eye to eye on a lot of things.  Okay, most things.  But this time I think I’ve got a pretty decent idea, point, argument, thing… so if you could just hear me out this once, I think we’ll all be better off in the long run.  Granted, you’ll probably go and ignore the fuck out of me, but I figure it’s best to just give it a shot just in case.

Here’s the thing.  I’m not a historian.  I’ve never attained a degree in the study of history.  But I know a little bit about things that have happened before now.  I’ve also heard this phrase thrown around by a lot of folks, many believing it to be incredibly profound wisdom:

“Those who don’t pay attention to history the first time around are doomed to repeat it.”

Or something like that.  Anyways, here’s what’s troubling me of late.  You see, when you take a gander at the ol’ history of humans, there’s this thing they (you, we) do every few years. It’s just this little, tiny, silly little thing where we MURDER, SLAUGHTER, KILL, RAPE, BOMB, SHOOT, STAB, BURN, INCINERATE, ANNIHILATE AND DESTROY EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE ON THE FUCKING PLANET!!!!

Then we go ‘Alright! That’s enough!’  And we draw up some treaties and we say ‘Okay, that was a bit silly, let’s not do that again for a while.’  And we carry on with our usual nonsense, which is fairly ridiculous in its own way, but not quite as bad as the whole massive massacring, in my not so popular opinion.

Now, here’s my crazy little set of observations, coupled with a teency, weency suggestion.

OBSERVATION THE FIRST!  It has been a little while since the last time we all got together and decided we ought to murder everyone on a nice global scale.  This appears to have gotten people a little ruffled up wondering ‘hmmm, we haven’t done that in awhile… maybe we should give it another shot?’

OBSERVATION THE SECOND! I’ve heard it suggested several times, by influential and intelligent folks, that we have just gone through the “2nd great depression”  and that the only way to get out of a depression is to go and have one of these big ol’ rounds of fisticuffs, because then once we’re all working on killing each other, our money problems are miraculously solved.  Just look at dubya, dubya two!

OBSERVATION THE THIRD!  I’ve seen a very disturbing trend in recent months to casually suggest that we are inevitably heading very quickly to just this scenario.  Either we are going to bomb Iran, or they will bomb Israel, or something will happen in Korea, and then the Russians and Chinese will join forces and the US and Europe will join forces and we’ll have ourselves a nice big ol’ global dust up and that’s just the way it has to be because that’s just the way things are and well shucks that’s just the way it’s gonna be.

SUGGESTION!!!!!!!

Don’t.

Do.

It.

People.

Humans!

All of you! (Us even!)  Let’s try something crazy!  Let’s just take a minute here and think about maybe giving another idea a shot.  Let’s take a different path this time.  You know, the path that doesn’t involve nuclear weaponry.  The one that doesn’t lead to a country with 2 billion people in it mobilizing the largest standing army in the history of the planet and facing off with the country with the largest arsenal of nuclear and biological weapons ever stockpiled.

Instead!  Let’s do anything else!  Everything.  Oh my, would you look at the possibilities outside of getting all dressed up in uniforms and slaughtering each other for a decade.  Why there’s just so many things we could do!  Endless really.

You see I’m a big believer in objective truth.  That is, I don’t believe anything is true unless it can be proven true when cross-examined objectively, without bias or pre-conceived notions.  One of my favorite litmus tests involves imagining you are an alien spacecraft hovering above the planet and taking a good solid look at what’s going on.  Under this scenario, I find it very hard to believe that countries exist, anywhere but in our mind.  We made them up!  We killed each other a long time ago and then we decided on some borders and said ‘If you’re born here you’re different than if you’re born there” and other equally ridiculous assertions.  Some of the more popular ones include:

  • If you were born here you are superior on all counts to anyone who was born there
  • Some things happened there a long time ago so now we hate anyone born there
  • If anyone born there ever does ____ we have to kill everyone born there and I’m sure everyone born here can agree

etc.  etc.

But the reality is this.  If you floated down on your alien craft and took a look at the 49th parallel in North America.  You would see a curious, inexplicable sight.  You would see structures, fences, towers.  You would see guns, patrols, checkpoints.  If you looked closer you would see documents, paperwork, anal probes.  In the halls of power you would see debates over what to do about this line you could not see.  This line you could not measure.  This line you wouldn’t know was ever there, unless the humans told you it was there.  And no matter how many times they told you, or how passionately they argued that the line was there, that the border existed, that it was a very real and important thing.  No matter how stupid they thought you were for not understanding it, you would be right.  And they would be wrong.

There is no line.

There never was.  There never will be.

There is no here, and there is no there

There is no us and there is no them

So there’s no reason to kill each other by the millions.  There’s no reason to think it has to be.  There’s no reason to believe it is inevitable.

Not in the real world.  Not in the realm of truth.

But humans, truth is not your strong point.  I’m not saying it ever was or it ever will be.  I’m just hoping… that you’re better than I think you are.

December 24, 2011 Posted by | Earth, General Society Ramblings, Humans, Solutions!, The Great Collapse, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Human Being

Being human, it is very difficult for me to accurately describe my true feelings about human beings… to other human beings… without having some serious reservations.  But I’ll do my best, secure in the knowledge that in all likelihood nobody will really care, and it will all be dismissed as nonsense.

I want to start by talking about the big bang theory.  Not the TV show I’ve never watched a second of, but the theory that I’ve never read and probably wouldn’t understand the complexities of if I ever did.  What I’m pretty sure I do understand is this:  After billions of dollars of research and decades of work from the most impressive minds we have, it appears the best explanation science has come up with is

“A long time ago, something went BANG!  And now we’re here.”

And that seems to be as far as they’ve gotten on the great human question ‘how it all began.’  Now, on the flipside, there are literally billions of folks who are furious with this explanation.  They angrily shout and point at really old books and they instead say

“Listen here you scientific assholes!  My book says that some dude made all this stuff, AND us, and now we’re here!  And nothing you say is going to make us think otherwise… and if you read a different book that says some other dude did it… we’ll kill you!”

This is pretty much the driving force behind most things that human beings have done so far.

I propose a new idea.*  Or perhaps, more just a new way of looking at things.

Why are we so obsessed about how we got here?  I honestly don’t think it matters one iota how the universe was created, how earth was created or how we got here.  And the reason it doesn’t matter… is because WE don’t matter. We don’t!  Who says we matter?  Us?  Seems pretty biased.  Why is that a given?  For both science and religion, the starting hypothesis is always that we, humanity, are important.  Isn’t there a really good chance we’re not?

I’m known as a fairly ardent atheist, and according to the engrained human idea that if you don’t agree with something you automatically agree with the accepted polar opposite, I’m lumped into the ‘yay for team science’ category.  Not exactly.  I believe science produces some interesting results, and clarifies some things for us, and it solves some big human problems… but I still think most scientific pursuits are just another arrogant human byproduct, another extension of our self-importance, and the whole affair is generally limited by revolving around us.

For example, we call it ‘The Known Universe.’  What self-important language!  Do we really think the universe gives a shit how much of it humans can see and observe?  Do we really think that matters? It’s mind boggling to me that we can still be so self important despite the proven FACT that we are an inconsequential, barely observable  micro-organism.  Our entire solar system is a spec of dust… we haven’t been past our own moon… and yet we still think we are this amazing, praise-worthy pile of mold.  How incredibly pompous to actually think that there is nothing bigger than the universe.  Why?  Because we can’t see it with our little dinky lenses?  Because we can’t prove it to ourselves from our stupid little arrogant chunk of rock? Well then it surely must just stop!  Clearly, unless humans can see something, it doesn’t exist!  It doesn’t matter!  No, WE don’t matter.  Our observations don’t matter.  Our proof doesn’t matter.  To anyone or anything, except us.

Why are we so certain that life is a good thing?  Out of nine planets, only ours seems to have life on it.  Maybe it’s a freak show.  Maybe it’s an infection.  Maybe planets are supposed to be untainted spheres of gas and rock, and not have creepy crawly things running around on them building skyscrapers and mining for shiny rocks.  Or maybe, likely… that’s just what we do!  At best, we’re a pesky mutation.  We have ape like features, but we quite clearly have no issues with taking a giant shit all over the planet, and feeling entitled to continue doing so.  Justified.  Righteous. Look at the derogatory terms we have for people who thought it was a good idea to live in harmony and peace with the earth.  “Dirty Hippies.”  “Treehuggers.”  “Savages.”  “Heretics.” We basically have wiped out every single indigenous culture on earth simply because they didn’t want to destroy it!  What the fuck is wrong with us?  Maybe nothing!  Seems to me, that this is just what humans do.  Ones who want to stay alive at least.  We’re not good people.  We’re an organism.  That’s why when you try and talk about this sort of thing with other people they get very defensive.  Very dismissive.  “Yeah I don’t really like to think about that sort of thing.”

Angry even.

“Shut up and get a job faggot!”  “Worthless.”  “Crazy.”  “Outcast.”  You can literally get tossed out of the species just for suggesting that maybe we should be nicer to each other and not rape the planet we live on.  That’s a criminal offense encoded in human DNA. Fall in line or get the fuck out of the species.

And here’s I guess where I lost hope.

The Apollo Missions.

We have been to what we like to call ‘space.’  Another dumb, human-centric, silly label.  Space wasn’t as impressed with us as we were with our little visits.  Space couldn’t care less.  But what shocks me in retrospect is this:  How is it possible that we did not gain any perspective, as a species, collectively, from sending astronauts to space?  You see we’ve gotten to this point where WHAT we know doesn’t remotely match HOW we behave, or what we DO. What we do doesn’t make any sense when you compare it to what we know, and what we’re capable of.

We are capable of flying to the moon. What we do when we get there… is plant a fucking flag! Are you kidding me?! When those astronauts blasted out of the earth’s orbit and looked back at the planet objectively they should have suddenly gone ‘wow… we’ve been wrong man. There’s no such thing as a country, it’s a figment of our imagination. Why are we dividing the planet into these sections because of wars that happened hundreds of years ago? Houston, we have a problem… we need to use this gift of the ability to observe the planet as it truly exists, one whole world with no divisions… we need to share this epiphany with all of our species and move forward collectively towards a better future… we have so much work to do.”  And everyone at home should have thought the same thing.

But they didn’t.  You know what they did instead?

They said “Let’s go plant this fucking flag on the moon! That’ll show those god damned commie russian chess playing ice skating cunts who runs this joint!”

And back home on earth they chanted “USA! USA!”

That’s the only thing that was gained by going to the moon. Planting a fucking flag.  How stupid and primitive a concept is the flag?  I mean seriously people.  Can we stop and take a minute to realize just how mind-numbingly simplistic and irrelevant even the concept of the flag is?  A pretty picture on a flappy cloth on a stick?  That’s what we’re going to do with our time?  That’s still our priority?  We’re still going to rally around colors?  Live, die, kill, vote, govern, organize… in imaginary sections of one planet.  Pretend we’re playing on different teams, living in different tribes?  Pretend it matters which imaginary section we’re born in, like that has anything to do with anything?  With all of this supposed knowledge we’re honestly going to hate, trust, love, respect or despise people, because they live in a ‘different’ one?

Why do we teach our kids history in the way that we do?  As if the people of our past are these great warriors, these incredible heroes.  History is full of morons, assholes, murderers, rapists, ignorance and pointless hate.  It’s full of stubbornness, self-righteousness, superiority complexes and lies.  Why don’t we sit our kids down and say ‘listen, Santa Claus isn’t real, but also… every human being who has come before you has pretty much been a piece of shit… and there’s a real good chance you are too.’  Why don’t we tell them that the history of this planet is filled with people who refused to open their minds to new ideas, who murdered those that tried to help, and continue to do so?  Why don’t we tell them that this place is in trouble and it’s all our fault?  Why isn’t school a place where we say ‘look, we’re in some serious trouble and we need some serious solutions?’  I’ll tell you why.  Because we need to believe we matter.  We need to constantly convince ourselves that we are great, we are terrific, and we always have been.  We need to re-affirm that the things we do and think, the way we behave, are okay… they are logical, they are intelligent and they are necessary.

Most importantly though, we don’t want to rock the boat.  Every individual human has these thoughts, often under the influence of drugs, or in moments of reflection and despair.  It’s the only thing I think about personally.  But every human knows deep down that this kind of thinking doesn’t help you get a job, make money, or obtain status and rank. So we stuff it down inside us. We do what the human organism demands. We play our part. We always have, and we always will. In the human world, created by humans, for humans… what matters is us.  And that’s the problem. If we’re ever going to move forward, we are going to have to let go of this idea that we are so god damned impressive. We’re not.

Don’t get me wrong, I really, really, really, yearn and hope for the improvement of our species.  I really would like to think that we’re getting smarter, and better, and more decent, and going somewhere positive with all of this.

I’d like to.

I just don’t.

*(WARNING!  Proposing new ideas is a great way to get yourself shot in the head.  Not recommended.)

July 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Why I’m not afraid of a New World Order

Quite simply… we need one.  The old world order is archaic, primitive and irrelevant.  In fact, we desperately need a new world order.  We will definitely have one. The only question is, what kind of world order will emerge?  How will we get there?  What will the journey be and the outcome and the timeline?  Whose world will it be?  Ours, or theirs?  Who is us?  Who is them?

To me, us is everyone except them.  Them is a very small collection of people who control virtually all of the wealth, drop all of the bombs, and perpetuate the idea that the current state of affairs is the only way.  A lot of us give them their power.  With our apathy, our willful ignorance and our desire to not shuffle the deck… lest we end up lower in the pile.

But the point is, despite what a lot of people seem to think of me, I am not your average conspiracy theorist, and I do not fear a new world order.  I yearn for it.  I hope for it. I think it can’t come soon enough.  Plenty of the things people are frightened of (for example the dissolving of borders between Canada, America and Mexico) are not such horrific ideas.  In fact, I think we need to dissolve all borders.  Countries and nations, in their current arrangement, are no longer relevant.

We have gotten to a point in our evolution where what we know does not match what we do or how we behave.  Things people say they ‘believe’ are actually things they regurgitate because other people have been saying them for so long it’s become something we all just say… but the facts do not remotely support them.

Nations are still at war over ancient invisible boundaries and meaningless illogical beliefs; people are starving and dying on the streets with supermarkets packed with food a block away; technology is stifled because only profitable science is invested in, not useful science; animals and plants are dying… in fact, the earth is dying. The very orb which makes our unique existence possible we are knowingly destroying.  Social and economic systems across the globe are crumbling, dictators are being toppled as ‘we’ march in the streets. ‘They’ are quickly learning the old world order will not do.  Once again, the question remains… what will emerge?

This should be the focus of your anger, of your fear, of your passionate debates.  Fear not a shadowy, hidden, illuminati of reptilian alien overlords.  Instead… embrace the potential for a new, updated, relevant arrangement.  Stop talking about the weather and the Kardashians, and talk about how we all understand the frustration of Egyptians, Syrians, Greeks, Chinese, Irish and Iranians.  Talk about how how none of those nationalities mean a thing in the new world order.  That’s old world order talk.  To us, now, in the new world… we are all human.  No matter what they try to tell us.  There is no Egypt, no Syria, no Iran.  Just us.  And them.

And in our new world order… we don’t need them.

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 10 Comments

An idea

You know those economic models people are always talking about? The ones no average person ever sees, or knows anything about, but that are always dragged out to defend the actions of the marketplace. “Well, you know, every economic model predicts growth in this sector and blah blah blah.”

I have an idea for a new kind of economic model.

How about a model that does not allow concentrated wealth at the top, and poverty at the bottom? How about a model for a real, honest, middle class. I don’t know, it seems very basic to me… if people make enough money to afford a house, car, and to buy things, then they will. That’s what people do with money. That’s what a healthy economy is. It isn’t a huge majority of people getting minimum wage or barely more than it, having to borrow money from creditors with extortionist interest rates ensuring they can never pay them back, and thus having no money to spend. That’s a shitty economic model.

I say we develop an algorithm that does redistribute wealth. Not of individuals, but of corporations. Multi-National Corporations are incredibly efficient machines, and actually could be very useful models for the future. The trouble is, they do what they do at the expense of the working class. They do what they do by exploiting impoverished nations. They do what they do by paying their CEO’s billions, their shareholders millions, and their workers nothing. This is bullshit. The economic model we need is one that ensures if a company like Wal Mart or McDonalds or Starbucks is going to monopolize the landscape, going to dominate the marketplace, going to be employing such a huge percentage of the country … then they can damn well stop paying their employees minimum wage. And don’t give me the nonsense about how if they paid their employees a decent salary they couldn’t offer such low prices. Two things, one, if their employees were paid a decent salary, they could afford to pay slightly higher prices. Something Henry Ford understood:

“There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.” – Henry Ford

He also hated Jews, but that’s not the point.  The point is that the modern corporation has forgotten about paying the highest wages possible… and the best quality goods possible.  Planned obsolescence rules the marketplace, and instead these companies spend billions and trillions on bureaucratic levels of customer service, complaint departments, extra cost warranties and convincing us that it’s okay when our brand new goods systematically break down the day after the warranty runs out.  This is what happens when we stop demanding what we need and want, and start accepting what we’re told we should be happy to live with.

Secondly, why can these CEO’s and suits afford to write themselves billion dollar cheques with their ludicrous profits, and open new stores every five minutes, and not pay their workers enough to live on?  They can, they just don’t want to.  They live in a different world.  A world of graphs and spreadsheets and hypothetical numbers.  Not reality.  This all goes back to the obnoxious quote thrown around during the last presidential election “Wall Street Vs. Main Street.”

Unfortunately this turned out to be nothing but meaningless political rhetoric (like there’s any other kind) but the substance of the quote is true.  Wall Street doesn’t exist.  Main street does.  There’s no comparison. Wall street, the stock market, investors, investments, portfolios, these are a tiny, inconsequential fraction of the human beings who exist.  They are gamblers.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Their gambling addiction does not allow them the right to fuck the rest of society, and in turn the world, in the ass.  Boo hoo, you don’t get to gamble the way you like to.  Wah, wah, you want to make more money.  Cry me a fucking river.  Sociopaths.  Every last one of them.  And there’s no reason for the average, working human being (you know… pretty much all of us), to allow their present and future to be destroyed so some spoiled, stuff shirted gamblers can toss the dice at will.

This goes beyond Wall Street too.  Investors in general are the problem.  Investors and Creditors are nothing more than Lords and Money Lenders.  They own all the land.  They control all the money, and have the general populace in their back pocket.  I recently read a number of articles on the Toronto Condo Market, which clearly outlines the issue I am talking about.  Basically, over 60% of condo buyers in Toronto are investors.  Not people who ever take up residence in the home.  The investors are now upset because the rent isn’t rising steadily like they want it to so they can cash in on their investment.  Well guess what assholes, that’s because REAL PEOPLE can’t afford to pay $2000-$5000 a month to live in what is basically a glorified apartment suite with nicer furniture.  Same goes for the Vancouver housing market.  No one with a normal job, even a very well paying one, could possibly afford a house in this city.  And if you look inside the houses in both of these cities, you’ll often find plenty of residents renting out individual rooms, for astronomical prices.  Yet these are considered ‘healthy’ economies.  They are toxic, artificially inflated, and horrible economies.  Time will reveal this reality.  When will these market obsessed nitwits realize they are not above reality?  Their economic models are false.  They have been proven false across the globe.  And yet, nobody seems to learn the underlying lesson.

Stop fucking over real people, so a handful of sociopathic assholes can get a quick fix.

You know, just like Jesus used to say.

May 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 34 Comments

Don’t Kill Anyone Day!

So a little while ago I made a random little facebook status update.  As you do.  It said this:

“Here’s a zany thought, let’s see if we, as a species, can not murder anyone for a day.  We’ll call it “Don’t Kill Anyone Day.”  Let’s face it, World Peace is an unrealistic pipe dream for pie eyed beauty pageants to talk about… let’s start with something small and work from there.”

A few people liked it, then commented on it, then a strange thing happened.  A bunch of people started re-posting it.  A bunch of people got really excited about the idea, and in a limited, facebook sort of way, there was some buzz around the simple little thought.  So, I’m going to expand the thought, and make it official.  Join me if you wish (or if you really must, go ahead and off someone,) but I, Danny Mendlow, nobody, do officially declare that on Sunday, February 6th, I will do what I usually do on a Sunday… not murder anyone.  That’s all there is to this ‘holiday’ (although let’s be honest, that’s a lot more nobility and decency and substance than there is to most holidays) it’s really quite easy.

All you have to do in order to take part in this joyous occasion is not kill anyone.  Make a really conscious effort too, don’t half ass it.  Take the bullets out of your gun.  Tell the general you have to fix the stealth bomber’s engine today.  Put off that trench coat related trip to your local high school cafeteria for one more day and brush up that suicide note instead.  And let’s just see if we can be a little less homicidal on this here planet, if only for a day.

Don’t worry about others and their scenarios.  Don’t try to end a war overnight or talk any stressed out parents out of drowning their children in a river.  Just you.  You, as an individual, make a personal choice.  Don’t.  Kill.  Anyone.  If you do that, on February 6th, then you have successfully taken part in the first of hopefully many successful “Don’t Kill Anyone Day” festivities.

Why February 6th?  Two reasons.  One, it’s the super bowl, and hopefully my Pittsburgh Steelers will be hoisting their unprecedented 7th Lombardi Trophy.  Two, it’s 48 hours away, which gives enough time for word to possibly spread, or for it to fizzle into a pile of nothing like most of my pointless ramblings.

For those of you who think this is an unreasonable goal, I might remind you that you shouldn’t look at this on a global scale or start screaming “Well what about people who are in Egypt/War/BP Executives”  – don’t worry about them.  Just you.  Now me personally, I have been alive for 9,360 days.  Haven’t killed anyone yet.  So this is not a terribly difficult day for me.  If I happen to end up in a sports bar next to some particularly obnoxious cheese heads on Sunday evening, it could get tempting to break the streak… but I think I’ll be able to control myself, at least wait until midnight.
I hope, mankind, that some of you will join me.  It’s really not a difficult thing to do.  Maybe, if you really have to off someone this Sunday, maybe you can join us next year.  Or the year after, or the year after that.

And maybe, after a few years, decades, centuries.  Maybe it’ll start to seem like such a good idea, that we won’t need to just do it on one day of the year.  Maybe make it a whole weekend!  Week!  Month even!

And maybe, not likely, (pretty much no chance at all) but maybe… we’ll all one day realize that there really is just no excuse for killing each other as much as we do, and maybe it shouldn’t be such an accepted and normal part of every day on this planet.

Join the facebook page and spread the good word that you, and only you, will not be killing anyone on February 6th.

February 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Declaration of Independent Thought

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the intellectual bands which have connected them with other human beings, and to assume a separate and equal station to which the Laws of Reasoning entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I’m a big fan of individual responsibility, independent thinking and rational problem solving.  A quick look at history will reveal that these three things, when combined, are the basis for most of the positive and dynamic progress made by our species.  To the contrary, most of the worst things done by human beings, were done by large masses of people, not exercising either of the three.  I see no deviation from this standard in the modern world.

As such…

I hold these truths to be self evident:

– The only truth is objective, remaining true after all human emotions, past history, present circumstances and group psychology are removed from the equation.

– There is no difference between a person born in any given part of the world and a person born in another.  This is an outdated and shattered myth.  Geography has no bearing on the positives or negatives of an individual.  Individuals possess similar potential and usefulness, barring extreme mental or physical disabilities.

– Countries do not exist.  This fact can be understood by an individual, and proven very simply.  There are no lines carved into the earth.  We, quite simply, made them up.  People murdered each other a long time ago, and then stopped murdering each other and decided to draw some lines.  This is a fact.  These people were laughably primitive, and therefore they should have no control over our lives.  Simply put, countries are an irrelevant idea, holding back the potential evolution of the species.

– Institutions such as banks or corporations do not exist either.  The individuals who work for them, and the individuals whose lives and environments are affected by the actions of these abstract entities… do exist.

Much individual responsibility, independent thinking and rational problem solving is suppressed or systematically avoided thanks to the passive acceptance that countries, banks and corporations are superior to individual human beings.  This behavior is often described in positive terms, with phrases like ‘patriotism’, ‘nationalism’ and ‘national pride.’  Our entire social structure rewards those who capitalize on the backs of others.  Those with money are considered superior, even though the means with which they aquired vast wealth is nearly always disgusting and exploitative.  You would never tolerate the way your boss speaks to you and the condascending, inferior manner in which you are treated in the workplace from another individual.  You would never tolerate the things banks and corporations and governments get away with from a friend or neighbor.  A good deal of the most atrocious, evil deeds perpetrated by humans could easily be avoided if individuals understood, proclaimed and asserted that countries, banks and corporations are abstract concepts, inferior to the dignity, rights and concerns of the individual.

Independently thinking and behaving, no individual would ever believe that starving or impoverished or enslaved or massacred people deserve their suffering.  Only under the psychological umbrella of a country, or an institution, are such acts accepted, ignored and justified.  No decent, civilized, individual human being would ever willfully deny another human being access to clean water, food, shelter or a respectful and dignified working environment.

Only the group psychology demanded by abstract institutions (banks, corporations and nations), would ever allow such events to transpire.

That being said, there are positives to be had for the organization of groups for positive means, and our current western structure of government (municipal, territorial, national) does hold decent ideas and methods of execution which should not be ignored, rather acknowledged and improved upon, by the constant questioning and updating of practices.

– Certain forms of governance and social norms are more humane, decent and logical than others.  They should not be discarded entirely, rather re-examined, updated, and made to prioritize the well-being of individuals, not of broadly labelled abstract groups.

– A very select group of individuals are a whole lot more intelligent and capable of reasoning on a higher level than the rest of us.  In the world of science, discovery and engineering, this fact is understood and applied.  In social design and governance, it is not.  The greatest thinkers and problem solvers on earth are, for the most part, not solving the greatest and most complex problems we face.  The most powerful and influential decisions should not be made by elected politicians, but instead by the most proven problem solvers.

– War is a primitive activity that no sane and decent individual would ever condone or take part in.  No individual man would ever drop a bomb on another man halfway around the world.  By removing individual responsibility and accountability, it is considered acceptable and necessary. It is not.  Any individual can come to this conclusion, therefore this is a problem which can quickly and simply be addressed, should individuals choose to do so.

– Individuals will almost certainly not choose to do so.

– All religions basically have the same message: “Be a good and decent person.”  They all have their own lists and stories as to why you should, how you should, and what exactly it means to be good and decent (or obedient).   For the most part, they are all ancient, and irrelevant to the modern world.  The only good things we ought to take out of them, are pieces of morality that should be obvious to anyone with a brain and a soul.  Kindergarten stuff.  Try and be nice to people, don’t steal, cheat, lie or hurt others.  Murder is wrong, exploitation, abuse, rape, torture and treating others as inferior are all pretty shitty things to do, and you should figure that out on your own.  More importantly, if you see someone do these things, or behaving in this way, you should confront them and call them out on it, and if you are the victim of these abuses, you should stand up for yourself, and when you do, others should support you.  Individuals must learn to not tolerate such blatant abuses.  We must learn to stick up for each other, rather than abstract or outdated institutions and texts.  You shouldn’t need a book to tell you that starving children and forcing them to work slave labour is wrong… they need help, and none of us should tolerate it.  This should be a basic and understood human attitude, not a religious one.

– Individual thoughts can be deeply profound and meaningful.  In order for enough masses of people to agree on something, it must usually be dumbed down, and stripped of decency, goodness or substance.  This is why empty, meaningless rhetoric pollutes our political language.  It has no meaning.  It does no good. There are exceptions of course, but in general, questioning everything is better than questioning nothing.

If you also hold some, or all, of these truths to be self evident, that’s fine.  If you don’t… that’s fine too.

(I’ll probably be updating this and adding to it at a later date… but I’m sleepy.)

January 9, 2011 Posted by | General Society Ramblings | 14 Comments

Solutions!

The general climate of thought online, and in society right now, appears to have shifted from one of denial that anything is wrong, to a general acceptance that almost everything is wrong, endless squabbling over what exactly is wrong… coupled with a helplessness and void of ideas as to what should be done about it.  I call it The Michael Moore Syndrome.

I love watching Michael Moore’s films, they are often very good at showing things that are wrong.  My trouble always comes with the solution portion of the message he delivers in both film and print.  It is invariably some sort of ‘Well if we’d all just vote Democrat then everything would be okay.’

No… no it won’t.  No… no it isn’t.

A comment I get a lot of the time on my writing is “Well, fine!  So what?!  What do you propose we DO about it?”

And I agree, I often suffer from Michael Moore Syndrome, and spend too much time complaining about what shouldn’t be done, and not enough time focusing on what should.

So that’s what I’d like to do today.  I’d like you to join in the discussion in the comments section.  I’d like us to put aside our endless squabbling about the way things shouldn’t be, and toss around some positive, possible, actual… solutions.

Idealistic?  Absolutely.  What exactly is wrong with ideals and the pursuit of them?  That, should be our constant and only goal as a society.  Finding and identifying problems, and then working to solve them.  It’s this ‘well that’s the way things are’ attitude that is cancerous.  We spend so much time bickering over the classification and identification of details of the problem, and so little time solving anything as they all get much much worse.

SOLUTION THE FIRST: We need a new, modern, political ideology.  Right now, members on all sides of the ‘spectrum’ are screaming and pointing fingers at the other side, but the reality is, they are all wrong and their outdated philosophies are crumbling.

Does Communism work!?  No. It’s too oppressive, gives too much power to the state, and strips the individual of vital freedoms.  Just ask China, North Korea and the former U.S.S.R.  It doesn’t work.

Does Capitalism work!?  No. It puts the pursuit of personal wealth above anything and anyone else.  It allows corporations and wealthy interests to control and dictate as they please, with disastrous results.  Humanity, morality, civility, are all cast aside under the pretense of ‘well, we’re just making money.’  Just making money… isn’t a good enough excuse for pure, unadulterated evil.  Just ask our friends, the good ol’ US of A. It doesn’t work.

Does Socialism work!? No.  It tries to mash the two extremes together and you end up with citizens overly taxed, corruption, waste and an unsustainable economic model.  Just ask Greece, the UK and the EU. It doesn’t work.

All of these criticisms are valid.

So… do we keep sliding around on the same spectrum hoping for different results or do we realize that there are limitless possibilities outside of the spectrum!  How about that?  Forget left, forget right, forget the middle.  Let’s put an entire generation to work, inventing a new spectrum.  This can only be accomplished with an acknowledgement that the existing one is broken, which at this rate, seems to be an unavoidable certainty.

My first solution is broad, but highly necessary.  We need to get talking about fresh, innovative, models of governance and living.  Maybe these talks could occur on the subway and bus instead of staring at the floor and pretending to read the same advertisements over and over again.  Maybe they could happen in schools, actually engaging students in real problem solving. In the lunchrooms where you work.  At all?

SOLUTION THE SECOND: The role of the politician, the lawmaker, the ruling class, has to change.  Democratic elections are only democratic when the choices on the ballot represent the best interests of the people.  Let’s not kid ourselves, that time is long gone, if it was ever there to begin with.  The modern politician is a pacifist, a distractor, a performer, not a leader.  Democrat or Republican.  Conservative or Liberal.  Labour or Tory.  (See Solution The First).  We don’t need our leaders running in a non stop popularity contest. This isn’t a beauty pageant. We also don’t need the other end of the spectrum, a dictatorial iron fist of fascism that doesn’t care what the people think and does as it pleases.

We need a group of the most intelligent, qualified individuals assessing our issues, and proposing and implementing intelligent solutions.  We need to apply scientific principles to our governance.  We need scientific leaders.  They might be awkward.  They might be silly looking.  They might not have such nice smiles and well delivered zingers.  They might also actually dedicate themselves to the constant improvement of society, instead of ‘building an image’.  A staggering majority of the worlds’ most intelligent human beings are currently using their knowledge and understanding working on designing ways of making money.  Solving problems for the marketplace.

Unleash these minds on tackling poverty, oppression, homelessness, ending wars, raising standards of living.  Rather than developing algorithms for squeezing currency out of people, how about they follow their natural, intuitive, scientific inclinations… identifying problems, and solving them.  Ask anyone working in science what they could accomplish if not held back by the constraints of currency and politics.  Then watch their eyes light up.

Look at what just one of these minds can envision and design – Imagine all of them, working together, with all of us, supporting them, benefitting from the non-stop progress.  We wouldn’t have time to bicker about race, religion, or American Idol.  There’d be too many positive things to accomplish.

SOLUTION THE THIRD: The individual must refuse to participate in the oppression and systematic destruction of their fellow man.  “I’m just doing my job” isn’t a valid excuse any more than “I’m just making money” is.  It’s a weak, cop-out, and a refusal to think for yourself, burying your morals and conscience.  You cease to be a human the second you knowingly and willingly partake in this kind of behavior.

Comedian Patrice O’Neal expresses this brilliantly in his recent guest spot on Infowars.com.  Rather than preach the same boring, tired, conspiracy theories we’ve all heard a million times, Patrice instead tackles an issue we can all do something about, every day… no small powerful group of people has any power, without the average person willing to blindly carry out their orders.

“If we go down, we did it, not them… Because of so many nobodies, willing to destroy another man.”

We can’t continue to tolerate indifferent and callous behavior.  In my short lifetime I have seen such a drastic shift in the amount of nonsense people will not only put up with, but engage in.  There’s a very good reason that zombie movies are so popular right now.  The conditioning has reached such a point, that the initial response to telling someone that you have been wronged, is for them to not only disbelieve you, and downplay your grief, but to suggest that it is your fault and you brought it on yourself.

The individual has the ability to make choices.  To assess and examine individual circumstances.  The individual ceases to be an individual, the second they suppress or deny that ability.

(I could probably keep this going forever, but it’s just a blog, so I’m going to cut it short and allow you to weigh in with your own solutions in the comments.  Let’s get innovative and try to come up with some new and unique ideas!)

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Solutions! | 12 Comments

Canadian Banks Doing Fine! (In Related News, Canadian People Getting Fucked By Canadian Banks)

(I am aware that a lot of this post applies to other countries as well, and banks in general.)

I’m completely disgusted with hearing about how terrific Canadian banks are doing. You want to know who’s not doing so well? Canadian people! You know why? Because they are having every penny squeezed out of them by Canadian banks. Canadian citizens, faced with insurmountable monthly costs, are being forced to go into record levels of debt to… you guessed it, Canadian Banks!  The banks and financial experts tell the newspapers and media that this is because we are all freewheeling and dealing, blowing cash on anything we can, just for the hell of it!  The truth is this: The cost of living in cities like Vancouver and Toronto is so ridicuously out of proportion with what the people in those cities actually earn it is staggering. People can’t make rent, they have to borrow money, they go into debt.  They want to go to school to obtain an education and get a better paying job, they have to borrow money, they go into debt.  This isn’t some nation wide frat party.  This is people just trying to exist.

But all you see in the news is report after report about how strong our economy is, and how well our banks are doing.  How we’ve “weathered the storm” and what a shining example we are for the rest of the world.  If we actually think we’ve avoided the kind of total economic collapse that has rocked the rest of the world, it’s time for a serious wake up call… we may be a little behind, but the crisis is coming to Canada.  First of all, the housing market will crash, that much is inevitable.  Don’t believe me?  See if you can tell the difference between a Vancouver crack shack and a million dollar mansion. So that will cripple construction, hammer the banks and real estate… and generally devastate many a profession based around this hyper inflated market.  Then there’s the little fact that these levels of “personal” debt (you know, that of real, actual people, not just institutions and governments) are 100% unsustainable. Here’s the reality of our economy: A dual income couple with no dependants living in a one bedroom apartment, can just barely make rent with a little left over for food and transportation to and from work. In order to pay bills and BREAK EVEN (that’s no extra cash for anything, no savings, no paying off of debt, no visits to the dentist… we’re talking basic existance here) they HAVE TO go into debt, with the hopes they will one day make more money in the future. They won’t. Why? Because employers are routinely and systematically stripping away whatever is left of the dignity and decency of their employees. Increasingly, you see job postings offering less and less money, with more and more qualifications and experience required. How exactly is someone paying off a 4+ year degree supposed to survive on $12/hr? More credit and debt of course! Gotta keep those banks well paid. We’re told we should feel lucky to have any work at all. Meanwhile, employers are hacking away at any semblance of workers rights, acting as if a lunch break or paying for holidays is optional in this country. They think they can not pay overtime and fabricate lies to take money off of paycheques. They are demanding outlandish hours with no notification of how many days, or how many hours, you will be working. Or perhaps they’ll offer you 20 hours a week at minimum wage and then have the audacity to demand you are available every day, for weeks in advance, when they only post the schedule one week in advance. They try to control your home life and ‘extra-curricular activities.’ They have no respect for you as an individual, and the work force remains silent, passively accepting the worsening conditions because they should just feel lucky to have a job, right? Shut up, put up, and take it Canada.

You know why they believe all of this? Because they are right. They can and will get away with anything they want. You know why they behave this way? Because they can. They know they are winning, and we are losing, and we won’t fight back. We have no means to do so. The laws are shifting more and more in favor of the businesses and the banks, because we, the actual people, have no voice. No one speaks for us. No one cares about us. Which is funny considering… WE ARE THE COUNTRY! This is OUR country. “We” is not some fringe group of outcasts. “Workers” are not a small portion of the population. This is not the middle ages. We are not serfs. We are not slaves. But only if we don’t allow ourselves to be. Right now, we are slowly being enslaved with the same ancient methods used by many oppressive civilizations of the past, and no one is saying a word.

Sure, our ‘leaders’ will carve out a nice little bit of rhetoric for us in one of their speeches, but it never translates to anything meaningful. We are just bags of flesh whose only purpose is to pay every cent of our wages to the bank. Don’t fool yourself, your rent doesn’t go to the landlord, it goes through your landlord, straight to the banks. The banks get it all in the end. That’s why they’re doing so well. We get nothing. We get to exist, barely, as if we should be grateful that these rich, evil institutions allow us to do so. Grateful that they have a constricting choke-hold on our lives. Make no mistake, we will never be truly free again as long as they continue to do so.  People would much rather lash out at anyone who dare criticize and make obvious observations, regurgitating what they hear on the news.  They say the problem is that we’re all out buying new houses and yachts and cars because of low interest rates.  We’re all reckless, freewheeling spenders.  The reality is that they are, and we are taking the blame.  We have been successfully divided and conquered. The average citizen blames other citizens. They lash out at each other, dismissing any criticism of how the banks are operating as ludicrous. No newspaper or magazine dares report the truth of what real Canadian people are going through… they are all owned by big businesses who are owned by the banks. They say what they are told to say. They blame the greedy consumer.  There is no reporting of the real struggles of real people. There is no article on people having their rent increased by $50 to $100 a year while their wages stay the same. There is no talk of desperate people having to take out loans to pay for dental work because their benefits were severed and their wages slashed in half.  There are no articles on abusive employers and students being manhandled and burdened with massive debt loads straight out of high school.  There is only distractions, more blame piled onto the overworked and underpaid Canadian just trying to survive.  There is talk of a farcical ‘jobless recovery’ and ever more news, that the banks are doing just fine with all our money.

At least someone is doing fine with it, because the Canadian people, are not.

May 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 28 Comments