Is anybody home?

Are there even any lights on? Well, yes: but the “light” seems to be coming from a very large, very thin, flat-panel “tv” (can we still call these things “tv”? they don’t seem to have much at all in common with my parents’ old Magnavox, or was it a Zenith?). In other words, although there must surely be human beings inside the house (unless Felix and Fido are the only ones vegging), there don’t seem to be any thinking creatures about the place.

No, not just the “what’s for lunch?” kind of thinking; but critical thinking. Or, is critical thinking like the bus that got us this far and dropped us off at the end of the line and has left us scratching some part of our anatomy?

How did we get to this point where anyone – let alone the president of the United States – can use the works “God bless” and “Planned Parenthood” in the same sentence, and no one seems to care? No, that’s not it: It’s not that no one seems to care, but rather that everybody cares about something else. We are not talking about a dichotomy: we are talking about a proper dog’s breakfast in critical thinking. No surprise that it has come out of the present incumbent of the White House. What is a surprise is that there is no hue and cry from those who have knuckled under to what John Stuart Mill called the despotism of conformism.

While the prevailing winds tend to blow toward the theory that life here on earth has no intrinsic meaning, and human beings have no intrinsic value, I don’t believe we are passionately apathetic. Quite the contrary, I believe we do care, and care very intently. About only ourselves and no one else. Um, no, that’s not it, either. How about we care only about ourselves and only about today? Yes, that is closer to the mark.

Look around you at the most basic attributes; start with diet. Americans obviously consume more calories than any society in the history of human kind. Furthermore, Americans are the most well informed, the most highly educated (after a fashion) of any culture, and yet the most obese. And, we still smoke. And, we still drive while drunk. We care passionately about our right to choose; and you and tomorrow be damned.

So, while we have been, well, consumed with consumption, we have let ourselves and our culture go to, ok, I’ll say it: pot. We spend billions on putting lipstick on the pig. We spend further billions in gym memberships while we pay “illegals” to cut our grass and babysit our kids. We spend untold billions buying little (well, lately, getting bigger and bigger) machines to cart our ponderous bulks around, while complaining about the price of gas, the dirty air, and the taxes to pay for “defense” (against whom? Saudi Arabian born terrorists, or China?).

Connect the dots, people! Don’t bother to believe in religion – God forbid! Don’t concern yourself with any kind of life after this one, but try to think about tomorrow – if not your kids and grandchildren, then your pension. Maybe your heart, too.

Don’t obsess about the messenger, but you might do yourself the honor of considering the message:

It’s later than you think.

  1. Hello, just wanted to say, I loved this article.
    It was helpful. Keep on posting!

    • Marcy – many thanks! Very validating to find that anyone finds my chicken-scratches worthwhile.

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