We do these things symmetrically. We balance ourselves through it, making sure that for all the effort we give, we do not shift so far one way or the other to make ourselves appear different to the world we pretty ourselves up for. Because Democracy is that thing that all the world should aspire to. Even if we stop other countries from having it, the aspiration should still exist. Fight for it, earn it, and you will have it... is a bumper sticker that either small town pastors or high school football coaches should have on their cars.
For the rest of us who think we have it already, we must dig a bit deeper to fight as our eyes grow weary from so much Netflix and our thumbs lose feeling from so much X Box. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but both those tools of the idle still ask you to consider a protagonist and an antagonist, therefore you are already prepared for the real-life fight for life, which in these forms cartoons it up a bit, but never disrespects the true message. For what is America without a bully? And what is the rest of the world without us? And if we are the bully, don't we still have to contend with rebels who cannot see that when we beat them up, it's for their own good?
We have come so far that the fight has become contained in our media, which is a relief, because our arguments can now be displayed on TV screens, so there is no need to expend energy because everything you want to express is right there in the mouths of talking heads, and it doesn't matter whether or not you know the person speaking on TV, it matters more that he or she once said something that you agree with, and therefore, they can now act as your proxy, and you can rule your life from the comfort of your couch, or poised for a picture with a large poster-board sign in your tired hands, neither posture aware that both amount to the same thing. Both sides are trying to release dragons, and all that can happen is that someone lights a cigarette and finds in that a brief respite. So long as you have that bubbling bursting face on TV that never ceases to say all the things you want to say to someone you dislike in order to make a stranger to you look stupid, all is right in the world.
"As if they need my help," you might say to yourself as the show cuts to a commercial about some beer you nearly like, some website you nearly like but still visit, some reality show you nearly like but still watch anyway because it sucks when all your friends know what's going on and you don't.
And whether you want want to acknowledge it or not... it's all combat.
But it's not revolution.
Revolution requires patience. And fortitude. And angst. And takes years, and no one here is prepared for change because as soon as we are sprayed with a glimmer of progress, our communal eyes shift toward what our President is up to, or what Fox News is up to, or what CNN's talking heads are up to, or what Kanye is up to, or what Donald Glover is up to (who, btw, wants you to be up for this), or what Alex Jones and TYT and Sam Seder are up to. Or how Stephen Colbert and Sam Bee and John Oliver and Seth Meyers and Cody Johnston coax our stress into a lovely gelatinous yet hate-breathing comedic interpretation of what reality is, because the only way we can deal with it is to laugh. And that laughter is still a distraction, because this week? Something new happened, and we need to see what new happened, and we need to laugh at what happened, because if we don't see what happens as it happens, then we are no longer a combatant, we are...
The soldier left behind. We no longer matter. We served our time. We did what we were supposed to do. We served, we fought, we got old, we ceased to matter, we died.
And it doesn't need to be said, but it should be said again and again. It is quite the thing when you live your life ignoring your government. You are special and unique and play by your own rules and could give a tinker's cuss what happens beyond your scope of the universe. You are certainly aware of your brief life and want of free will which you still master from moment to moment, and may God strike you dead if that sense of freedom is not available to you, Amen.
But to ignore your government is exactly what they want. To ignore is to placate. To ignore is to give permission. Consider your current job. Do you think you could do better without a GM 0r DM ot RM or VP hanging over you? You probably could. But you are not a politician. Politicians would love to be ignored. It would make their lives easier. And as such, ours harder.
But believe me when I say, you are not alone.
You are a fragile, vulnerable, stick-figure lucky enough to witness life after many people that you idolize have been sucked up into oblivion. You bear witness now to a repeated history with earmarks all its own. You see the combat that has been with us for millions of years and has never been able to shake from it its base need. You are someone's imagination of the future. That's right. Someone once dreamed an ill-composition of you. And you need to know that while you fulfilled a portion of that dream, the world around them, run by those who still believe the world only profits by conflict, are still in charge. And those who are in power will still attempt to make your dream a soldier.
For those of you who have made it this far, I will give you an imaginary high-five. Well done. It's your turn to sleep.
P.S. For those who want to go further, I will now list a partial amount of the things that will continually come between us. You are free to add anything you like, because I'm sure I haven't hit all of them.
Democrats v. Republicans
Liberals v. Conservatives
Progressives v. Libetarians
High School Students v. Guns
Guns v. NRA
NRA v. Sponsorship
Immigration v. Illegal immigration
DACA v. Illegal immigration
Crime v. Immigration crime
White violence v. Black violence
White violence v. Immigration violence
Russia v. U.S.A.
U.S.A. v. U.N.
Africa v. Malaria
Africa v. Dictators
Native Americans v. Redskins
Redskins v. Cowboys
Patriots v. Giants
Palestinians v. Israel
Israel v. The Middle East
The Middle East v. people calling every country in the Middle East the Middle East, because no one is calling Canada "also America."
Parkland v. Guns
Sandy Hook v. Guns
Dead Children v. Guns
Guns v. Common Sense
Guns v. Regulation
The Second Amendment v. Punctuation
The Founding Fathers v. Slavery
Thomas Jefferson v. Slavery
Slavery v. Slavery
Alexander Hamilton v. the Majority
The Electoral College v. the Popular Vote
The Confederacy v. The United States
Confederate statues v. Just put them in a museum, already.
The Confederate Flag v. You lost, why are we celebrating losers?
Darwin v. Intelligent design
God v. Darwin
Old Testament God v. New Testament Jesus
Actual Israel v. Biblical Israel
Eugenics v. Why are we considering this again?
Concussions v. the NFL
The Washington Redskins v. It's not as if teams haven't changed their names or moved to a different city before.
NFL concussions v. Suicide rate
Opioids v. Marijuana
Marijuana v. I know it's tied to hippie culture, but you're just going to have to get over it.
Health insurance v. Free health care
Taxes v. Public Education
Taxes v. Infrastructure
Taxes v. Maybe you should know where your tax dollars are going? Maybe you wouldn't care so much if you knew?
Taxes v. Defense Spending (4000 is a large number of nuclear missiles, and more than enough to kill the world)
Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Christianity
Roe v. Judaism
Roe v. Islam
Roe v. Men
Men v. Being afraid
Women v. Men who don't know what "no" means.
Men v. The Dictionary
White v. Black
White v. Asian
White v. Mexican
White v. Everybody else
Man v. Woman
Man v. Homosexuals
Man v. Transgenders
Man v. Everybody else
Man v. Himself
Man v. Comedy
Man v. Being unable to be funny, and not knowing why they're not funny.
Man v. Nature
Man v. Herbivores
Man v. Vegans
Man v. Opioids
People v. Television
People v. PBS
People v. Sesame Street
People v. Art
People v. Culture
Art v. I don't know art, but I know what I like.
Modern Art v. I don't know art, but I know that... it's not really art, is it?
Time v. Art
Time + Tragedy = Art v. Art
Public schools v Private schools
Public schools v. Charter schools
Charter schools v. Private schools
NFL v. MLB
MLB v. NHL
NHL v. NBA
NBA v LeBron
Monty Python v. Those guys on Youtube that you keep telling me to watch and I just can't go there with you, man.
Bob Ross v. Christmas fireplace
Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays
Fox News v. Happy Holidays
Happy Holidays v. Happy Holidays because it's just a friggin' holiday and no one cares.
God v. Athiests
God vs. Jesus
Holy Spirit v. God v. Jesus
Smoking in public v. Smoking in public, but at least one hundred feet away from the entrance.
Guns v. Guns in E.T. which need to be replaced by radios.
Every thought you have v. Every opportunity you've had to say what you want to only to have the shit beaten out of you, for that is the price of freedom.
Forcible Rape v. ...yeah, it's rape. Stop trying to clarify it fuckhead.
Prison Rape v. ... Still rape, asshole!
Armed Forces Rape v. ... 80% harassment, 32% assaulted. Of women. And they are a minority. The actual number gets worse if men are included.
Men v. Date Rape
Men v. Domestic violence
Men v. Sexual abuse
Men v. PETA
PETA v. animal abuse
PETA v. themselves
Hunters v. Non-hunters
Hunters v. A primal logic that they no longer need to adhere to because they dislike indigenous peoples, and as such have no right to lay claim on their practices.
Hunters v. Me saying that
Republicans v. Me saying anything except what they agree with.
Democrats v. Me saying anything except what they agree with.
Ted Nugent v. The people
Ted Nugent v. The people who acknowledge that while he is a talented guitar player, he is not needed in public discourse.
Ted Nugent v. Sane people
Hollywood v. Talented people who aren't up to Hollywood's standards of beauty.
24 Hour News Channels v. Articulate and opinionated people who aren't up to TV network standards of beauty. See: Noam Chomsky.
Me v. My parents, because that's what the last thirty years have led us to. Parents learning to hate their children when their kids have grown old enough to find their own opinion. Never mind that they raised them to be free-thinkers. The fact is, rampant divisiveness has found a way to tear the family structure apart, and we no longer speak the same language of those we hold most dear...