Confessions of an Arm Chair Activist

I have to know and understand, or at least read the book, about an issue before I get all riled up. That’s probably why I’m not much of an activist. Or maybe I’m an armchair activist, a homebody who loves to travel. To understand, I have to research. That sounds suspiciously like work. Do I have to know everything? Do I want to know everything? Many things I know now I wish I didn’t.

Tea Bag Anyone?

At the moment I’m trying to read “Tears of a Clown, Glen Beck and the Tea Bagging of America. 2 chapters in I thought “I’ve heard enough about this particular tea bag.” Do I need to drink it for the next 2 days of my 1 and only life?  Time better spent smelling flowers, sweeping the patio or watching the grass grow. However, I do appreciate that the author took the time to write this book.

I wanted to like the book and I love a good foot-in-mouth tale. But, couldn’t get past the never-ending description of his crocodile tears. Practiced and enhanced with menthol drops to the eyelids. Aw common, just the facts of what he said should stand alone. But that makes for pretty dry reading and a few transcripts would cover it. Basically, Glen Beck is just another schmo cashing in on people’s fears. He riding on Limbaugh’s coat tails and making a damn good living in the process.  It’s been done, over and over….and over.

What bugs me is that people, a lot of people, believe it. The author of the book made a great point about the advertisers who sponsor Beck’s shindigs. I’m going to start paying more attention to that on various programs. Glen’s sponsors are the makers of adult diapers, scooters, denture cream, etc. The mistaken assumption here is that only “old” people think with their fear muscle. But the olden folks, myself included, don’t have a monopoly on the fear factor.

Recently I listened while a wild-eyed 20 something clued me in on the 7 horsemen of the Apocalypse. Wait, all along I thought it was 4 horsemen. There are 7 signs. Or maybe there is 7 horseman and 4 signs? I’m confused and not good with meaningless numbers. I only have enough energy to get frightened about something tangible like boiling oil or a truck crashing through the guard rail on the highway headed straight at me.

If I am perpetually terrified about the state of the nation or the planet would I be a better person? If I’m outraged about something 24 hours a day, does that change anything?

My grandmother used to say, “do something, even if it’s wrong!” I heard the wrong part but missed the do something part. This implies taking action. Getting off the sofa and moving around. Walk a mile in someone elses shoes before you lecture them about manufacturing, the economy or the evils of leather. Do anything other than sit around and blame every problem on someone else.

Co Exist

Can We Just Get Along?

WE need to climb down off our comfortable padded high horse and try living a day without clean water or electricity. Try growing our own food, it’s not easy (I’d probably starve to death). Figure out how to get to our job 20 miles away without gas in the car or functioning mass transit (been there). 1 day of standing at a bus stop in the blazing Texas sun almost did me in. Beat your dirty clothes on a mud puddle. Cradle your sick child while she cries because you can’t afford a doctor (done that ). Then we’ll talk about greedy people, greedy companies and the evil government.

It all started with filling a need or a want. We all need each other. And we needs the fruits of each others labor. Be that food, electricity, oil, textiles or a kind word. In a perfect world we would just know this. Somewhere along the way we got caught up in the us versus them and lost sight of that.

4 responses

  1. Hey, you do what you can, right?

    1. Exactly! I will not be heading out on the million women march to Washington anytime soon. Well maybe if we bar-hopped along the way….Nah.

  2. Fear is very profitable… as long as that fear isn’t about how someone’s going to eat for the next two weeks (maybe that’s profitable, too, but the wrong demographic as they are not going to have old gold jewelry to send in because they already pawned it to pay rent). I have the same problem about researching stuff, mostly because I don’t like feeling pissed off.

    1. Yea researching gets me ticked too. Then I start thinking how do I know this is true? Who funded this research, what was their motive when interpreting the data? Trying to dig down to the actual research data on any given subject is crazy making. And I prefer to draw my own conclusions….on cocktail napkins.

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