Archive for December, 2007

sinking feeling

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Sometimes I get a sinking feeling. Once it was in a Cessna 152 airplane that I was student piloting. It made me doubt my good judgment, to have placed myself in that situation. The solution was to push forward on the yoke, lose altitude, gain airspeed and get the wing flying again.

Other times I have a very similar sinking feeling. I remember being swept through a channel in a coral reef as the tide was going out. Everything else was perfect. Then came a moment during which I realized the true import of what was happening. I was caught in the current, headed the wrong way, out over deep water. I have always equated deep water with large hungry carnivorous creatures devoid of any possible mammalian sympathies.

It was a sinking feeling. The solution was to risk limb and life coming back on top of the surf, which was massively pounding itself upon the razor sharp coral reef, myself in the mix.

And, some personal stuff, too. Some people to me are virtually indistinguishable, in their behavior, from demons and vampires. When I am reminded of them, my courage wanes a bit, and I get that sinking feeling. For such people, to date I really do feel like I have found a solution.

But, what really scares me most these days, sinking feeling-wise, is a sense that we Americans are in a very tight spot. There are a number of confluent factors, which could be considerably troublesome.

Here I’m referring to the widely acknowledged global problems – you know the list.

In addition to all of those, and up near the top of my personal list, is the sinking feeling I get when I realize that although Americans have a great vocabulary about freedom and democracy, that language has become disconnected from reality, at least to the best of my ability to discern the situation.

To my mind, the form is similar to the situation expressed by the folktale The Emperors New Clothes. Except we are not yet to the end of the story, as the crowd barely murmurs, and certainly does not shout.

The special feature here which creates for me the sinking feeling is the emptiness of all that language when the net result is that the “remaining superpower” is in reality a militaristic, fascistic, nihilistic, narcissistic, fatalistic, loose cannon with a full charge. All that, with lots of good wholesome things, too, of course, etc. etc. Imagine the footnotes.

Yes my friends, if our democracy is not about freedom for non-aggressive, friendly people, living in their multitude communities; if instead our “democracy” is about empire and aggression and stealing oil – then it is not a democracy at all, and ultimately it is without the strength of a hollow log.

That gives me a sinking feeling.

If “freedom” in America (USA) really means mostly a place where rogue corporate interests can make connections and organize their schemes upon the peoples of the world, then the “democracy” that makes such freedom possible will face its comeuppance, guaranteed. I learned that in Reality 101, by reading.

I had known for a long time about disparities between the American self-image and certain realities of American history. But still I saw them as disparities. I had never questioned the motivations behind the American Ideals of freedom and democracy.

The sinking feeling for me now comes when I see those words – freedom and Democracy – used to justify the violence, destruction, graft and corruption in every realm, that is being projected by the military-industrial corporate empire as it simply buys up the democratic institutions I had believed in.

Those without expectations will not be disappointed, surely. I had expectations for the ideals I learned in my youth, of freedom and democracy. Now I see the empire has taken over those words, and all others it cares to own. It’s disappointing. It gives me a sinking feeling. It seems like a long-shot that the demos will be able to cope with it without a lot of false steps, pain and suffering.

I don’t see a solution. It would require politicians and political people to be honest. It would require people in general to look at the world and pay attention to what is happening. A real long shot. Sinking feeling.