Teenage Lies to Ourselves

Do you remember when you were a wee whippersnapper and all the old folks loved to ask you the same fookin question? You know the one. “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” As a small tot the answer was probably something simple. A cowboy maybe, or a princess. As you got older the answers got to be more serious. Then, around 16 or so, we started lying. And that’s where the story gets interesting…

The teenage years are a challenge. We begin to have a real sense of who we are and at the same time we become more fully aware of the restrictions and responsibilities of the adult world. Those two realizations inevitably conflict with each other. What we imagine ourselves to be is nebulous, a rough amalgamation of qualities, dreams, and ambitions. The question of what we want to be requires a concrete answer and must include how we expect to earn money. And so we lie. We pretend the concrete answer is real even though, deep down, we probably know better.

Do you know what I mean? Maybe you pictured yourself as creative and influential so you answered ‘artist’ or maybe you saw yourself as inspiring others and a leader so you replied ‘teacher’. Maybe your true answer was ‘different’ or ‘powerful and calm’ or ‘beloved’ or ‘deep and spiritual’ or ‘desired’ or ‘safe and secure’ and finding a job that matched was so hard that you just made something up. We all learned to assign a job title to match a messy, complicated truth. Or, said another way, we monetized our dreams and self image and in doing so, a little bit of that truth died.

Newsflash- We aren’t jobs. We aren’t professions or titles. We’re complicated human beings capable of hideous savagery and transcendent beauty. Yet in our lives we’ve largely abandoned that complicated inner truth for the confines of a career. We ask “What do you do?” as if it gives us some insight into each other. As if that question was what we really wanted to know; “Who are you?”.

Is it too late? Can we still try to become what we wanted to be before it became something on a business card? Of course we can, if we’re brave enough to try. John Lennon famously told the following story: “When I was 5 years old, my mom told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.” Even he didn’t answer that question with ‘musician’ or ‘rock star’. He wanted to be a happy person, and he didn’t lie. Perhaps it’s time for all of us to go back and find that deeper answer. The one that doesn’t involve making a fucking living but does include having a rich meaningful LIFE. Wouldn’t that a be a good step towards Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion?

So perhaps you’re wondering what is my true answer? Stay tuned for the next post and see why I’m so excited for September…

Spy Vs Spy

It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been having a little too much fun. And, oh yeah, I have two big projects in the works. But more on those later. Right now I think I’ll do a little ranting:

Our government is doing something remarkable, something so rare and unexpected that the blathering bubble-heads whoring for the corporate media can’t comprehend it. Your elected officials are TELLING YOU THE TRUTH. Probably you should be paying at least a LITTLE BIT OF FUCKING ATTENTION even if football season is right around the corner, there’s a lame singing contest starting, or some starlet is blah blah blah…

We all know that words have meanings. In the field of law those specific meanings are important. Legal documents are written so obtusely because lawyers have to be clear in what they mean with every word. The word I’m interested in is ‘espionage’. It’s exact legal meaning is “the practice of spying or using spies to obtain information about plans or activities by a foreign government or enemy entity”. We all pretty much knew that, right? Let’s look at why that word should have you reaching for your pitchfork.

In the last few weeks that word’s been used in charges by your government against two American citizens; Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. I’m not gonna get into an ethical argument over their actions. Let’s just agree that both guys broke some rules and both thought they were doing the right thing. Our interest is only in the charges they face; espionage.

As far as I can tell neither of these dudes committed espionage. They didn’t give information to a foreign government or terrorist group. Hell, Manning was just found innocent of that exact charge. Neither of them appear to have profited financially in any way. They weren’t communists or Islamic terrorists and don’t appear to sympathize with any enemy of these United States. Again, I’m not taking a stand on the morality of their actions, I’m just saying that they weren’t foreign spies for anybody and they weren’t motivated by an enemy ideology or cash. Regardless of how you feel about these guys it’s pretty clear what they were attempting. They were trying to alert the American people to the actions of their government. They might be criminals. They might be heroic whistle-blowers. They might be simpletons or patriots. But they are NOT guilty of espionage.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Mr Manning is facing 130 years in prison for espionage. Mr Snowden has warrants for espionage waiting should he return. The courts, Justice Department, Congress and Obama all agree that espionage has been committed. That makes no legal sense, unless of course you define the American people as the enemy. After all, we were the only recipients of the information.

So there you have it. Your government truly, legally and publicly believes that you and I are it’s enemy. They’ve said so in the media, in court and in legal filings. If somebody tells us what’s the government is doing they’re tried as spies benefiting an enemy combatant (us) and they go to jail forever. Don’t you think that’s an interesting viewpoint?

There have been voices on both the left and right trying to tell you that the government is not your friend. That it’s gotten too big, too powerful, too beholden to corporations, too ruled by elites. This blog and a thousand other groups have repeatedly tried to point out that you’re being manipulated by fear to give up power to a growing police state. Most of the country has viewed us as the ‘lunatic fringe’ and ignored the message. Well, ARE YOU WILLING TO BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT ISN’T ON YOUR SIDE WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS THE ONE TELLING YOU?

“Of the people, by the people, for the people”. Remember that? It used to be considered an American idea. You know, before “We the people” became an ‘enemy of the state’. Maybe now that people are in jail for spying on your government on your behalf you’ll be a little more willing to consider Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.