We’re Angry and We Have Fun

News Flash! It is not all good.

There is so much wrong with our government and the social injustices evident are so vast that people of conscience are scared; afraid of the Three C’s–-Catastrophe–- Change--Chaos.

History has taught us, or rather, we were taught in History, that social change comes with a high cost--heads will roll. Other C’s comes to mind--Crock o’ Crap.

I taught History, I slung well-documented propaganda with what turns out to be a selected spurious set of facts. Most Social Studies teachers recognize the blatant examples of misleading though not entirely inaccurate narratives. Two examples spring to mind.

The story of the Pilgrims and their cooperation with the Native people, even if accepted as entirely true, was insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Puritans largely settled New England--they were not nice (...to anyone so it seems).

The Civil War was fought to free the slaves. (Just like we are fighting in Afghanistan because the Taliban is mean to women?) No, it was about the money, slavery was the major factor--not the slaves!!! The foundation of the Confederate economy was labor-intensive agriculture, cotton and tobacco. The United States was expanding into the west where slavery was not needed to grow the economy. The congress was already dominated by non-slave states in the house and the South was losing ground in the senate. High tariffs being the key, the North taxed imports to protect new American industry, the South made money through exports. When we taxed imports from foreign countries they repaid in kind. The South was doomed to pay more tax on what they sold in foreign markets but also had to pay more for finished goods including tools and the means of production. Finished products from the North were priced competitively--delivery time and patriotism both play a role here but make no mistake established factories in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century were far more efficient in production and delivery than their American counterparts. High import taxes more than made up the difference. For a Southern landowner of any rank, the situation meant that your plows and shovels were more costly and your crops were less profitable. (The Taliban wanted the West out of their country; so they set about using Draconian methods to destroy opium fields--a policy that if fully implemented would drastically reduce world heroin supplies but also morphine as well. Taliban culture is also very limiting to women.)

These two examples of History as propaganda are straw men hiding indoctrination of a more sinister nature--Culture.

I confront my enculturation constantly, but I am not going to be a scab-picker or a whiner any more than I am going to be a slave.

I am dropping out of the rat race; it is more of a process and less an event. I am not going to play the game and like Peter Finch in Network; “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” That being said, I still like to play. I don’t want to just play with myself, so to speak. Let’s have fun and say, “No, thank you” to those that are too big to fail.

“We must learn from History or we are doomed to repeat it” is a statement on our culture not on the reality of our current situation. I have news for you--we are here now.

Reverend Stu
Pastoral comments Founders Day 2013

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