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Monday, November 14, 2011

Life Unplugged

Let me first say that this isn't a political post. Rather, it's an observation on how inane the so-called "news" media is and how numb we have become to its insidious hum. It's a little like white noise, after a while, you hear it not at all. For instance, this past week all the liberal media had to report on was presidential hopeful Herman Cain's alleged sexual misdeeds, Governor Perry's brain freeze and, basically, how stupid conservatives are in general. All the conservative media led with was the same tired Republican race between the same tired faces and how far Obama's approval rating fell this week. Is this really the most important events of our time?

Little to no coverage was given on the Turkey earthquakes, the biggest storm to hit Alaska in 40 years, or the civil unrest in America, Europe, and the Middle East. Then there is the European financial crisis that is literally imploding from within and will ultimately affect everyone in this country for decades to come, not just Europeans. And much, much more real news that was either never aired or given only a cursory mention.

Iran has been rattling is saber at Israel and the West in general but it seems that Israel's danger threshold has been breached. On the heels of this rock throwing over the fence was Russia's thinly veiled warning to the United States that it will come to the defense of Iran. And China, that sleeping fat-cat dragon, is, no thank you, going to break its piggy bank to bail the European's out of their sinking ship.

I went without television for about eight months after my work hours were cut due to our lousy economy. I've been replugged for about 60 days now and never more sorrier that I am. Is anyone else awake out there? When did we get so dumb as a nation that we lead news programs with Beyonce's "baby bump" and who got kicked off of  "Dancing with the Stars" this week?

For God's sake America, turn off the television. Do your own homework on the news of the day and please, please pick up a book written by someone with a fine mind. Read history, classical philosophers, anyone and everyone who can enlighten you and make you think. Better still, how about picking up the Bible, the greatest treasure trove of history, wisdom, and prose ever given to mankind. Don't believe that everything you hear is true because it is on television or, for that matter, even important.

Someone, somewhere, thought you needed to hear the important news of the day and it was the breakup of Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage, the defeat of Chaz Bono on a dancing program, and what Michelle Obama was wearing. Really? Where are the reports on the famine in Africa, the frequency and severity of earthquakes and natural disasters, and the fallout of Fukushima? Not to mention the Dr. Evil genome projects our own government is sanctioning, the genetic altering of our food, creating sustainable jobs, our financial system, and the corruption of our political system.

I for one am sick to death that potty-mouthed ex-Playboy bunnies are rewarded for their debauchery by being given their own television programs. Why on earth does someone think I need to be entertained by Kendra or worse, admire her? And what of the number of paranormal shows now airing? Whew-whee! I won't even touch that one on this small post. Suffice it to say there is a vacuum in America and Hollywood is filling the void.

All I can say is: you have been robbed America. While you were sleeping someone came in and stripped your character and worth, rewrote your history, stole your banking system, and handed your freedom over to the federal government. But they left you some rose-colored glasses on the bedside table so you wouldn't notice that you and your children have, all the while, become indentured servants to the state. No, you were too focused on buying a wii for Christmas and watching Hef and "The Girls Next Door."

But there is hope. During my hiatus from television, I discovered that there is a remnant of people "out there" who have not been sucked into the mind numbing inanity of it all. And I must say that they carry the same mystique and awe for me as the frontiersman and cowboys once did for my grandparent's generation.

I, for one, would be lost without my new "network" of independent thinkers, independent news bloggers, scientists, and overall survivalist. Even more heartening to me, is I learned that there is a resurgence of young people learning to live off of the grid. They are thinking for themselves and they are absolutely determined not to be caught unawares when their country disappoints, as surely it must do. They are making and preserving their own food, using biofuels, sewing again, and living as independent and unplugged as they can. They have learned to measure their success by a different yardstick than my generation did. They figured out that advertising is a lie, as is the lie of materialistic wealth, and they are not only learning that healthy, antibiotic-free steaks come from cows, not feedlots, but that confidence in their degrees for security is a slippery slope.

The really, really smart ones are skipping a college education altogether, even though their own government and culture has told them they must go into debt if they ever hope to succeed. No, what these young people are doing is working. Working very hard at mastering trades, skills, and crafts that actually can sustain them when the money tree is no longer blooming. Instead of buying into the ideal of the McMansion they can't actually afford, they are opting for an attainable lifestyle that is spiritually rich. These young people realize that there are no jobs and they are not coming back. Ever.

They are learning to raise their own livestock and nurture the soil as Mother Nature intended. They are learning to re-purpose materialistic goods and re-educate their own children. They are learning the joys of family instead of entertainment, fashion, or fast cars. Most important, they are learning that their stay here on this planet is a short but important one. You really can't take any of it where you are going and you have a small, allotted time to make an impact.

It always takes courage to swim upstream when others are going downstream, but no goal is more worthy than living life as a free, independent woman or man. Yes, they are working hard, but at the end of the journey, these intrepid young people are gaining valuable survival and life skills that cannot be found in an office cube.

Unfortunately, the same news media that literally tranquilizes us with pop culture news will also tell you that these young people fighting for home schooling and the independent thinkers, authors, bloggers, and artisans, are all escapists or conservative, right-wing, fringe wackos. When did the noble goal of being independent and wary of who you keep company with and staying out of debt become such rich fodder for ridicule?

I may not always agree with others on how life is to be lived or even on what the purpose of life is, but I am a big proponent of choice. After all, this is what America was suppose to be. Once upon a time.

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