Two days ago I wrote a blog post about the United States being in need of a renaissance. As I wrote that post and thought about it more afterward, the best course of action was to add more substance and be more specific.
If you recall, I defined myself as a centrist with an apathetic political outlook. Yet, I would consider my general life demeanor more as apoplectic because these things do bother me at my core, even if I don’t display reality as being that way. The idea of pent-up frustration is to release it at some point, and be quite thorough. It’s like the Seinfeld episode when George Costanza’s father, Frank, yells “serenity now!” whenever he is overcome with anger and annoyance. But as George’s childhood acquaintance later pointed out, “Serenity now; insanity later.”
To avoid the temptation of going completely berserk, I will add some thoughts to how I think society can improve in the United States and how the “American Dream” can once again become something that Americans themselves respect again.
People do whatever the fuck they want
Isn’t that the country that has been built since World War II? “Love it or leave it!”
If you are going to blame the people who eat the trashy food (and I’m not immune to eating garbage food from time to time), then the places that serve the trash food should be blamed as well. HOWEVER, other countries have McDonald’s and Burger King and are still as thin as we are. Most people I know are actually health conscious/not obese.
Destroying obesity takes two things: 1) eating better and 2) living a healthier lifestyle (drop soda for water, exercise semi-daily, etc.)
Just look at the Chris Christie thing: he knows people don’t want a fat president, so he gets weight surgery three years prior to the election. It’s no accident.
And in regards to Michelle Obama, I see where she is coming from but I also think her goals are a little too high. Kids don’t want to eat apple slices; they want chocolate and junk food. So what? I did that and I’m perfectly fine today, and all the other kids I went to elementary school and middle school and high school and even college are fine as well. And if she wants people to eat organic, then lower the price. Shit is too expensive for a low-to-middle income family to buy all the time.
Greed has made people villains — and it’s legal
1. The income/money discussion is a result of American Greed. The richest people have all the money and the middle and lower classes are duking it out just to salvage a respectable life. On that note, there really is no major difference between the middle and lower classes; it’s almost the same thing cloaked in different vocabulary. You have the wealthy, the rich — then everyone else standing in line, most of whom will never be “rich.”
2. Speaking of rich, what makes people rich nowadays? A “groundbreaking” social media network? An app on a smart phone? Making videos on YouTube? Many of the ways people looked at the world just 20 years ago is intrinsically different due to how the world has developed. Many things people used to need are no longer needed, and that impacts a sect of society (production) that used to bank — literally — on people buying these goods and making them profit.
3. I think the people are somewhat to blame. Actually, plenty to blame. People are always complaining about the officials who are elected into office, whether as a local councilman or the president. But do those very people realize that they are supporting the very evils they detest? The entire political system is a sham, a giant joke played on the American public and NOBODY SEEMS TO GIVE A FUCK. Why is that? Is the political system too big and too powerful to fail? Perhaps. Or maybe people are too scared to fight a system that big and put their own freedoms on the line. You never see protests anymore in this country; people don’t care as much. The average person will say, “I’ll go to work, grab a beer after work, go to sleep and do it all over again tomorrow.” It’s like a perpetual cycle of rape and self-loathing that has spiraled out of control.
Keep art in education, rather than trying to dispose of it
In terms of education, I do agree with you on the overblown attitude toward standardized testing. It’s kind of humorous that the ACT and SAT determine college entry, along with GPA at what may or may not be a fine institution. I do think standardized testing exists because many schools earn money from the students who perform well, as well as the teachers who taught those same students. I could be wrong on that last point but I thought that was how it worked.
Also, I constantly see the arts berated on this board and in a lot of other places. I think the arts are integral to society and should not be treated as a throwaway major at a higher institution, and that is only because the jobs don’t pay as well as, say, an engineer or a physician. That’s obvious, but if the United States once went by the motto of “chasing the American dream” then that same motto should be adhered to when discussing the dreams of the children and even the adults who want to create their own happiness and manufacture their own passions in a positive environment. Frankly, as someone whose life is dictated by art, it’s bullshit that the U.S. seemingly wants to put all the eggs into the basket of the science and medical fields, among other professions and subjects that produce high-paying jobs and (tada) great infrastructure for the rest of society. If nobody else benefits on some level beyond aesthetics, then it’s probably not worth doing in the government’s eyes.
The Common Man is more apt to promote change than the Man In Power
I don’t see these issues as partisan issues as I see them as societal issues. Of course those in Congress can help cure such ailments in the fabric of our culture, but they choose not to and I wouldn’t trust them with a 10-foot pole. Is anyone really surprised that the U.S. is first in the world in military and last in poverty rates? That dichotomy tells the whole story, even if you don’t know how or why it happened.
People — like you and me — need to change the conversation and focus on what made America great and why it suffers today. That’s a pretty good start in my eyes.