written by Ken Poirier - October 2008
Life is hard, and it is only getting harder. The credit card debt piles up. The price of gas rises. The price of food rises. People are losing their houses. People are losing their jobs. Rent is getting more and more expensive every day. The value of the dollar is dropping at a rate more then twice the increase of the average wage (which is slightly above minimum). Just as a perspective, a Hershey bar that cost 5 cents in 1955, now costs $1.25. That is a 2500% increase in price in just over half a century. By the Hershey bar standard our dollar is worth 1/250 of what is was in 1955.
The government's solution is to give billons of dollars in cash hand outs and tax breaks to corporations, virtual entities with no criminal accountability, controlled by the richest people in America. The responsibility of this hand out falls on the taxpayers of America. Of course, in case you haven't been paying attention, the taxpayers don't have billions of dollars. Even with most taxpayers giving a third to half their income to the government, it is still not enough to cover the bill. So, our fearless leaders borrow the money from china on our behalf, at interest rates that will leave us in endless debt.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The middle class is slowly disappearing. One in Seventeen people in Washington state are unemployed.
According to a recent New York Times article, The United States is currently holding the largest number of prisoners in the world at 1.6 million. That means 1 in every 144 Americans are incarcerated at this moment. It is estimated that 1 in 50 have been in some sort of jail or holding cell this year. The cost of each prisoner is an average of $88 per day.
All my life I've heard experts define the problem. I've heard them analyze it and debate it's origins. One thing I've never heard was a working solution.
Our government and the power elite can only come up with three solutions. Throw money at it. Throw guns at it. Throw both. The political machine is suffering from a terrible lack of creativity. The American People have a terminal case of apathy.
So, you can either say "fuck it all", grab a back pack, and hitch hike your way to a better life, or you can continue to live your life as you are now, holding on to the debt train by your finger nails as it turns the corner on the cliff of slavery. But before you make your decision, I want you to watch one movie.
I want you to watch John Carpenter's 1988 cult classic, They Live. Based on the 1963 short story Eight O'clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson, They Live is the story of a man named Nada. Nada, played by Roddy Piper of WWF fame, is a union construction worker who train hops from Denver to Los Angeles looking for work after the 1987 stock market crash. There he meets up with Frank, played by Keith David of Platoon and the Halo video games, who has left his wife and child in Detroit for the same reason. They are spending the night in a tent city when Nada discovers something in the church across the street.
At first it seems like there is some sort of drug lab set up in the basement, but after a Soylent Green-esk police raid, Nada goes back to find out what. Bewildered and amused, he finds out it was nothing more then cheap imitation ray ban sunglasses. As he walks down the street chuckling at himself about the absurdity of the situation, he puts on the glasses to discover that these are no ordinary ray bans but "Hoffman lens".
The Hoffman lens allows Nada to see the world as it truly is. The words and pictures in newspapers and magazines now read "No imagination", "Watch TV", "Stay Asleep". A billboard of an island getaway becomes "Marry and Reproduce". Money are just blank pieces of paper with "This is your God" stamped on them. Small radio dishes on traffic lights broadcast the word "sleep" over and over again.
As if this wasn't shocking enough, we then discover that the world is run by a bunch of zombie looking aliens that have hypnotized the humans in to thinking they are one of us. To them it's just some sort of game, pretending to be human, trading technology and power for resources, thinning and growing the herd as they see fit. "They live, while we sleep."
When they discover that Nada can see them, they send two aliens posing as police officers to bring him in. "It figures it would be something like this", Nada says. For the next fifteen minutes we are treated to an action sequence that makes GTA4 look like Tele-Tubbies.
My favorite part of this movie though, is when Nada tries to convince Frank to put on the glasses. "Listen Man," says Frank, "I got a wife and kids. Whatever it is, I don't want to know!" Nada and Frank then have one of the longest all out knuckle dragging slugfests in film history as Nada forces Frank to see the truth.
In addition to being a fantastic fight scene, it is a wonderful metaphor for peoples willingness to be blind to the situation at hand. This fight scene always makes me chuckle, as I am reminded of times I tried to get other Republicans to sit down to watch 9/11 Truth: Demolitions, and they squirm in their chairs, kicking and screaming, like my one year old eating mashed sweet potatoes.
In the end Nada, Frank, and others form a "terrorist" group to fight the aliens.
If only our current situation were so simple. Unfortunately, the people in our government, police force, and economic mainframe, are not aliens from another dimension. They are normal stupid people just like you and me. Trying to get ahead in life, trying to secure the futures of their family, making mistakes and being selfish along the way.
So that means, also unfortunately, we can't just go into banks and start blowing them away with shotguns. The people in charge are in charge because they out smarted their peers, whether their means were honorable or not. They seized the power that was available before them.
Congress has the power to give your money away to rich people and wire tap your phones, because YOU gave it to them. You are losing your house because YOU took out a stupid loan, instead of waiting for prices to come down.
Our leaders have failed us, now it's YOUR turn. Stop complaining. Come up with an idea! Tell people about it! It's YOUR WORLD, YOU fix it!
I am currently working on a story about Seattle police using excessive force in arrests, if you have been tasered, bitten by a police dog, or shot with rubber bullets or pepper spray, I want to hear your story! Email me at email@example.com