Portney’s Complaint

Portneys Complaint

Portney’s Complaint

Devon Portney

Dear Readers, I feel the time has come to make a plea to all of you. Below, and for the next several weeks I will make my case as to why we need to change the way we think and live. This is my call to arms.

Throughout history, every world empire has experienced the state of their nation and the world at large as an over-shopped, over-eaten, over-sexed, over-preoccupied society. The Romans, Greeks, and British, among others, spread their rule throughout the world far and wide, maintaining lavish empires until they over extended themselves and inwardly collapsed.

Part of the problem was the preoccupation with material possessions and political power. The power elite was free to rule as they pleased, so long as the upper class was kept fat and happy, and the lower class was kept taxed and powerless.

Every world power eventually extends beyond its means and ultimately it cannot survive. The Roman, Greek, and British empires held for hundreds of years. The U.S. has been a world power for less than a century, completely insignificant by comparison. What will happen to bring down the American economy? And will we all sit idly by while our government makes decisions that push us further towards the brink of implosion? Right now, the U.S. is a roller coaster at the beginning of its ride, climbing the steep incline, working towards the ultimate peak. What happens when it reaches? The roller coaster slips over the peak and plummets down to where it began, at ten times the speed it took to climb to the top. After that initial plummet, the ride is bumpy, unstable, unpredictable, and disorienting. And unlike a roller coaster, we can’t just step off economic and social disaster and throw up until we feel better. Unless we all pull our heads out of the sand and realize that we have to make an active change, in both our behavior and our complacency, we are stuck in a roller coaster, about to reach its peak.

So why is it that our heads remain seemingly buried in the preverbal sand (more commonly known as iPods, SUVS, video games, Brangelina, Tom/Kat, etc.)? Why have people become so indifferent to the state of the world in which they live? If you ask any person whether or not they care about important issues, they always say yes. “I care about the homeless, I care about the atrocities being committed in Darfur, blah blah blah.” But saying you care is not caring. Caring can’t be kept to emotions alone, but must be a part of they way we think, as well. Truly caring about the world around you would consist of reading the news, not just getting it from television or web blogs. It consists of never taking what is said to you (in the media, by politicians, or anyone for that matter) at face value, and searching for you own answers, based on facts and your own logical, rational thought.

It is hard to do this, when the media is no longer the watchdog it once was. Now it’s more like the Taco Bell Chihuahua, repeating what it’s told, regardless of whether or not the information can be verified. “Yo quiero WMDs.” Over the next few weeks I will continue to make my argument as to the reasons we need to make changes, and the obstacles we must overcome to do that. Unfortunately, most people are apathetic because they don’t feel their interest can bring about change. It is understandable why we feel this way. But the poor, unwashed masses have made a difference before, and they can do it again.