Some people think I’m too political, too easily angered by social inequality, and the machinations of Machiavellian leaders, both politically and in the corporate world. Some think I should stop getting myself all wound up when I read news or statistics that scream injustice is being done – to anyone, anywhere. After all, they say, what can YOU do about it anyway? May as well play another game of Sudoku, have a nap, or scroll through Facebook looking for pictures of cute kittens and puppies.
Keep your head down, they say. Keep your voice down. If you personally are not ready to throw your own hat into the ring, shut up and eat the gruel. Otherwise you and your family may find yourself targeted by those in power, who have the ability to investigate your words and actions, make life difficult for you through quasi-legal measures, and/or arrest you for speaking your mind.
Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984, finally here in 2015. Big Brother IS watching you. He’s trolling social media, and tapping the phones of anyone he pleases. He’s quashing peaceful protests and jailing innocent bystanders. And using the resources of a ‘grateful nation’s’ tax dollars to do so.
We’ve been lulled into complacency. Broadcast and social media keep tossing the inconsequential, the absurd, and the petty transgressions of pop stars into our daily lives, neatly obscuring revelations of injustice and criminal misdeeds.
In reference to the dismantling of Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been quoted as saying, “Well, first we’re going to get them on their knees and then we’re going to restructure them.” This could just as easily be applied to how the civilized world has been broken, and is indeed being restructured, into a nation of people too addled by frivolity and too frightened of consequences, to demand justice and social change.
Those who oppose the new status quo find themselves ridiculed, even reviled, for daring to speak up. Is it any wonder that peaceful protests are so rare, in the face of rogue policing, corporate manipulation and outright legalized disparagement? Those who question find themselves shouted down by the louder voices of those who firmly believe that it is only through brute force that the masses can be contained. Those louder voices need to keep the money and the power flowing through the right veins.
We must ask ourselves, why have we let politicians and corporations carve up the planet and remake it to best serve their own interests? And when did the pursuit of triviality overcome our own basic need for justice? Yes, it’s tiresome to react to the horrors, both legal and non, that we read about daily. But the situation is only going to get worse if we don’t demand answers. We need leaders with global vision that goes beyond their own narrow beliefs and lust for power.
And in order to get those leaders, we have to get our heads out of our own backsides, and demand more of ourselves and of those we’ve put into power.
(for more info on the destruction of the CBC, here’s a blog I wrote in November 2014 that might be of interest:)