I’m totally in favor of gun control. After all, who could kill that many children in such a short time without a meticulously-designed, highly-optimized killing instrument? Some cold-hearted engineer put a lot of careful, loving thought into it. Imagine….
But gun control’s not even close to being a solution. What about giving mentally-ill people resources that they can actually use, that their families feel are accessible, that actually have a chance of working?
What about the culture we live in, that’s so safe and secure on the surface that, for kicks, adolescents turn to TV shows about psychopaths dismembering people?
What about this culture in which gain is everything, religion has been mushed down into positive thinking whose only goal is to get what you want, whether or not you need it, without a thought to its value for either the individual or our society?
Why is the competitive spirit prized over humility, compassion and common sense? Who cares if you’re better than someone else at manipulating high-risk stocks, or designing printed circuit boards, or curing disease? What about everybody doing what they love best and are happiest at? Why is that for losers?
We live in a time when we can’t imagine that economic growth will ever stop, even though every other sort of growth reaches its limit and decays? Isn’t there something pathetic about a society in which the most exciting prospect in our brief life is the next iThing?
Do our children know or even care about the meaning and the reality of the word ‘decadence?’ Do they know that progress is always, always temporary and that every one of the world’s greatest empires since the beginning of time has fallen irreparably into decline and fall? Do they know that everything passes, including the dominance of America, of Hollywood, of capitalism and democracy? Have they the slightest notion of how bad things can get, of how bad they are for eighty percent of the world’s population? Might they have willfully ignored that the universe will end and that, far sooner than that, they themselves will end without warning or fanfare?
People kill people most efficiently with assault weapons. It’s not rocket science. If we could harness the total human intelligence that goes into denying this blatant fact, might we not cure cancer or find an end to hunger? Have we ever really tried to imagine our full potential for good?
Good? That old-fashioned crock?
I dare to believe that goodness is not a cliché. I feel it takes daring. I don’t care that it’s not cool, that I’m out on a limb.
What’s wrong with our brains? Where’s our spirit? What happened to poetry, to love and compassion, to curiosity, to the sense of being completely awed by the night sky, by the majesty of human intelligence, by the breathtaking beauty in every child’s wide eyes?
What the fuck is wrong with us?