A Stranger In a Strange Land...
The Movie, "Ethos"
Recently I was introduced to an intriguing film narrated by Woody Harrelson, of the old Cheers sit com fame. I found it not only fascinating but inspiring as well. It has almost single handedly washed my soul of the frustrating feeling of being a little cog in a well oiled giant machine which has been systematically destroying my faith in our system of government as well as uprooted the dogma and propagandistic acceptance of our "American" way of life.
I put American in quotation marks because that way of life in which I remember growing up, that which surrounded us in the '50's as represented in old shows like "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father Knows Best," "Andy and Opie," though idealized, was in its innocence far less stressful than today.
In this heated political climate where we are quick to shout out names like "Liar" to the President, where the news channels are all owned by just a few corporations, where our society is so polarized politically that all areas of our lives are being eroded by a partisan world view, from religion to education and lifestyle, as well as that which we use for self identity, we are all losers. Our world becomes more and more self limiting, narrower and defeatist.
I have been withdrawn from political debate, social debate, religious debate, racial debate, economic debate and all those activities involved therein out of the sense of helplessness created by our focus on consumerism created by big business, from their pursuit of the bottom line and its "health"
And by the amount of money flowing into politics from Big Business, from foreign governments and foreign individuals, from religious institutions all buying their way into power by the purchase of our politicians. Nay! By the purchase of our Government, our Country. This film, a documentary, so clearly paints one picture of how we got to here, from that less divided, more idealistic, but more harmonious way of life we experienced in the 50's.
One thing I noticed...
I grew up mainly overseas and watched history unfold from a more objective "next door" back yard. And when I came back the steam rollers had such momentum that I felt smothered and unable to have any effect, as more and more of my "friends" became individual authorities on every subject imaginable as they watched more and more reality based TV programming and saw themselves as smart or smarter, as good or better with no one to tell them that they were poorly educated at best having learned all they know from television... and unwilling to accept another's opinion or knowledge, happily knowing and satisfied that they were an expert too.
This occurring at the same time as the dumbing down of society in our school systems from the earliest classes through high school through college and on into "society". How could you turn this Titanic from its course of self destruction when nobody would stop to look for icebergs? All of the lying and propaganda from our governmental leaders over the years, from our religious leaders, from our schools, from just about every institution that led us down this path as well. All of our authority figures proved to us their ignorance, letting each of us become experts in all things worldly. Well, and not so worldly. And big money bought out our way of life.
But each of us knows better, with our own differing limitations, than the next person. We have all lost our sense of humilty. Our eigth grade Civics and World History classes imparting full wisdom and knowledge enabling us to know better than the next. When was the last time anyone dared to say to you, "What? That is a really dumb statement!" Political correctness being more heavily valued than education.
And elsewhere in this world?
And I wonder about the rest of this big blue marble on which we live and depend on each other... Do people in other lands suffer this same or a similar self destructive course? For it is all about self. And responsibility. Multi national corporations larger than most governments own and control more than just our own institutions, influence societies other than American, create the destinies and redistribute the wealth of family's other than the ones who just live within our boarders.