Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just Call Me Pollyanna

As I sit here and read the news, and get disgusted about 99% of it, I think about Ebenezer Scrooge in The Christmas Carol. Boiled down, the story is about a nasty, grasping man, who is transformed when he is forced to "see" a few things, like what people have said or are saying about him, including his former business partners and his current relatives. He also gets to look directly into the lives of those who are less fortunate, specifically his long-suffering, but loyal employee and his unfortunate son, Tiny Tim.

Scrooge is easily a stereotype of today's right-wing nutter, government entity or corporate behemoth. The spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge is in the hearts of the owners of a US contracting company in Iraq who got caught duping poor laborers in 3rd-world countries and actually enslaving them and bringing them to work in Iraq to help build our engorged US Embassy. It's in the hearts of Wal-Mart owners and management as they pretend to "green" the company while in fact their carbon footprint has grown since 2006. Wal-Mart's Scrooge also actively blocks the unionizing efforts of its employees and purposely has more part-time jobs than full-time, so they can avoid giving benefits like health care coverage to the part-timers. Wal-Mart's Scrooge crushes the independent mom-and-pop retailers, the foundation of America's "land of opportunity" image. Those whose businesses have closed can rest assured that they and their children can get a job right away as a part-time cashier or stock person, with no benefits. Yay! Ebenezer exists in the hearts of Republican presidential candidates who purposely refuse to take part in Hispanic, Black or LGBT debates or political conferences, giving a clear message to those Americans that their votes are meaningless. Well, as a matter of fact, those Americans just don't exist.

It's just greed and coldheartedness with a new name and address.

Unlike the story, today's Ebenezers don't really care what people are saying about them. So, Marley in Chains would be wasting precious Christmas Eve time by dragging them to listen in on Progressive blogs or, well, a majority of American voters. If they ain't listening now, they ain't gonna listen ever.

I think the evolution of Scrooge can only occur if someone Scrooge knows personally is abused or suffers in some way. The vast majority of the current Bush administration, Congress and the Senate has never been in a war. None (or very few) of their kids are in the war either. So, when American soldiers die, it's just a statistic to them. Ebenezers laugh or sneer at the homeless, at sub-prime mortgage holders, at the unemployed, at the mentally ill. They also ignore wounded veterans. They think depression is a weakness, that Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a made-up illness. "Get a job! Get over it! Survival of the Fittest!" Oh, and my favorite, "Find Jesus!"

I know people who, out of anger and frustration and not knowing any better, have said, "I think we should just drop a bomb on the entire Middle East and kill all those fucking rag heads." That's because the image of the Middle East that is painted on American TV shows a lot of sub-machine-gun-toting, dress-wearing, turbaned, angry men. Al Jazeera is blocked from American TV sets (you know, America, the land of open press and all), so Americans can't see that there are women walking around in designer clothes, there are art galleries and fine restaurants and BMWs. I was talking to my brother the other day and mentioned that there is a large population of Christians in the Middle East, in Iraq specifically. "There are?" he said. He was shocked.

In their fanatical pursuit of their own Jihad, America's fundamentalist Christians have been blinded into killing and displacing Iraqis as if they are on some sacred mission, as if those they kill or those whose lives they ruin forever, are just animals, and not worthy of a single thought. Onward, you fucking Christian soldiers.

I want so much for every Scrooge in the world, to be dragged by the ghost of Marley, through the past, present and future of each human being that they have ignored, laughed at or derided. I want them to be transformed by the experience. I want them to deeply know what that guy named Jesus supposedly said, according to some other guy named Mathew (keeping in mind that these were just guys, and guys have been known to be unreliable.): As you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me.

Maybe then the world would change. Maybe then the energy and focus would shift towards activities of peace and preservation, kindness and cooperation, versus war, and destruction, coldheartedness and dominance.

Just call me Pollyanna.


BillyWarhol said...

Awesome Post*

i agree with all yer excellent Points*

especially the Bush + his Brainwashed Flock of Christian Fundamentalist Taliban-like Evangelical Religious Zealots!!

Like U i never gave a Shit about Politics or Religion til Bush came to Power!

Now I am fully engaged in seeing Bush Impeached + the Christian Fundamentalists driven outta Power*

That stoopid Mofo Bush woke me up to!!!!!



Mauigirl said...

I'm late commenting here but am just catching up - this is an excellent post and I so agree with you.