Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Moment

Is this the moment the paradigm shifts?

We’ve thought this before. We’re usually wrong, at least in my lifetime. We see a moment, Los Angeles on fire, fury in Ferguson, women on the streets, protestors chanting “I can’t breathe” in cities across the country. But the moment passes. We leave Charlottesville, Trump Tower, Baltimore. We return to our devices, games, Netflix obsession, our comforts, our almond lattes, our gluten-free oatmeal, our consumerism. We are the Amys, not the Karens.

Is this even real? Who are these guys with umbrellas? The instigators systematically breaking windows, their eyes devoid of fury, anti-Soros conspiracies fueling their methods? Has the shit stirred up by online bots spilled over into physical life?

"Somebody hold my blunt."

I was too young to understand the late sixties, the fury on city streets contrasted with the Cold War-fueled space race. You’ll believe a man can fly. Only white men with access to advanced degrees, of course. The street-based fury hadn’t reached the upper echelons of power yet. The outcome of those
times is murky and unclear. Did the pain of Newark give way to a generation fueled on Sesame Street and Free to Be, You and Me? Or did America just grow tired and get back to work, its routine struggle keeping citizens busy with tenant farmer-style lives while the kings grew richer, eventually becoming personal superpowers, the impossible one percent, their wealth in sharp contrast to lives defined by access to healthcare and the pursuit of rent.

This time feels…different. Two out of three branches of democracy as well as many local governments have been corrupted by America’s original sin. We laugh at the buffoons with guns prancing around demanding access to haircuts and bars. But is this just the absurd face of a sinister movement, or is this a threat to democracy? Is there even any democracy left? Generations bought into the compromise of the Electoral College, which is at its most innocuous, undemocratic, and at its worst, the loophole that keeps the kings safe from the unwashed masses. That’s us. In case you think you’re a king, you’re not a king. You’re a tenant farmer who will never be a king. Your farm might be more-or-less successful than your neighbor’s, but you’re not a king. At most, you’re a fancy farmer. An organic farmer in a world of Roundup.

Do the farmers burn their own fields to hurt the king? Or do the king’s soldiers sneak in under cover of night to burn the fields so the king can kick the farmers out now that they’ve started a union? How does the Plague factor into the lives of tenant famers?

Is this the moment the paradigm shifts?

Somebody hold my blunt.

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