Saturday, September 30, 2006

hmmm... i have many things running through my head today. i have been mulling over what a very close friend said to me after i emailed her railing at the recent legislation- that i knew was coming but wanted to hold out hope wasn't. she said- and i paraphrase- we have the government that reflects us. she also said that we need to do more than just talk about stuff- and that we should make changes in our own lives in order to make changes that impact our world. so- i have been thinking about that- because my knee jerk reaction was- 'nuh uh' this government doesn't reflect me. i have been working hard to make a difference. probably true- but obviously what i have been doing hasn't worked. yes, i have kept many of you- and myself- entertained and inspired. to do what? not sure. this is going to be a bit disjointed- i am sure. i am more into a stream of consciousness thing right now. so- my heart is heavy.

my heart is heavy with the burden of mourning. they say that there are like 7 stages of grief- and i don't know what they all are- but i am sure i have felt every one. my heart is grieving for america. as i think about it- i am not sure i know exactly when america ceased to exist in more than name only. when the people of america became selfish and complacent- and affluent. yes- we have more 'lord of the manner' wannabes than anywhere else. this has caused quite a problem here- folks living beyond their means- maxing out credit cards- consumerism and the like. it has also caused folks to hire out jobs that they don't want to take the time to do or don't want to do- lawn work, housekeeping, raising children, running the people's government. you get the idea. so when my friend said to me- we have the government that reflects us- it clicked. i was raised old school. i still iron my husband's shirts because i can't reconcile the idea that i should pay someone to do it- since i am able bodied and can. (fyi- mr. betmo tried to iron and it was a disaster. we try to play to each other's strengths- and that wasn't his)

so- i was ironing the other day listening to a bit of mozart and chopin- nothing in the world more beautiful than a chopin nocturne- unless it's anything written by mozart. i thought about how many americans have never experienced the sheer beauty of music. i mean real music- not pop culture music. they are too entirely different things and each has their place and merit. i mean listening to the strings and the winds play together in harmony and trading melodies. it really lifts your soul. anyway- i started thinking about how base and vulgar our culture is. now- i am not being an elitist here. our landscape is littered with the same generic strip malls and stores whether you are in omaha or boston. doesn't matter- you can always find an applebee's or wal-mart. you won't find homeade cookies in a mom and pop store so much. all of my furniture is pre-fab. why? it's cheap. but i digress. so- what do you get when you put together a sense of entitlement, coarse and vulgar culture, and more money than sense?

the idea that this week's congressional legislation is ok. yes- that's right- there are people in this country who feel that it is just fine that our government has lied, cheated, stolen, blackmailed, threatened, invaded sovereign nations, murdered, imprisoned, tortured, etc.- in the name of america. there are folks in this country who feel that the news only reports the bad stuff and that there should be more reports on good stuff. there is no good stuff. we, the people, lack integrity and common sense. we, the people, have decided to give up our rights as american citizens so that we don't have to be bothered with the responsibility of keeping ourselves safe. we, the people, have ceded our country to despots- and in doing so- we have ceased to be america.

reagan talked about america as a 'shining city on a hill.' america was the ideal, the standard bearer of democracy for the world. we embraced refugees and immigrants from the far reaches of the globe- and people wanted to be like us because we stood for something. we didn't have to force 'democracy' on anyone because people wanted freedom. they wanted what we had- they were hungry for it. apparently, americans are full. if you can set aside the constitution so easily because of fear, then you don't really want your freedoms. many americans from franklin on up have said that far more eloquently than i- but it is true nevertheless. you have the olbermanns, the stewarts, the colberts, and more out there daily- i said daily- saying the things that we should have been shouting since day one. we listen- and then go about our daily lives without it causing a ripple. for those folks who don't think that the legislation willlbe used against americans- i simply say- i never thought we would be having a discussion about torture and indefinite detention either. not in america.

so- i am in mourning. i mourn for my america- full of flaws and mistakes but also full of hope. i don't have that anymore. because too many of my fellow countrymen don't want my america.


shawn (aka blogstud) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shawn (aka blogstud) said...

Oops, typo in the previous post.

I know how hard it is, but try not to give up hope. If you give up hope, you might stop caring, and if you stop caring, you might stop trying to make a difference.

Whether you know it or not, and I think you do know it, you make a difference. Your blog touches many people and therefore, so does your wisdom.

We have to hope that the Supreme Court will handle this. They did last time. That is why we have to keep making noise--a lot of noise.

That is also why we absoulutely must elect a Democrat in 2008. I know I have said it before, but I want everyone to grasp the urgency here.

I think one reason so many of the justices, even Republican appointees like Kennedy, are holding on, is because they do not want to see the court shift any more to the right. They will not be able to hold on six more years, though.

The Dems better get real serious real quick about finding someone who can win in 08, or we are all screwed.

Keep your chin up.

moonlitetwine said...

Dear betmo,
Thanks for stopping at my blog.

About your most recent blog entry: Been there. It was late summer, 2000. Quite a few of us here in the Midwest felt it. For most of them, the date would be between '97 & '99.

Sorry to naysayers, but 9/11 was no surprise. Christian/Muslim relations were at an all time low.

Here in the Heartland, we have the opportunity to be absorbant and reflective. Stop the belly from being hungry, and you stop the beast. That's my opinion.

Grief is personal. I hope you will soon find comfort, such as shawn's offer. Also, please remember one thing in all of this. People of one mind will find commonality. We must look to all people the world over. This is the destiny of our current condition in the US.

I learned this a couple of years ago. Someone from another country called me a hypocrite. I could hardly believe it, as I work so hard for truth. But, perhaps I am in a swell of swine doo-doo, crying loudly, complaining about the mire surrounding me. Perhaps other places live so far outside, that they are like the prince in some Disney movie, needing to cut through a mile of thorny vines and fight a monster of disguise in order to have one glimpse of an average American. It made me very, very sad, cuz I thought the foreigner and I were close friends. We weren't, it seems. He tolerated me and found me to be disgusting.

Obob said...

I cannot agree with you more that people to do listen to enough classical music. I force my stduents and my daughters to listen to the great composers. My oldest loves Puccini's Aria.
And my sudents I play the "what cartoon did you hear that piece in?" game.
I blame my beloved Music Appreciation teacher in high school, may Larry Everhart rest in piece as he plays with Ludwig Van.

Frederick said...

I am more informed, and more likely to engage people I meet day-to-day, because of blogging. I make an impact on everyone I talk to, and that's how I know blogging isn't a waste of time. We will win America back.

Peacechick Mary said...

The body is still breathing! Help is on the way. This will be turned around and the greatest majority of people in this country think the same. Don't give up. We need you and your kindness and intelligence. I do know how you feel - it's like we took a bullet, but we are just grazed and will rise up to fight.

sandy said...

I know there's a lot to be depressed about, but I sure hope you continue writing. I've learned a lot about what is going on from your posts and links to others. As you know, Im involved in my own battle... but your blog has made me realize that so many smaller injustices are a symptom of a greater problem in this country - greed.

carbunclefrank said...

five weeks to go betmo..........hang in there. If you dont see the REAL America rise by then, you will really have something to worry about. Til then, it's too early to mourn. Assuming your students are old enought to know some of the things going on in our political system today, why dont you have them write an essay of what they would do if they were in charge. Maybe they will surprise you by expressing their discontent with the current situation we are in, and suggest the very change you're hoping for.....after all; they are our future, aren't they? I predict the Democrats will get a mandate from the American people in November to stop King George in his tracks. We did it during Nam, we sure as hell can do it during Iraq

Human said...

Wish I could say something ta cheer u up.
I can't. I feel the sameway.

On the subject of music, thanks to my Mom I was exposed to classical.

We had singing class in school when I was a kid. Of all my nephews and niece, not one attended such a class.


Chuck said...

"...too many of my fellow countrymen don't want my america"

Don't you worry betmo. There are more of US than THEM! Think about what our ancestors were up against in 1776. We've all got each other.

charlie said...

"... what do you get when you put together a sense of entitlement, coarse and vulgar culture, and more money than sense?"

This is perhaps the essence of your post and it is certainly a view of America shared by non-Americans. That view is, largely, wrong, I feel, but it is widely held nonetheless. You have in your country a peculiar mixture of prevailing idioms where the bloated rich, the religious-minded, the lawyer and Hollywood hold sway. A heady brew.

I'll be over there in November and will write a book about your country in due course. The nation is so full of strains and stresses I can hear it groaning from across the Atlantic. I'd like to be optimistic about the USA, but I can't be. I love Americans but I'm not so sure I love the nation.

Most outsiders would say this to you: listen to us!

betmo said...

charlie- i am listening- and if i knew what to do- i would be begging for you all to help us. help the people who can see what is happening. at this point- i don't know what you all 'outsiders' could do- except believe in us. believe in the people who want to save the idea and nation that america was once.

charlie said...

Well, here's one thing you Americans can do, betmo: stop believing in things. Stop believing in the garbage pumped out by Hollywood and TV; stop believing in 'this nation under God'; stop believing in gods; stop believing in the efficacy of the law, of rules, of regulations, of fads and bullshit; stop believing you are going to be rich forever and that throwing money at human problems can solve them; stop believing in 'America' and then, perhaps, you might become a force for good once more. I believe in you, I really do. I believe in you as individuals and in your essential values, but I don't believe in the snake oil I've seen dished out by the countless gallons in my previous visits to the States.

Stop 'believing' and look at the evidence both inside your nation and in the rest of the world.

And good luck!

betmo said...

charlie- luckily i don't believe in many of those things. perhaps i am waxing nostalgic for something that never was. i believe in treating fellow humans with basic human dignity. i believe that everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. i believe that human beings can be spiritual beings without the bullshit of religion. sadly, many of my fellow americans believe in the crap that is being pumped out of the machine.

charlie said...

And if those people are in the majority, there is no hope. But good luck anyway and long may views like yours persist.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it betmo, but this image of a grand America that you speak of is just that, an image, an illusion. The way you describe America today, is the way it has always been. America is about class, and one class controlling the others. Always has been , always will be, until the lower classes, or the working classes if you will, stop towing the line and force the big business interests that run America to relinquish power. Easier said than done. Nothing short of a revolution will cure America. It has been a few hundred years in the making.

So I disagree with Blogstud when he says that the Dems will save us. They never have before and they will not in 2008. We need change from the grassroots. Drastic change. We need the citizens to act like citizens and take control of a government run amok.

How? You tell me. I have moved to Malaysia because I don’t really like living in America. I hate Applebees and Walmart, although they have followed me here.