The world seems so whacked right now. And yet, every day I wake up, go to work, walk the dogs, and check my inbox— only to get distracted by amazing deals on leggings… Remember when we wore real pants? Remember when our president knew how government worked? Remember when WTF meant Welcome to Fruita?
I can’t help but wonder if we’re being punk’d by aliens right now, and pretty soon the cosmic Ashton Kutcher will show up with his sideways hat and goofy grin. For those of us born before 1980, it’s like we’re living in a global episode of Candid Camera; every now and then I stop to look around, trying to decipher which innocent bystanders are actually paid actors.
Congress is either in on it, or completely oblivious; what a freak show! (No disrespect to any old-time bearded ladies still working on their act.) No question our multi-generation-monied legislators are out of touch when it comes to the basics: food, water, shelter, and healthcare, but they’ll catch up soon— remember, the French aristocrats didn’t see it coming either. How many democrats have announced they’re running for president?! Why are they doing exactly what the republicans did last time? None of it really matters anyway, because if we don’t find a candidate who motivates the Millennials to vote, we’ll be stuck with the Trumpster for another four years.
Trump epitomizes the zero-sum game; it doesn’t matter if he wins, as long as we lose. I don’t think he has ever truly suffered the consequences of his actions, and maybe that’s why the aliens chose him as lead actor in their prank. He’s pretty unconscionable. It would be a relief to find out someone else is calling the shots, because otherwise this is on all of us. This virus of boorish narcissism that seems to be spreading around the globe won’t end well. But then, democracies never do…
“Democracy has never been, and never can be so desirable as aristocracy or monarchy, but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There has never been a democracy that did not commit suicide.” –John Adams
Of course, we’re not a democracy, not really. We are: a republic, an oligarchy, a monarchy with money as our king. Whatever we are, the good news is that it does feel as though we are speeding towards a demise of sorts, a revolution. The old guard being pushed aside to let a new generation of thinkers, believers, and investors try their hands at the poker table of industry. And I’m all for letting the new guy have a seat at the table, the guy with innovative ideas and never before seen prototypes… as long as he’s not a charlatan.
So, maybe that is the objective of this alien sociological experiment, to prove that humans can learn from previous mistakes and gain perspective with each go-round; effectively ending our two-party-one-target system. I can’t help but see parallels between today’s representatives and the court of Marie Antoinette— and not just because they all look like they’ve been molded out of cream cheese. There is an ostrich arrogance among the privileged people in this country. As if everyone has the opportunity, but some of us lack the grit/gusto to get out there and make it happen. In other words, “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” except they don’t notice how many don’t even have shoes.
A society where 1% of the population holds more wealth than the lower 90% won’t— can’t last. Maybe that’s their point, the aliens, I mean. They want to help us realize that until we treat each other with equality and respect, humans will not be eligible for universal recognition. If there is democracy in space, no way will we be invited to the table until we start sharing (instead of hoarding) our resources. We have to get past the squabbling hubris and greed, and learn to take care of each other, before we can be taken seriously as a planet, as a people.