We are useful idiots

This is one of the things that has been bothering me about this whole episode, that it isn’t JUST the NSA/CIA/FBI doing all this spying.It is the collusion between them and corporate America, and the lapdog media, that is truly undermining our country and depriving us of our rights. Rights that now, they are trying to convince us, we never really had in the first place – that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are just a useful illusion. From their point of view, the only rights we truly have are the ones they choose, in their eminent wisdom, to allow us to have.

And so what do we do? Nothing. We take to Twitter, and Facebook, find amusing pictures of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, or whatever, post snarky, witty little slogans on them and let it go at that. Then we go on to be distracted by our devices and look for the latest celebrity news, or funny and/or shocking story, to divert us until we are momentarily provoked by another outrage. Then the moment passes.

Meanwhile, the people of Syria, of Brazil, of Turkey, of Egypt, put us to shame with the seriousness with which they express their outrage. They take up arms, or take to the streets, in (sometimes misguided, admittedly) efforts to express their discontent, and make it something tangible, something real that their governments can’t help but notice. In the case of Egypt, they may want to be careful what they pray for, so to speak. The choice between ruled by a radical Islamist government and being ruled by a military cabal is not much of a choice at all. But, the point is, they are DOING something. Putting their very lives on the line, in some cases for years now, to take to the streets, squares and parks and give voice to their views.

Can we draw from their example? I have my doubts. We have forgotten that the streets, parks, and squares belong to US. That we have ceded control of these things, or in some cases had them taken away from us, but we can always take them back. One of the most interesting photos I have seen from the past couple of weeks in Brazil was one of a factory producing HUNDREDS of masks resembling the one worn by V in V for Vendetta. That movie was just OK, but its effects have been astonishing. Maybe at first we’ll have to wear the masks, to avoid being singled out, separated and individually crushed. But in time, if enough of us take to the streets, wearing masks or not, we can realize and take action on the fact that the true power resides in US. That whatever power we think we don’t have is only because we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that we have ceded it, for good reasons, to a larger force which has our best interests at heart. This is a LIE, and maybe, hopefully, enough of us are beginning to become aware that we are constantly being lied to that we can begin to leave that way of thinking behind and move toward a way of living together that allows all of us to realize our full potential. Maybe.