The Winter Olympics - Passivity When There Should Be Outrage
The Olympic torch has passed hand to hand up Vancouver Island. Crowds gather by the thousands and cheer the spectacle. Nothing wrong with this display, in principle, if the Olympics was a voluntary effort. But we, the citizen, are stuck with a bill for an estimated $6 billion. (How bout a tee shirt saying "$6 billion and all I get is this lousy torch?) Meanwhile people lie in the streets for lack of housing and the Children's Festival was canceled, since the govt would not come up with the measly $40,000 due to cut-backs. $6 billion in corporate welfare to the mass media, construction and real estate industries, cut-backs on the real needs. Critics such as ORN and NO2010 are condemned by this same media with all the deceitfulness, pompousness and arrogance that the propaganda machine can churn out. And the masses – or at least a high percentage of them, rejoice. Where is their outrage about being doubly robbed by the government and the corporations it whores for?
At the same time people this spectacle runs on,are lining up by the thousands to get their swine flu shots. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent by the government on this corporate-made vaccine. Swine flu is the direct result of corporate "factory farming". The corporations create the problem, and the corporations make money off correcting it. The people in those line-ups ought to be jumping up and down with anger that their lives have been threatened by a corporate-greed produced virus.
Taking an airplane flight is a totalitarian nightmare of humiliation and degradation worthy of Orwell's 1984. Terrorism is the result of US meddling in the Middle East. The obvious solution to terrorism on aircraft is to eliminate its cause, that is cease the meddling. But people seem to put up with this – even though less are flying – and there does not seem to be any ground swell of anger directed at the true cause of terrorism and the resulting degrading procedures at the airport.
Are today's problems so overwhelming that people have just decided to swallow the Kool Aid? Is the ability to make changes now so limited that people have given up?
Before sinking into despair, I would like to point out that today's passivity is different from that which existed during my childhood in the 1950's. Back then people believed in the system and gladly accepted what was done to them in the name of progress, democracy and free enterprize. They might go along today, but they go along sullenly. The crowds cheer the Olympic torch, but I suspect many do in the spirit of an editorial in our local paper which said, yes, we are paying a fortune for it, the govt is cutting back on essential services, but it is there and we might as well have good time with it. Essentially,"we are getting screwed anyway, we may as well enjoy it."
If hope for a better life can be re-introduced to the mass of ordinary people, perhaps this sullenness can be turned into positive action, like it has at other times in our history.