Tuesday, June 8, 2010


What has happened to us?  We live in a world where people scoff at idealism and honour and truth. "Everyone" lies. Only little children and fools and religious die-hards think that, perhaps there is reason to be honest and truthful and keep our promises, care for others, share our abundance, be kind - dare to really love.
The shocking thing about our contemporary values is that most people accept them. The "civilized" world - and I use that term facetiously - looks to Hollywood and New York and Washington for its standards.
During an American election, one of so many peroxide blondes who all look alike, Paris Hilton - whoever she is - is quoted as saying, " If I were president, I could talk the foreign countries into getting along and they would really like me and I would throw great parties at the White House."
Vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, bragged that she could see Russia from her house on U.S. territory. Perhaps she meant from her vantage point while shooting helpless animals from a helicopter. And this person could actually become president of the United States and hold millions of lives in her hands!
Masses of North Americans look to such "celebrities" for their values. The popular media whose primary raison d'etre is profit, focus on such people and dictate what we buy, what we watch, what we eat, what we think and who we vote for.
Most television advertisements demonstrate how people should steal food from each other  - even from their own children - or buy bigger and faster cars or redesign their bodies. Very few companies present evidence that their products are safer, more effective, less harmful to the environment - to the future of our descendents. It is always about crushing your neighbours, your friends  - and even your own children. It is the law of the jungle in our time. And the winner is … Mommy who just stole her little girl's glass of Lactantia milk  ! So Leggo my Eggo!" !.
So when did we lose Camelot? Did we ever have it? Of course not. Human beings have always been savages in a process of evolution. It is always about survival of the fittest, the richest, the most brutal, the most clever, the most vocal, the most daring, the coldest, the cruelest.
The idealists, the seekers after truth, the just, the tender, the romantics, the true believers, the intellectuals, the writers, the artists, the singers and the poets tell the story again and again throughout history, but only a precious few listen to them and hear.
I was raised on the movies of the 1940's. The good guys wore the white hats and the bad guys wore the black shirts and we knew who was good and who was evil. And at the end of each film, we knew the good guys would win and we left the theatre uplifted, hopeful, inspired. I was moved to rescue  stray puppies and featherless birds that fell in my path. My father was an honest, hard-working man. We were not wealthy, but I was moved to take tap dancing lessons and theatre arts and opera lessons and to paint and write poetry and letters promoting social justice. The images I saw and the messages I heard instilled such values that permeate my life.
What do young people see and hear today?  Slaughter, crashing metal, gushing blood, charming villains in fine suits who pat you on the back and then stab you in the back. Raw sex leaving nothing to the imagination, nothing sweet and romantic, nothing loving or respectful. They spit in the eye of love. These are the images of our time.
If we don't wake up and change the trajectory of this insane locomotive we are on, I dread to imagine the future.
I am so grateful to my father who took me to those movies where I absorbed idealism. I know that the actors were not saints in real life, but on the screen, they demonstrated the ideal and I bought it. I was misled into a perfect world - "Camelot" - and I became the dream as well as the dreamer. I am in denial of the world around me. I reject the ugly realities. But I am fully and acutely aware of them. I am aware of them, and I fight against them with everything that is in me. Call me Don Quixote. Call me Scrapper. Call me a fool. I don't mind. I believe in Camelot, anyway.
I look to the words of brilliant people for inspiration:
Good philosophers,  like eagles, fly alone and not  in flocks.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King  Jr,
He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth,
Makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.
Charles Peguy
Poet, Essayist , Editor,
France 1873-1914
In an unjust society, only the oppressed are innocent.
John Dominic Crossan
This above all, to thine own self be true: It follows as the night the day,
Thou cans't not then be false to anyone.
Wiilliam Shakespeare
The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Edmond Burke
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
Attributed to Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson
If I am not for myself, who is for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when ?
Rabbi Hillel
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Expose the deeds of Darkness
Ephesians 5:11
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
Frederick Douglass
Justice, only justice shalt thou pursue
Deuteronomy 16:20
Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
Pick the right heroes.
Warren Buffet
The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.
The Prophet Muhammad - 570 - 632
Arabian, b. Mecca - 'The Sayings of Muhammad' by Sir Abdullah Suhrawardy
If you're going through hell,
Keep going !
Sir Winston Churchill

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