Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rant, Rant, Clap, Clap

In the 1960s "original" Star Trek—moral compass of Baby Boomers everywhere—Captain Kirk and his swashbuckling crew railed against a society that had one class of people living in the clouds and another class mining under ground with no hope of a better life. Feisty landing parties destroyed computers that ruled entire societies, because people were meant to determine their own destinies. Federation officers talked their way out of enslavement and generally spread an obnoxiously American dogma of freedom for all. Thus, my unrealistic expectations were set.

Today, there are two classes of people in the U.S. One class lives in the clouds of tax dodges, trust funds and leisure while an underclass is working harder and earning less and less without much hope of anything better. Computers have graciously stepped in to make our lives "easier" but at the price of enslaving us to cubicles and to 24/7 smartphones. Those CPUs have even supplanted meddling mothers as intermediaries to socializing. Every day, it seems like more and more things in the world are falling under the tight control of forces that are motivated by power and profit rather than freedom for all.

Where is Captain Kirk when we need him?
Genetics: the Devil's playground?

I do not like Monsanto meddling with the genetics of my food, but the company is doing so anyway, with most corn and soy products sold in this country now being of genetically modified origin. Alfalfa is next and can salmon be far behind? Their maniacal scientists mix the genes of miscellaneous plants and/or animals with our food, in an FDA-approved reenactment of the Island of Dr. Moreau (I’m talking the 1977 version with Burt Lancaster, not the 1996 remake).

Dr. Paul Moreau: How does a cell become enslaved to a form, to a destiny it can never change? Can we change that destiny?
Andrew Braddock: Should we?

Good question, Braddock (aka, Michael York). Apparently, the answer is yes if you can make billions of dollars doing it.

Maria, from Metropolis. I know just how she feels.
I want renewable energy for my house and car, but they are too expensive for the average person to afford. Instead, I can only watch how wonderful they are on Green Channel television where millionaires like Ed Begley are doing state-of-the-art things to their homes that most of us couldn’t afford without knocking over a bank. Hey, Ed, stop panting over the technology for a moment and see if you can’t invent a way for the rest of us to get affordable access to it.

It would be nice to work freelance without horrendous health insurance costs and self-employment taxes. Unless you have a partner who is working full-time for a company that supplies discounted health insurance, it is challenging to afford working on your own. It is as if our healthcare system and government are conspiring to make sure we have no choice but enslavement to a lumbering corporate entity out of the 1926 movie classic, Metropolis.

Freder: It was their hands that built this city of ours, Father. But where do the hands belong in your scheme?
Joh Frederson: In their proper place, the depths.

Even then, people knew that the average person was nothing more than fodder for the upper class.

Okay, lots of whining here. So what do I want, anyway?

I want Monsanto to keep their genetically soiled hands off of my food so I don’t grow an eye on the side of my neck. I want our government to build good public transportation including high-speed trains and monorails. I want cars that run on anything other than gasoline so people in the Middle East no longer have to complain about our presence there, and so I will not be subject to gas prices driven by oil speculators every time I fill my car. I want public utilities to outfit homes and businesses with solar and wind power, just as they so graciously hooked us all up to electric, gas and oil. I want the U.S. Congress to take a cut in their bloated salaries ($174,000/year as of 2011; $193,400 for minority/majority leaders; $233,500 for Speaker of the House) and from their up-to-80%-of-salary retirement pensions as a show of solidarity with what the rest of us have to endure.

That’s right. I want a Disney movie. Let’s get the Blue Fairy out here to take care of business. If she needs some backup, then the Fairy Godmother and Tinkerbell can drag their sorry butts out of their celluloid happy endings to help get this world in gear. Afghanistan, Wall Street, Congress, Monsanto and our melting globe could all use a little fairy dust just about now. Maybe… if we all... just...  clap our hands….


  1. Don't you also just love watching those home improvement shows where everything is beautifully renovated with a "budget of just $2,000"? Oh, sure - honey, that's just for the materials! What about the labor cost of the electrician, painters, contractors, and interior designers??? It's a racket. I love Ed Begley, Jr. I'd be very green, too, if I had money. Money is very green. :-) Thus sayeth Jo.

  2. The $2000 home makeovers remind me of how Scooby Doo solves cartoon mysteries with a flashlight and a paperclip.

  3. Is really funny the way you compare them as genetic chain, is truth that some changes in tv shows have been horrible.. and i wonder why they keep doing like that... people don't like it, at least the ones who watched the old show.