One of my former students shared a short video clip of Senator John McCain apparently participating in a don’t ask don’t tell hearing. I won’t post a link, but it was played on Comedy Central and the word Zen was in the title.
So, here we are with a failing economy, two very expensive wars, the most costly health care system in the world, five people seeking work for every open job and we have to agonize over what constitutes gay behavior!
One of the reasons people are encouraged to become educated is to learn how to ask questions. Such as “Why does our society have to be so testosterone driven?” Why do we accept the notion that every person you encounter should be evaluated for their potential as a sexual partner? I think one of the reasons marriage was created by society was the idea that responsible people, especially males, should be able to keep their pants on in most social situations and in the workplace. Rape is considered a crime, and rightly so.
Another thing that I think we accept but probably shouldn’t is an obsession with the financial system. First you hear a news item (politics, technology, etc.) then the seemingly automatic followup news item is how it affects the stock market — short term effects in particular. That is an example of your tax dollars (my scholarship money) at work. I was able to use affect and effect in the same sentence.
Money was invented as a convenience. Carrying around goods for barter is hard work. So here we are obsessing on something that actually has no physical reality (those paper dollars and metal coins represent wealth, an intangible quality), while using it as an excuse to tear into the environment, use up non-renewable resources, and other practices which are threats to the planet where we live.
I suspect that as long as we wait around for growth to solve all our problems, we will continue to be disappointed. We have been counting on instability for financial gain. It is like surfing, great fun while the ride lasts but it comes to an end and often a quite dramatic one. What is probably more worthy is seeking steady state or a dynamic equilibrium. Apparently these scientific concepts don’t seem to have caught on with the financial community.
Another thing I found on FB this morning was a story about how budget cuts at the state level were resulting in cutting programs in the humanities at state colleges and universities. Why should we expect short term profits from what is basic infrastructure for society to function?
Since we seem to have abandoned some important concepts of religion (such as charity to the poor), new dogma arises to fill the gap. Perhaps we should invent a Dogmatometer. For example, while watching a video of proceedings of congress, there would be a beep or a tiny flag waving when someone is reciting dogma as opposed to being rational. An example would be when someone advocates lowering taxes as a way to solve budget deficits. I have to give them credit though, must be hard saying that while keeping a straight face.
OK, rant over…
Guess a reason I stay on Facebook is that the juxtaposition of status messages is so interesting.