Friday, July 2, 2010
America's Hot Mess
On June 30, 2010, I boarded a friendly Virgin America flight in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and turned on my in-flight tunes to The Pretenders. As the plane took off over the Atlantic only to circle back across Florida to cross the Gulf of Mexico, I looked down to see the oil spread and spreading as far as the eye could see from 25,000 feet and growing. Just then, the song "How Much Did You Get For Your Soul" came on. It seemed appropriate considering the audacity and arrogance of the oil industry - not just BP - for having the wherewithall to drill oil without the technology in place to react to a LEAK of this magnitude.
The plane shook in the cloudy atmosphere, as did the core of my being as I watched the light of the setting sun illuminating the brown-yellow-black irridescence encroaching onto OUR SHORES. It was like witnessing a slow death without a cure at hand.
It further seemed symbolic that we were entering a clouded sky so that it quickly disappeared out of sight, but not out of mind as many would have it. Such is the physical malaise of America today that we have been put on our knees before the corporate/industrial/war powers that be who have continually neglected our outcries and frustrations. Of course in the row in front of me, someone had opted to watch an episode of "The Jersey Shore" which depicts over-privileged, ill-mannered, self-centered consumers - mainly women - with no self-respect who create petty spectale by cat-fighting. Such adds to the haze in which we find ourselves while things that actually matter go ignored.
Although the plane continued to shake as it persevered west, it rose above the horizon of the gray storm line - and so can we. Survival will not come in the form of tuning out or giving up. Rather, on the route to progress and rejeuvenation, the uphill battle must be pursued with mindfulness. We can pretend no further that we are above the sludge in which we (collectively) find ourselves.
Don't let your mind turn to mush - be the influence!