The Land of Pretenders

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

America has become a land of pretenders.  Most Americans decided long ago to quit caring and became pretenders, they became happy idiots in happy idiot land. They decided to struggle for the legal tender, to become part of the machine, to exist in their consumer homes on their consumer streets in their consumer towns, sitting on their consumer asses on their consumer couches, watching their consumer tv’s, where the ads take aim, and lay their claim, to the heart and the soul of the spender.

They decided to believe in whatever may lie, in those things that money can buy. They decided to do whatever they’re told to do, to buy whatever they’re told to buy, to watch whatever they’re told to watch, to fight whoever they’re told to fight, to consume and consume and then consume some more until they die and consume a six foot deep hole in the ground.        

Are you there?

Say a prayer, for the pretenders.

Who started out so young and strong . . .

Only to surrender:

For generations, tens of millions of Americans graduated from high school, got a job to pay their rent, and went to work each day, for ten years, for twenty years, for thirty, forty years or more, pretending every day that it had some meaning.  They pretended cheating each other for legal tender was the American Dream, they pretended cheating their way in and out of marriages would finally bring them happiness with the pretender they were meant to pretend with, they pretended the slaughter in Vietnam was patriotic, they pretended it was Morning in America, they pretended a Thousand Points of Light wasn’t bullshit, they pretended Rush Limbaugh wasn’t a psychopath, they pretended a born again uniter not divider lying asshole won the presidency fair and square by stealing it on national television every day for 30 days.        

And when each evening rolled around, they came home from work and laid their bodies down, too tired to think, too tired to dream of a better world, too tired to care about anything but making it through another work week, so they could get another paycheck, so they could go on consuming themselves through life like every other pretender on the Happy Idiot Expressway to Nowhere:

Traffic

They started out young and strong, but they surrendered.  They let the ships carrying their dreams sail away, and stayed behind in happy idiot land, where nationwide happy idiocy seemed normal to them because the happy idiots on tv told them it was normal, and the happy idiots in the GOP told them it was normal, and the happy idiot evangelicals in their megachurches told them megahappy idiocy was the way to megahappy Heaven.      

We haven’t surrendered, even though we know what became of the changes we waited for love to bring. Those changes were buried here with a murdered President:

JFK grave  

And here with his murdered brother:

Robert Kennedy's grave Arlington National Cemetery

And here with with a murdered Seeker of Equality for all people:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s grave

Were the lives of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. only the fitful dreams of some greater awakening?

No.  Their lives were a preview of a greater awakening.

Be the change you wish to see in the world  --Gandhi

Be the change you wish to see in the world, and then say a prayer for the pretenders.  

Better yet, talk to a pretender, and then talk to another one, and then another one.  Ask them if they want their children to be pretenders too, while the ships bearing their dreams sail out of sight, while wars for oil go on and on, while corporate exploiters exploit with impunity and the lying politicians lie with impunity and NSA spies spy with impunity and the whole world goes to hell because everyone in power is pretending it isn’t.  

Ask the pretenders to join us.  We’re tearing at the evil in this world with all our might, but there aren’t enough of us.  

Yet.

But there will be.

We can change this world, we have to change it, so someday, when the morning light finally comes streaming in at the dawn of peace for humanity, every boy can find himself a girl who can show him what laughter means, and they’ll fill in the missing colors in each other’s paint-by-number dreams, and no one will surrender their hopes because they’re told to, and no one will hate because they’re told to, and no one will fight because they’re told to, and no one will kill because they’re told to, and the world will live in peace because enough Americans in 2008 became the change they wished to see in the world.  

peace on earth

51 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. We can be the seeds … we can be the start.

    … the world will live in peace because enough Americans in 2008 became the change they wished to see in the world.

    Thank you for this lovely, heartbreaking, essay.

  2. …actually describes me quite well. The rest, not so much, but I was long ago seduced by the siren call of Happy Idiot Land. I was born there, after all, and once I went to Pleasure Island with all the rest of the good boys and girls, and became a jackass just like Pinocchio, I was all set and ready to return to the suburbs. It’s a hard narcotic to quit when you’re born an addict, man.

    • Edger on March 31, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    more than an amusement park ride powered by….

    Hunh?!?!

  3. For the last couple of weeks I’ve missed these essays that rattle my cage and inspire me all at once. I read this one just as I was having my first cupajoe and it took awhile to absorb. What a great way to wake up on a Monday morning!!

    We’re tearing at the evil in this world with all our might, but there aren’t enough of us.  

    Yet.

    But there will be.

     

    • Edger on March 31, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I was lying in a burned out basement

    With the full moon in my eyes.

    I was hoping for replacement

    When the sun burst thru the sky.

    …..

    Well, I dreamed I saw the silver

    Space ships flying

    In the yellow haze of the sun,

    There were children crying

    And colors flying

    All around the chosen ones.

    All in a dream, all in a dream

    The loading had begun.

    They were flying mother natures

    Silver seed to a new home in the sun.

    Flying mother natures

    Silver seed to a new home.

    • kj on March 31, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    love this.

    Both you and Edger were missed the last few weeks. Please don’t leave again, either of you.

    For generations, tens of millions of Americans graduated from high school, got a job to pay their rent, and went to work each day, for ten years, for twenty years, for thirty, forty years or more, pretending every day that it had some meaning.  They pretended cheating each other for legal tender was the American Dream, they pretended cheating their way in and out of marriages would finally bring them happiness with the pretender they were meant to pretend with, they pretended the slaughter in Vietnam was patriotic, they pretended it was Morning in America, they pretended a Thousand Points of Light wasn’t bullshit, they pretended Rush Limbaugh wasn’t a psychopath, they pretended a born again uniter not divider lying asshole won the presidency fair and square by stealing it on national television every day for 30 days.

    • kj on March 31, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    your dreams and visions…”

    • OPOL on March 31, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I too believe that a great awakening is coming.  It is building now, and when it hits we will all be on the crest of that wave.

    People get ready.

    There’s a train a comin’.

  4. consumerism is its consolation prize, as only with consumer spending are the profits of the owning class realized.

    But that may end soon.  Read Robert Brenner’s The Economics of Global Turbulence and, even better, The Boom and the Bubble.  The national economy has been running upon the boom in home equity for a decade, now, and that’s slip slidin’ away as we speak…

  5. so true, every word..

    • pfiore8 on March 31, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    yes we can.

    my dutchman was here this weekend. and we had such a good time… it’s amazing how much joy there is just in laughing with the people you love.

    silliness. is way under rated.

     

  6. For generations, tens of millions of Americans graduated from high school, got a job to pay their rent, and went to work each day, for ten years, for twenty years, for thirty, forty years or more, pretending every day that it had some meaning.

    because when I was in college, the frosh were coming in each year determined to make lots of money.  

    Never could understand that thinking.  If you have to spend almost 1/3 of your adult life somewhere, it seems to me that you should enjoy what you’re doing (or at least not hate it).  I could probably be employed in a much more lucrative industry than I am, but I enjoy what I’m doing, mostly, and I enjoyed the career I had before, too, until burnout hit.

    But if I had pursued a profession based on income not inclination, I would have been miserable for at least 1/3 of my time (let’s face it: few full-time employees have the luxury of a 40-hour work week anymore).

  7. about how I was sorry they offed his whole family and that even though I thought he was wrong on this immigration issue I would “give him a pass” on it.

    Well, two weeks later I got an invitation to a dinner at the compound.  Dam, I should have gone.

  8. that Bush/Cheney never happened?   I keep clicking my heels together and saying I want to go back to America, but I wake up each day and it Mr 19%. Nooooo…..

    • kj on April 1, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    seven minutes in, the angels start singing:

Comments have been disabled.