We’ll miss you Michael—or, the Importance of Saying Thank You Part 2

Posted by jimi on August 27, 2009
"you make me sick"

"you make me sick"

I started this blog as a way of grounding me, so I don’t generally like to begin with a “negative”, but I have to be honest. It seems like a lot of “you make me sick”  is getting hurled around right now.

It’s been a few weeks, and finally things have calmed down around here in Hollywood.  I still hear “Billie Jean” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” blasting from cars on a regular basis, but things in the neighborhood are pretty much back to normal.

It’s interesting…I started watching cable news again right before Michael died.  I have a tendency to listen to the radio and read, so  I usually miss out on the constant cycles of news on the “majors “except for occasional clips on YouTube and Crooks & Liars.

Well let me tell you, to go from not watching TV for so long, to seeing all Michael, all the time, was kind of a shock to the system.

It was even more of  a shock to listen to the constant negative comments about him before they even got him into the ground!  Even a US Congressman needed to create a YouTube moment where he had to personally slam a “dead” Michael Jackson.

I was astonished by this.  Why was it necessary to scold an unseen, non-specific populace for idolizing Jackson?

There was a day when most politicians, “leaders”, or “statesmen”, would have fallen all over themselves at the photo-op to send their actual condolences.  Instead, the “statesman” ended up disappointing me the most.

It makes me wonder, “what happened?”  Why is the level of discourse so combative, accusatory, and harsh?

I witness a chat during an online news broadcast, and people are trying to see if they can out-insult each other.  I read comments posted after an online article and am appalled by the overtly racist remarks.  I see people ranting  about how vets need to be “self-sufficient”, somehow believing that increasing benefits funding will cause them to be “unmotivated” to work.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this energy.  Daytime television is swamped by a plethora of shows featuring two people facing a “judge”.  A good chunk of reality television centers on people in jail, on people being apprehended and taken TO jail, or in one way or another “eliminated” from a group competition through insult, lying, and deception.  Its all great entertainment, but only gives a sliver of what’s actually going on in society.

The truth is, people are hurting.  We’ve been a nation in shock ever since having a Supreme Court appointed president lead us through the nightmare of 9-11, two wars, Katrina, and the hidden tax we’ve been paying with every oil price increase since the beginning.  Between this and a kind of “end of the world” hysteria taking hold, many people are on overload, and are feeling overwhelming fear.

Fear shuts us down.  We have a tendency to “turn in towards ourselves”, and our capacity to think rationally becomes drastically reduced.  Notice how your stomach seems to tighten when you get scared about something?  Interesting how its been shown that our DNA literally contracts when bombarded by fear, yet “when in the presence of love, understanding, compassion, and appreciation, the twin strands of DNA began to relax and elongate.”

Emoto water photo  "Thank You"

Emoto water photo "Thank You"

And remember what that same water molecule would look like with the focus of  “thank you.”

Its a challenge to think clearly while being bombarded with fearful information.  Our “entertainers” are not going to change their “fearful” focus anytime soon it seems…but it doesn’t stop us from taking pause and doing our own research.  The more we inform ourselves with our vast resources, the less our fear can take hold.  Jefferson himself spoke of how a healthy democracy relied on a well informed public.  We can’t let un-controlled fear block the wealth of “human technology” we collectively have to share.  Imagine what we can create when we drop the need to imagine we are on different “teams” and begin to really listen to each other?

When I hear someone say something outlandish, I try not to dismiss them as a freak or a jerk, but I’ll try to research what they said, what their sources are, and how those sources back themselves up.  I consider the fact that so much money and energy was spent defending our freedoms from the Soviet Union and totalitarianism, we should be falling all over ourselves to take advantage of the diversity of information here.  We still have a free press here.  We also have a lot of entertainment outlets “masquerading” as press.  Regardless, the facts are out there for anyone with a little determination.  No one is “forcing” us to believe anything.

After I’m presented with information that may make me feel uncomfortable, I try to say “thank you” for the opportunity to  inform myself about something I may have been ignoring for too long.   We Americans HATE to be told what to do, OR what to think, so I’m not about to act like it.

When people continually shouted Michael Jackson “couldn’t have possibly had vitiligo”, I checked it out to see what advanced cases looked like.

advanced case of vitiligo

advanced case of vitiligo

I knew someone awhile back who had this over most of his head, but I haven’t seen this before.  It’s possible.

After Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested in his own house, the first thing I though of was, “thank GOD he wasn’t deaf and taking a bath!”  I know that sounds strange…  (But you probably haven’t heard about the man tasered in his own house for not hearing the cops who entered his home…while bathing.)

But after awhile, I noticed that most of the broadcast and written word focused on the need for Gates and Obama to apologize while lingering questions regarding the difference in the police report and the 911 caller’s testimony were hardly considered.  After hearing about the details of events for about a week and a half, I subconsciously imagined the interchange between Gates and Crowley must have taken at least a half an hour or so.  I was very surprised to hear that the whole interchange happened in a span of six minutes.

The “teachable moment” wished for by the president slipped away into oblivion as Gates and Crowley agreed to disagree, and the problem of “racial profiling” as a hidden institution were not discussed nor dealt with at all.

In fact the term “racial profiling” seemed to be used to continue to inflame the issue more than anything else.  By the end of a week, it was as if it was a made-up word, purposely created just to make people feel uncomfortable.

The hysteria never died down, but was simply displaced into the arena, the “spectacle” of “health care reform”.  I feel the sting of embarrassment as our British, German, Canadian, and Swedish brothers and sisters watch us in amazement, wondering why we find it necessary to arm ourselves at town-hall meetings while attacking them for having health care systems which provide access to all their citizens.  Our loudest voices maintain that providing access to all Americans will mean “death panels” for the elderly and veterans, no choice, “government” rationing, tax-payer funded abortion, illegal immigrant coverage, and socialism leading to Nazism, and our European and Canadian cousins are wondering how on earth we are buying this.

Now remember, this debate is primarily about  how to cover the 45 million or so uninsured of around 304,059,724 Americans, and how to “insure” that the “insured” don’t get dropped by the “insurer” when they really need care.  Somehow, if we have the best health services available, and the best military on earth, we can certainly figure this out without tumbling into Nazi Germany…I really think its possible!

But getting there is going to require for all of us to settle down, listen to each others stories, stop attacking each other, and start doing our research from a variety of sources.

I started this blog to ground me, blow off some steam, talk about metaphysics, and maybe crack some jokes…  But when I see people show up to health-care  town-hall meetings with guns while implying Obama is Hitler, I feel like I need to say something more specific.

We don’t have alot of time to waste.  People are tired of being whipped into a negative frenzy.  Much needs to be fixed here in the US and I’m sure we have a collective human resource more than capable of providing solutions.  People are tired, and are dropping the need to be on a “team”.  Dropping a need to define themselves as “right” or “left”.  This outmoded way of thinking is being replaced with the reality that with live on an “abundant” planet which knows no scarcity.  Once we “catch up” to this fact, we will expend more of our creative energy exponentially.  I believe we can create wonders.  This is the UNITED states, right?

I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts for this second part of saying “thank you” for the last few weeks, but I haven’t been sure how to approach it.  I have to believe that people are beginning to see the larger picture, and are finally beginning to participate in the national debate…peacefully.  I’m really grateful to be an American, to have defended the constitution during my own term of service, and to continue to care so deeply for her now.  I hope we can continue to get along, talk, create new solutions, and LEAVE THE GUNS at the shooting range!  Please!!!

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