In the land of zombies the brain-dead is king

I saw the breathtakingly disgusting performance at the NRA convention of the mountain of ignorant gloop that many millions wish was the leader of their country. I turned to the Oracle for some sanity. This came from the first page of word tiles. I’ll go back later, hoping for something less furious.

You live a lie of bleeding purple hearts,
the message said,
and arm your lazy summer dreams,
drunk on peaches and mirrors.

Is this the picture you see,
the bald justice for the beauty lost?
Why is your coarse cackle still heard,
when their voices are silent?

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

34 thoughts on “In the land of zombies the brain-dead is king”

    1. There’s a lot of wanting to address the issue, but far more refusing to budge an inch on it. They’re calling for more guns now, and what’s the betting more than half the population sees that as the solution?

      1. Children wearing bulletproof backpacks. Teachers advised to carry guns … as solution. Obvious working examples from the UK doesn’t make a dent in their reasoning. Won’t even consider background checks. Its beyond understanding.

      2. I have a very simple philosophy. The very rich are the same the world over, whatever their ethnic origin, culture or religion. They have no morals, no compassion. Make guns, sell them to kids, make more money. They think they have bought the right to opt out of humanity.
        And while there are millions of mindless idiots who worship at the same altar, hoping that one day they might be up there with the celebrants, there is no hope.

      3. I suppose the rest of us will have to bog down and think of ways to alleviate the mayhem. Wasn’t it you who suggested we chase them into a fenced yard, with their guns and let them have it out once and for all? But I suppose that idea makes one equal to what they are so that’s out. Oye!

      4. I’m trying to think of it as a peculiarly American problem. Just as a vociferous segment of society is fond of telling other nations to fight their own wars, sort out their own poverty, develop their own vaccines etc, we ought to just accept they’ve created this situation themselves through decades of inertia and connivance. The solution has to come from within. Doesn’t bode well for their influence in the rest of the world though.

      5. I wouldn’t say most of them, I’m sure educated urban Americans are aware of the shortcomings of their system.
        It’s a country that kicked off with the industrial revolution, none of the historical baggage of most other countries. It was a huge country, rich, and for a long time the economy expanded giving them the illusion that they’d discovered Nirvana with their economic model. They’re stuck now with an American ideal that doesn’t work any more, an ‘American way of life’ that is unsustainable and you could say immoral since it relies on exploiting the poor nations to keep up its own level. But they suffer from a parochialism that means they’re ignorant of what’s going on in the rest of the world, and a conviction that whatever it is, it’s infinitely inferior to what’s going on in the US. Blinkers, self-confidence/arrogance and ignorance make a powerful cocktail. The Taliban have the same kind of conservatism.

  1. Most Americans DO NOT agree with what’s going on. It’s horrible, but we do not know what to do. We have a minority that has the power, and they are the immoral ones taking money from the NRA, the Russian oligarchs, etc. And they do have their supporters.

    1. No, I’m certain all normal people think it’s appalling, it’s the what to do about it that leaves us all perplexed. It seems obvious to those of us who don’t live in the US that you need legislation, but even people genuinely upset by the killings don’t necessarily think there should be fewer guns. I’ve heard so many suggestions about more armed guards at the schools, to protect kids, as if it’s a given that there are going to be more and more guns. When so many people own guns, it’s very hard to row back and say, hand them over.. The main villains are those who push gun sales and create a climate of fear.

      1. Most of the people who are making suggestions for more guns and armed teachers are Republicans. And of course, some of them are also genuinely horrified by children being killed. Though I heard one Trumper on the radio yesterday who said something to the effect of, it’s sad, but it’s the cost of doing business and keeping our freedoms. I couldn’t believe it! And then there’s Ted Cruz, who’s a piece of slime, saying schools should have fewer doors. It’s insane!

      2. It sounds insane, and it is to normal people, but there are some (like Ted Cruz) who are making so much money out of it, they really don’t care. The rich are the same the world over. The only difference with the US is that there’s not the culture of knocking the rich that we have. We hate/despise/are revolted by extremely rich people. In the US they’re success stories.

  2. Oh those last two lines…my message, too, was definitely influenced by the NRA and their pack of lunatics. Merril is correct. Nothing can be done given the current Congress, and especially now, the Supreme Court. And our Electoral College system insures that this will not change any time soon–it will be minority rule. The NRA is not even representative of gun owners in general. But they have the politicians in their pocket. Most Americans are not awful people. But a lot of the ones with money and power are. (K)

    1. A disproportionate number of the Americans who use social media are awful. Same everywhere, I think. The ugly comments I’ve seen make me want to weep. The Supreme Court business is a disaster. All those ultra-conservatives there there for life. Your hands are tied, as far as a political solution is concerned. I did see someone ask in the Irish Times, why all the teachers didn’t just walk out until they had a change in the law. It’s what would have in most European countries.

      1. The Republicans want to close down public schools anyway–that would just give them an excuse. If they get what they want, Trump or whoever was in charge will terrorize them too like Putin does. You would think they might at least be intelligent enough to realize that. Small comfort to know that they will be miserable too.

        I agree about social media. I know Twitter and Facebook are not all bad, but I refuse to patronize them because of all the evil they encourage and reward. I already compromise myself enough online.

      2. I’m reading Plato’s Republic at the moment because I never have, and some of his criticism of democracy is so spot on, you’d think he was writing about the 21st century. It’s fascinating (to me anyway) how little human thought processes have changed over the millennia.
        Social media are depressing on so many levels, the frivolity of the time-wasting posts, but worse are the awful aggressive abusive comments made by complete strangers to complete strangers. How Plato would have hated it all.

      3. We have a local newspaper and they’ve sometimes had to shut down the comments section online, people are so abusive. I don’t think humanity has learned anything from history. Not that many even bother to try to learn about it these days…

  3. Spot-on, Jane. At a minimum, they should have canceled the convention, but, no, there’s money to be made, elbows to rub, deep pockets to dive into. They (the usual suspects: NRA, Republicans) want us to live in fear. They want to normalize these mass shootings, keep them happening so we stay afraid, and vote in “strongmen” to protect us. David Hogg, a survivor of a mass school shooting, says “this time it’s different.” He’s hopeful that our collective rage has reached the boiling point, and we will hold these traitorous, murderous politicians accountable. We’ll see. I’m a lot older than he is, and I know how deeply and widely the Republicans have gerrymandered and restricted voting. So, maybe not in my lifetime.

    Trump and the Republicans did incredible damage to the US; it’ll take a lot more than four years of a Biden Administration to make a difference, especially since our Senate is still essentially controlled by the Republicans.

    This is not a good thing, but maybe it was a necessary thing: Trump did show us–the American people–how low we are willing to go. It doesn’t matter that a majority of Americans would prefer that he leave the country as he promised he would. Still, too many Americans would vote for him, a man that represents the worst that humankind has to offer. When Obama was elected, I thought it meant that we had truly evolved, that we were decidedly on a progressive, upward path. I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.

    1. It would be great to see a popular uprising in the US, but given that the opponents of humane, common sense are armed to the teeth, I can understand why it could turn into a monumental bloodbath. Why the teachers don’t just walk out, I’ll never know though. They’d rather get shot in their classrooms than strike???
      Obama’s hands were tied, I seem to remember by an unfavourable Congress. Having said that, I wasn’t impressed with his performace. Too many tears, not enough punch. Obviously, I don’t know of many American politicians, just the infamous big mouths, but one I did like was Beto O’Rourke. He, I think would be less likely to get out a kleenex and more inclined to throw a few punches.

      1. Yes, Obama’s hands were tied, but I agree that he wasn’t willing to push the Republicans as hard as he could have (and as hard as we wanted him to).

        Teachers have walked out in the past, but never (to my knowledge) collectively through the country. Too many “strikes” in the US are done in isolation, no doubt to the anti-union sentiment that this country harbors. I’m hoping Beto wins in Texas. If I recall correctly, he gave Ted Cruz a run for his money when he ran against him for Senate.

      2. It’s a diifferent cultural response. I seem to remember from history lessons that the unions used to be very powerful in the US, the unions that survived the Pinkertons and other assorted private armies. But propserity, I suppose, and the notion that hard work always pays and a social safety net is for shirkers, has taken over.
        We made a lot of Beto O’Rourke here, possibly because people can relate more to his politics than they can to the rest of them. The minute one of them utters the word ‘God’ we all yawn and turn off. And they all do it. It’s sad.

      3. I’m hoping that unions make a comeback. Yes, they used to be powerful, but between the few that became corrupt and the anti-unionists that claimed a “right to work,” they fell out of favor. Probably lots of other reasons as well. I’ve had frustrating experiences with unions here. But I’m thrilled to see workers at Starbucks and Amazon starting to organize. I hope they keep the momentum.

      4. What you say is refreshing. My closest American friends (virtual but real) feel the same way as you and I, but the overwhelming voices are those that cling to a very warped version of the American dream. It has spread all over the world, the idea that if you want something you have to work for it, and if you’ve ‘earned it’ you keep it, using whatever means you have, guns, refusal to pay taxes or into a mutual social care programme. The British got it with Margaret Thatcher and it never goes away. A licence to be selfish.
        I think that the number of ‘good causes’ that have proliferated in the last couple of decades, defending different minorities, has had the opposite effect to the early social movements. If you single out ‘groups’ as deserving attention, you lose sight of the massive group of the weak and underprivileged that needs defending, the one that includes all the poor, the single parents, the kids of families on low incomes, immigrants, the exploited, women in general. It ends up as virtue signalling and the exploiters get away with it.
        The Amazon victory was a beacon of hope that we might be getting back to basic values—the poor are poor, whatever their colour, gender, or culture.

  4. The plethora of minority groups clamoring for support is a form of “divide and conquer.” We are pitted against each other much as poor White sharecroppers were pitted against former Black slaves during Reconstruction. The White sharecroppers had more in common with the former Black slaves than they did with plantation owners, but, of course, the plantation owners didn’t want them to know that. I see that sentiment play out all the time, especially here in Florida. I still hold onto some hope for the future, but I’m no longer sure if I’ll live long enough to see a meaningful change for the better.

    1. I know what you mean. Divide and rule, hierarchy of discriminations and worthy causes. Meanwhile, the poor get poorer and the truly oppressed get ground down even further. Why people feel the need to emphasise their supposed differences, I don’t know. Why not just should about equality?

      1. I have heard that some major groups want to band together to fight against the rollback of rights. The idea is that if Roe is overturned, there’ll be a domino effect on other rights such as access to birth control, same-sex marriage, etc. I keep hoping that maybe we’ve finally hit rock bottom and realize that we need to work together and help each other, not nitpick our differences.

      2. I maintain that the biggest division is rich/poor. Then male/female. It’s not colour, gender, ethnicity or handicap. As long as you’re rich you’ll be fine whatever other handicaps you accumulate. If you’re a woman, you will always be discriminated against because we live in a patriarchy that can’t tolerate equality between men and women, just as capitalism can’t function if everyone gets their just deserts. So capitalism and patriarchy make sure women and the poor, especially poor women get a raw deal. Until the poor and women stick together to fight for universal rights, those rights that only affect women will be eroded away. The feminist movement has been sidetracked into going all out on minority concerns and has lost the big picture, and the social movement in the US has always been handicapped by the Protestant work ethic and the promise of earthly paradise if you grab and keep on grabbing. If women, 50% of the population rose up and demanded ‘their’ rights, something would happen. But they won’t. Too many are conservative, wealthy, religious or ignorant and won’t lift a finger. I wish there was more what the Christians call compassion around, but it seems to me, the more religious a society gets, the more the poor and women get it in the neck.

      3. Well said. And I agree that rich/poor is the biggest division. Having been born into the rural working class, I see and experience these divisions all the time.

      4. Once the poor were given the vote, the ruling class had to give them a scapegoat to stop them using their vote wisely. It used to be welfare scroungers (not the bankers and industrialists) now it’s immigrants. Always someone even poorer than yourself. Works every time.

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