Tuesday, August 09, 2011

London Calling

I've been hesitant to comment on the London riots. This is not a time for knee jerk reactions or speculations.
I will say this: the riots eerily resemble the ones the United States went through in the wake of the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, when people, young people particularly, lost a lot of hope and idealism about the future. Much innocence was torn away, replaced by much fear. Those riots morphed into the campus anti-war protests.
Government was scared of people back then. It will not surprise me when these riots come to our own doorsteps because right now, our government does not fear us and they should.
People are angry, and anger has a direct emotional conduit from fear. Fear is the base emotion for all negative thinking in the world. No one gets angry out of love. No one kills anyone else for love. We do all these things and more out of fear, fear of loss in particular.
And its understandable. What's also understandable is a loss of innocence in America. When Barack Obama was elected President, we wanted to believe in hope and change.
He's tried. I believe he's tried his level best, others will disagree with that assessment, but it really doesn't matter. At the end of the day, we're all scared. Even the Teabaggers.
The only way this nation, this world, is going to avoid the inevitable...you know what I'm talking about, and we're much closer to the precipice than eevn I think we are...is to calm down a little, take a breath, hitch up our pants and get to work on solving the problem. The best antidote to fear is accomplishment. We must start working together to create something.
That something? Is a civilized society. One where ideas are not laughed out of hand, no matter how evidently stupid they are. They can be mocked, but at the end of the day the person proposing them deserves to be dissuaded from his or her idiocies responsibly.
Anything else just inflames fear.
Fear builds walls. Peter Gabriel once said in a concert I attended that something along the lines of "You can build walls to keep people away, but inevitably you will build them so high, you cannot get out."
The markets are tumbling. The economy is flat-lining. The government is frozen by the efforts of a tyrannical minority of yahoos who are louder (and angrier and therefore more fear-filled) than we are.
This. Must. Stop.
You can pitch in. It's not hard. It starts at home, with your family and friends. Show the strength of your convictions. Express the love in your heart, the belief that at the end of it all, we'll all get through this together.
It's infectious. It works.
Go do it. JUST do it.
We have work cut out for us.