Junk Lives

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs . . I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

And after that?” asked the Mexican.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.

You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” said the Mexican.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

And the moral is: Know where you’re going in life… you may already be there.

junk

When is enough actually “enough”? When do we stop accumulating useless junk and gaudy baubles for the empty promises of satisfaction and meaning? Everything truly worthy of its price has an associated cost. But are we accurately counting the true cost of “our way of life”? You hear this term all the time, used rather flippantly as we justify the killing of other people and the plundering of the earths resources. But what does that really mean? What exactly IS our way of life that we are so concerned about?

Most people, particularly Americans spend their whole lives “accumulating”. Houses, land, cars, toys, i.e., “stuff”, which to them is very important. They feel that their alleged ownership gives them meaning and purpose to life – a reason for their existence. How did this happen?

“He who dies with the most toys wins” – absolutely nothing. In reality, his accumulation has purchased him long hours at the slave tables, heart disease, ill health, wayward children, broken marriages, envious neighbors, estranged relatives, mounting debt, high taxes, killer stress and a drastically shortened life span – to say nothing of a lower quality of life.

Our “stuff” obstructs us from the real participation in this world. Surrounded by artificial creations, we are removed from the experience of life itself. We don’t walk, we drive, everywhere, insulated against the breeze, the sounds, the sights and the smells of where we truly live, planet Earth. We live in artificial buildings of wood, glass and steel, Formica and polyester, raw materials expropriated from the earth and reassembled into toxic chemicals and combinations, cocooned from light, sound, smell and the interaction of the world around us. We block out the sun and the air, filter and condition what we breathe and drink, blocking out the natural sounds of our environment and replace it with manufactured noise made by humans. And we pay our masters with religious fervor for this so-called privilege…always demanding more of this synthesized consciousness.

It simply never occurs to us to count the true cost – and meaning of this mediocre existence.

Our lives have become sound bites, shortened, edited versions of desperation. We don’t interact with meaning, we “report” with deadened senses and dulled hearts. The news at 11:00 reflects the quality of our lives, cut, canned, condensed, artificial, interspersed with conndsumermercials and insipid meaningless. What we could have experienced lies on the cutting room floor of life, trampled, ignored, overlooked, glossed over in this fools quest for ‘purpose’, usually paraphrased into more “stuff”, more power, more money, more privilege and more position, all considered a fair exchange for a less real life and less meaning.

We reflect all of that when we remain mute and deadened to the daily barrage and assault, the manifold atrocities going on around us throughout the world, remaining insensitive, indifferent and ineffective, utterly dead inside with no emotion and no concern. Like the well-programmed machines that we are, we go about our assigned tasks with great precision and efficiency, buying and consuming whatever our corporate masters provide for us, blinders firmly affixed, dead eyes straight ahead, numbed with despair and designer drugs to combat the growing terror within. Our plight is firmly established and we dare not think about it lest we go perfectly insane.

We prefer our worsening slavery to the executives of life, whose mission is to churn out more and more packaged and processed sanitized junk wrested from the earth’s dwindling resources and polluted lands. When through, we cast aside our now-useless debris into cavernous landfills – and like the good consumers we are, we head back to buy more, completing the cycle of depletion, waste and stupidity. We don’t mind the enforced slavery, the staggering debt, the class division, the expanding pollution and the wasted resources, the crowded suburbia with the little housing plots and cubicles of mediocrity and mundane existence. Our conditioning to our circumstances is habitual, extremely pervasive – the real world must be kept at bay at any cost and we willingly exchange our birthright and natural heritage for the proverbial pot of porridge, never once counting the true cost, which is the condemnation of all future generations – and even ourselves.

The human race is in severe danger of becoming anesthetized to life, while actively engaged in destroying the very foundations of life on earth. Modern techno-marvels of engineering and mastery have created artificial barriers between man and the world he lives in. This race against life and existence is what fuels the corporate machine and creates armies of the metamorphosed moronic individuals into a consuming robotrons, the brain dead and dying, hollow human shells enveloped by total indifference to the destruction at their feet.

The high strangeness of all this is hardly anybody notices! The disconnect from reality is so pervasive and so complete that these words will escape our notice as we head off into the manufactured oblivion we have made.

When one of us rises up from our somnolent state and demands meaningful change, most of us look upon them with sullen eyes and cowering horror. How can they be so stupid to stand up and be noticed? How can they be so irresponsible to believe that there is any other way to live in this world of deadened senses and indifference to the destruction going on around us? Our collective response it to turn our back on them, as we have done to all of their kind before and plod along in obeisance to our unknown and unseeing corporate gods of consumerism, knowing that the weight of the world will ultimately drag them down like us, beating them senseless into conformity and compliance. Or the corporate machines will simply kill them. Genocide is a common practice among the “masters”. We don’t care. We don’t dare.

Well, we should.

Christ himself isn’t going to welcome you at the pearly gates and say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” while we stood like fatted calves at the slaughter and watch the modern martyrs of justice be squashed and swept away repeatedly by the demonized legions of corporate corrupters. Having squandered our inheritance, we think nothing of protecting those who are still fighting for theirs. No, Christ isn’t going to welcome any of you. You are more likely to hear “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you” because you embraced greed, death, injustice, excessiveness, pollution, wastefulness and silence. In your apathy to the death of all life on earth, your condemnation will be greatest for your dim-witted indifference and acquiescence to the evil that overshadows the earth. You will join the rest of humanity in the ‘lake of fire and death’, an earthly disconsolate existence simmering with misery and meaningless mediocrity.

And you will drag us down with you because you are deeply envious and without an inkling of understanding what we are trying to do.

Which is why we have come to loathe you, despising the way you exist and your callous indifference to the true meaning and purpose of life. You have forcibly made us one of you, miserable and dejected, stained and scourged with your “enforcement” and your rules and regulations that dictate every facet of our lives, asphyxiating all hope in a stranglehold on living. You have made us the outcast, we who seek a better world and a better way with a more meaningful existence. We would tread lightly upon this earth but you have made it illegal, a “crime” of no victims and no accusers with whom we can confront and attempt to persuade with reason, logic and absolute facts.

We marvel and wonder at your incredible stupidity and your greed that drives you to our mutual destruction. Some of us pity you, others of us despise you, for you are not human, not alive, not living, but empty and baseless hollow shells where truth has no harbor. You are artificial constructs, appendages of a collective mind-set that permeates the earth in its quest for total domination and subjugation. We hope you will wake up from your apathy and indifference and irresponsibility, very soon, because you are killing us all.

All we wanted was a life worth living – and to pass this heritage on to the next generation. But you’re too damned busy to even notice – or care.

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