It Isn’t Just Sex Box That’s Coming
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization; it expects what never was and never will be.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan. Martin Luther King, Jr.
While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings.
Henry David Thoreau
WE tv has announced a new reality show to air sometime in 2015 – Sex Box. Based on a British reality show, the premise is quite simple. Contestants enter a big box on the stage, have sex and then relay their experience to a panel of sex expertsl when they emerge hot and sweaty and covered in the glow of momentary celebrity.
And you thought western society couldn’t sink any lower. It is too laugh at such naivete!
The developed world has become a cartoon of itself; a caricature of civilization. We have the most advanced technology the world has ever known. It grants free access to all of the world’s collective knowledge but we are one of the least-informed societies in generations. We use this advanced technology to play games and to verbally abuse each other over everything and the more trivial the issue, the better we like it.
We reserve our greatest outrage for the least important issues.
Last week a video of Dennis Hague, the CEO of Centerplate Inc. went viral showing him kicking a dog in an elevator. I have two dogs and don’t condone or turn a blind eye to animal cruelty but there was more online outrage over a dog getting kicked than the slaughter of almost 500 children in the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Just a few blocks from where Mr. Hague assaulted his friend’s dachshund is a luxury condo where young girls were kept prisoner, drugged, assaulted and trafficked for sex by a pimp who is awaiting sentencing. When that sentence comes, it won’t receive any of the attention paid to the dog-kicking incident.
Even the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets issued a statement condemning the act but. like so many others, were silent on the deaths of thousands of children throughout the Middle East.
Our self-righteousness knows no bounds but is so lost in hypocrisy that it is unburdened by things like principle and values.
We rush to condemn an increase in the minimum wage, not because it will raise taxes because it won’t. We condemn it because it will raise the cost of things we buy and we would rather have one class of people trapped in poverty than pay what it’s worth for something. We tell ourselves lies like raising the minimum wage will hurt the economy. It won’t. In every jurisdiction where the minimum wage has been raised to a reasonable level, the economy has improved. The working poor are consumers too and the more money they have, the more money they spend. We oppose paying a fair wage for our own selfish purposes and no other reason.
We worship fools and defend the corrupt.
Groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, even Russia – act. Western leaders talk – and talk and talk and talk while we applaud and call some statesmen and others idiots. It’s all posturing, disagreement, politics and deflection. And while they, and we, dither – real people, not just statistics – are slaughtered.
That doesn’t go viral either.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently released a report indicating that three times as many aboriginal as non-aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada over the past thirty years and, although it got significantly less notice, almost five times as many aboriginal men. This has prompted calls for a national public inquiry which the government has flatly rejected.
The conversation among Canadians, if you can call it that, has degenerated to reasons why there should or should not be an inquiry. The missing and murdered aboriginal women are almost incidental. Newspaper columnists like the National Post’s Andrew Coyne and the Globe and Mail’s Geoffrey Simpson trotted out statistics about the rate of solved homicides and showed that they were pretty much the same for both aboriginal and non- aboriginal women. People who condemned both columnists for previous opinions now applaud them for their stand on the issue.
What they all ignore is that the issue isn’t about how many homicides were solved, it’s about the disproportionate numbers that are occurring in the aboriginal community.
Others are blither blathering about the fact that we already know what the issues are on aboriginal reserves and don’t, therefore, require an inquiry. Even more absurd are those who use the argument that up to five times as many aboriginal men are murdered as non-aboriginal as some kind of convoluted defense against holding an inquiry on aboriginal women. f we are so bloody smart and already know the root causes, why haven’t we done something as a nation? Why aren’t we demanding better from our political leaders on all sides of this issue?
Perhaps we need a public inquiry into the inaction of government and of aboriginal leaders.
But no – it’s expensive and a waste of time so let’s just move on after we’ve all had an opportunity to vent our spleens on the issue. Let’s all log-in to Facebook and check out today’s posts of cute cats in cute outfits. Let’s scan our Twitter accounts for the latest breaking tweets from the celebrities we follow and let’s check our smart phones for text messages to reassure ourselves that we are still connected and loved. Many of us can’t go grocery shopping or walk down the street without thumbing text messages.
We are a civilization suffering from separation anxiety. To be out of touch even for a few moments is to become almost breathless at the worry that the world may have forgotten us.
And then it’s time to read the news and various blogs we follow online because we have to put in our daily quota of uninformed vitriolic against people we don’t know but who had the audacity – the temerity – to voice an opinion with which we are not just in disagreement but to which we are violently in opposition.
We need to assert our God-given right to express our opinion while trampling all over theirs and reminding them that they are stupid and should leave the country because we won’t be happy until nobody has an opinion other than ours.
Mindless. Thoughtless. Unprincipled and without consistent values. Those are the characteristics of a people in a society in decline. We are a society suffering from morality ADD. The greatest hunger by the average person in the west is not peace. It isn’t resolving world poverty. It’s to be entertained.
Many of us take video games more serious than the human condition.
We condemn the cost to tax payers of teachers, law enforcement and health care workers while encouraging our governments to invest millions in arenas and facilities for millionaire athletes to play their games for our amusement.
The Roman Emperor Nero would have been quite popular in the west were he alive today.
The world has become increasingly dangerous. Thousands are dying and it is all spread before us as entertainment – a virtual reality show every bit as exciting as Sex Box promises to be. Every day is a new opportunity to share our individual wisdom and our angst with the world and to remind those who disagree with us just how stupid they are.
We cannot have a reasoned discussion about guns because we lack both the maturity and the wisdom to get beyond the polarized sides of the issue that we ourselves created. Even when children are killed with legally acquired firearms; gun-owners circle the wagons around the issue. A nine-year old girl is handed an Uzi at a gun range in Arizona by an instructor who is subsequently shot and killed by her because the gun was beyond her ability to control. In response to this terrible tragedy, gun owners try to defend responsible gun ownership as if the responsible gun owners behind this tragedy bear no responsibility for it. The range owner indicated that they restricted access to the range to children eight years old and older. Meanwhile we decry Islamic radicals for teaching their children how to handle guns and other weapons without seeing ourselves.
What child needs a gun?
Our police forces are becoming increasingly militarized as they increasingly treat citizens as potential threats. Our health care systems are breaking down; over-burdened by uncontrolled expenses. Our news is controlled by corporate interests more interested in stories that contain sufficient SEO tags for search engines to generate ad revenue than for the truth. Celebrities are idolized to the point that when one says vaccinations cause autism – we stop vaccinating our children for diseases like polio, tuberculosis and small pox. Scientists distort research for grant money. Environmentalists, politicians, unions, corporations take our money, control our resources and feed us lies and small handouts for which we happily sit up and wag our collective tails in gratitude.
In our un-informed and willful arrogance, we argue over the existence of climate change – a naturally occurring part of our eco-system that has been happening since the planet was formed – rather than looking for better ways to adapt to it.
We allow ourselves to be divided and polarized by cheap politicians and their strategists; choosing sides to yell at each other over who is right rather than uniting to defend our values, our democratic rights as a people, our societies and our children’s future prosperity and security. We have become a society of people that cluster in victims groups. Everybody is a victim these days: aboriginals, environmentalists, unions, the poor, conservatives, liberals and, of course, the biggest and most vocal victim’s group – taxpayers. We whine and criticize but do nothing other than to continue to support what we criticize.
We are as unfocused as our enemies are focused.
We are threatened as much by our own inertia as by their movement against us. We no longer innovate and invent; we upgrade and update existing technology to provide us with a faster gaming experience and more smart phone features. We condemn in others what we turn a blind eye to in those we support because we lack the courage and the respect for principle to admit when we are wrong.
We save our worst verbal attacks for our fellow citizens who disagree with us while defending with politically correct nonsense the egregious misdoings of those who cheat us, lie to us or try to harm us.
We live in a fool’s paradise of our own making. We are, like all great empires, in decline and like all empires that went before us, we ignore the signs confident in our individual arrogance and self-righteous stupidity.
That decline is accelerating but it hasn’t come close to the end yet. There is a hard rain coming for which we are ill-prepared and unwilling to consider before it’s too late. When that rain arrives, it will make Noah’s flood look like a summer shower.
We are on the express elevator heading straight down with no stops before it hits the basement. We are passengers on that elevator arguing with each other over trivia; totally unaware of our own folly.
On the bright side, Sex Box is coming to keep us entertained and to reassure us that we are a civilized people – at least until the elevator crashes.
There will come a day when future generations somewhere in this world will look back on western society in much the same way we look at societies that went before us. And when they do they will wonder how a people could have been blessed with so much and yet have done so little with it.
© 2014 Maggie’s Bear
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