Monday, August 7, 2017

Sense and Nonsense

A worker in a refugee camp in Syria writes: “When we got back to our base camp a couple of hours ago this little fellow, A---, was waiting for us. He said he needed to talk to us.
“Turns out that A--- was worried about his friends in another camp. He said they didn't have any food to eat tonight and that wasn't fair because he has food for tonight. He was worried about them and said he *has* to help them. He was wondering if we could take his friends some bread, cheese, and juice that he had saved for them from his own lunch today. We just happened to have a few things we could add to what he'd already saved so the three of us proceeded to bag up the food individually. He worked really hard on this meal for his friends. He made sure everything in every bag was kid approved.
“For this child to keep such a warm and caring heart amid the cold world he sees all round him is the real victory. I want to be just like A--- when I grow up.
“Be back later. We've got a few dinners to deliver.”
What gets to me about this story is that it makes sense. The little boy’s desire to feed his friends makes sense. The response of the people who work with the refugees, to feed his friends, makes sense.
People are hungry: feed them.
People need safe, clean water: build systems to supply them with safe, clean water.
People need to be evacuated from cities that are being relentlessly shelled by forces of various countries. Go get as many of those people as you can and bring them to refuge, dodging the shells as you go.
Life in a war zone is clearly a high adrenaline situation, but amid the insanity of war, your life makes sense. You see what needs to be done, and you do it.
Meanwhile, back here in Amurrica, it is hard to make sense of things.
I read an article about children who grow up in abusive families which said that children in such families try to make sense of their situation.
Sometimes I feel we are living in a big abusive family here, and I cannot make sense of it. The President and the Congress and their corporate masters keep doing things t
hat threaten our health and our well-being, saying things that are completely at odds with what they do, like talking about supporting the troops while cutting funding to the VA, for example. We are at the mercy of creepy shortsighted billionaires and gangsters who seem to be motivated by a lust for all of the money and all of the power.
Rather than feed the hungry, they cut the SNAP benefits. Clean water? I give you Flint, Michigan. Healthcare? Let’s cut Medicaid and Medicare and eradicate the beginning of universal healthcare in our country. Poverty? Gut Social Security. Homelessness? Get those horrible people out of my sight. Welcome and safety for the refugee or immigrant? Hah.
My dear friend and inspiration Kara Chipoletti Jones wrote the other night, “Universal healthcare. Universal housing. Universal income. Universal access to clean water. If we all actually were as good as we think we are, this would be the LEAST we'd want for every other living being.”
I agree with her. As another friend said to me the other day, it isn’t that we don’t have the means to do these things; we don’t have the will.
We do, however, have the will to buy 2,663 F-35 Lockheed Martin Lightning II fighter jets between now and 2070, at an estimated cost of $1.5 trillion, give or take a few billion.
So. I get up every morning and wonder what fresh madness has been perpetrated on a weary world by the delusional creatures who seem to be running things. My expectation of madness and creepiness is seldom disappointed. I sit here with my mouth hanging open and my brow furrowed, hearing the monkey chatter of clean people in nice clothes, as they say things like, “We must save people from the horrors of Obamacare!” when what we need to do is save people from the horrors of private health insurance.
I want it all. What Kara said: universal health care, and housing, and income, and access to safe water, for everyone, and I will pray for those things, and sing for them, and write for them. I would like this country and this world to start making sense, and I intend to make many sensible, unreasonable demands.