Monday, August 20, 2012

Desperate Lives


After I finished this blog, I suddenly recalled Henry David Thoreau's observation that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” and found therein the answer to all the questions I'd just posed. Simply put, most people do not ponder these questions because they are too busy trying to cope with day-to-day existence to even consider them. But for some reason, I do, and I assume a few others do, too. So it is to them...to you?...I address this blog.

One of the strongest themes in my blogs is my inability to comprehend how human beings—including myself—can possibly think/react the way they do. I have always felt alienated from the mainstream of humanity, and my sense of isolation grows stronger ever time I encounter some egregiously incomprehensible example of the difference between me and seemingly everyone else.

On Thursday, August 16, 2012, someone won $337,000,000 in a lottery. One person. $337,000,000. What can/will one person conceivably do with $337,000,000? Why not give 337 people the chance to win $1,000,000 each? Or 674 people the chance to win $500,000? I could live very comfortably on $500,000, thank you, and I would be far more willing to buy a lottery ticket if I thought I had 674 chances of winning.

I have asked countless times for someone to explain to me what a “well-qualified” buyer is? What “piled high” actually means...what the term “no reasonable offer refused” is other than four words connected to say nothing at all. Why advertisers insist that “everyone is talking about” something no one has ever heard of? Why, if a product is anywhere near as good as the ads claim, they feel it necessary to say “but wait: there's more!” and offer two or three of them for the “price of one.” Why no one ever seems to ask why an advertised product in “not sold in stores.”

Why tv shows such as “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “Toddlers and Tiaras,” “The Housewives of Name-a-City” are allowed on the air...and who with any degree of intelligence greater than that of a baked potato would have any desire to watch them. Why rudeness, insensitivity, and boorishness are considered essential to so many “reality” shows, and why no one considers the effect this atrocious behavior has on viewers...especially the young.

Why the lives of “celebrities” we have never met and never will meet inspire more fascination—and the death of one result in greater outpourings of emotion—than we give to the very real suffering of ordinary people around the world.

Why so many people presume to speak for others, especially in matters of politics and religion? Why so many who claim to speak for God preach hatred, bigotry, and intolerance? And why so many people are willing to simply accept anything they are told without a moment's hesitation or a single independent thought?

Why there are no strong, enforceable laws against the perpetrators of internet spam, the only purpose of which is to blatantly rob the gullible, the elderly, the mentally and emotionally infirm?

Why so many people quote the Golden Rule and so few people practice it?

How/when did politicians give up all pretense of serving the people who elected them, and concentrated solely on their own interests? And how/why do the American people stand for elected officials displaying blatant disregard for the very principles of our government by denying fully entitled citizens the right to exercise the right to vote which is the very cornerstone of our democracy? How can they be so without conscience, without scruples, without morals, without honor, and apparently without the slightest fear that anyone is going to lift a finger to keep them from doing exactly what they want?

Most of these questions...and an endless list of similar ones...can and will go fundamentally unanswered without a major disruption to our society. But some, like the one posed in the preceding paragraph, pose a real, serious, and imminent threat to our very way of life, and need desperately to be addressed by more than just myself and you.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to visit his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1).

1 comment:

Kage Alan said...

You could dedicate an entire blog post addressing each and every question you posed, plus potential answers. Might be worth keeping a list for future when you're looking for something to talk about.