Gertrude Objects


A recent arrival to our shores once told me that Americans are all and only about money. I agreed.  I said, Yes, Americans like you.  I am not xenophobic; I do not protest too much either, although saying what I have is not exactly the context in which Gertrude objetcs to the Queen’s protestations in the play within the play.  The greedy are as multicultural and diverse as any status quo member of an American University academic department could wish society were . . .  avarice is universal to the human species.  It’s as homo sapiens as language. 

There is no way, with Americans living as they do, the way we want to keep living, the ways we have grown accustomed to live, that we are going to seek peace and not continue to fight wars over oil.  And that’s all of us who drive, who get their food stuffs from all quarters of America by truck and not train, who fly as frequently as we do, and who continue to heat their homes with oil.  

Greed breeds greed.  Count how many SUVs you see on the roads, the highways clogged and congested all across America.  The slothmobile is one of the principal contributors to American obeisity.  And we are disgustingly fat; too fat for sure with childhood obesity reaching alarming rates.  Who could have imagined a generation of children expected to live shorter than their parents maybe, certainly fewer years than their grandparents. 

Darwinism for humans has always meant the will of the stronger.  America has had recurring love affairs with Social Darwinism.  Stronger for humans has always been redefined as richer.  The rich can buy anything they need to continue one more day, if necessary, even your water.  Bush had opened once protected land to strip miners; that’s a kind of nostalgia for the old west that could easily bring back land grabbing, treaty breaking, rustling, lynching, and why not slavery.  As much as we pay workers at minimum wage, with as many workers in America and children of workers in America without adequate health care . . . and as fat and semi-literate as we are, how could hope not to be weaned out by wolves hounding us, hunting, hunting, hunting.

We have also been selling our water as well as our air for money, haven’t we?  Certainly the rich can buy the loyalty of your sons and daughters who have been raised to think that the United States of America is the best of all possible countries, even if just for the Constitution, a document most of them couldn’t read beyond the superficial layer of the print on the page, especially with what passes for literacy training and education in the Public Schools and now in our universities, if only our community colleges.  Superficial skimmers of pages who then divine meaning by closing their eyes and imagining what a text might be saying.  How do you feel has for so long replaced what do you think, itself a form of cognition too dependent on the subjective apperarances to a single muddled receiver of ideas, that we don’t know how to think at all.

 

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