So, it's my birthday and I did something I've avoided for months and months. I watched the TV news, CNN to be exact. And I'm feeling shittier about the world and the human race than ever. I think back to something George Carlin said: that he felt betrayed by the nation, by religion and by the species. I'm really feeling like that these days too.
Firstly, and the most obvious, we've all been betrayed by our government. We're waging a war under totally false pretenses and the only people benefiting are the oily assholes making billions of dollars while Wall Street has suffered the worst June since the Depression. Meanwhile, ordinary working folks are suffering under mortgages pricier than their actual homes and selling everything but themselves to pay for gas.
Secondly, organized religion is the pits, no doubt about it. If the Rapture of the Christians actually comes to pass, what then? The pagans and the heathens and whatnot will be left with a trashed planet and a trashed atmosphere and tons of crap to swallow. And if the Abrahamic folks are right about who gets into their heaven and who doesn't we'll be left with all the evil criminals too!
Thirdly, between the murderous bulldozer rampage in Jerusalem and Esmin Green dying on a NYC hospital floor after waiting 24 hours for care that never came I'm just about ready to write off the entire human race. I feel bad for the folks who were run over and crushed in Jerusalem. But I feel especially bad for Mrs. Green whose last day was spent waiting and waiting and waiting for help and then falling, convulsing and dying on a waiting room floor while security guards and other staff came, looked at her and then walked off. She must have been in all kinds of agony and no one gave a single solitary shit. I can almost understand why her fellow patients didn't come to her aid; this is a psychiatric waiting room we're talking about here and those folks are each in their own personal hell, trapped inside their own heads. But for staff to come and gawk and then walk away nonchalantly? It's just unfathomable. I only hope that her death may bring a little awareness to the hideous way we treat our mentally ill in this country. They are the butts of a thousand jokes and in many places, not just this particular filthy hospital, they are treated like shit simply for being sick. They are the weakest, most defenseless and most vulnerable people at the complete mercy of their so-called caregivers and deserve better than to be treated like cranky babies. What happened to compassion? What happened to respect for our fellow human beings?
Carlin would say, and did say, that everything started going downhill when the priests and the traders started selling us out. I don't know, I just don't know. Here I am on my birthday and I'm ashamed to be a human being. I'm baffled at the depths to which we have fallen. We are so full of promise, technologically speaking. But in terms of human interaction we are the lowest of the low. Are we doomed? Should we hope to improve the way we treat each other? Is there any hope to be had at all?