I tried to immortalize my family and my existence through words. My cousin did it through children and grandchildren. And now as of today great grandchildren. His name will be remembered and all my words will be forgotten. What the Hell was I writing about anyhow? Dissatisfaction? My views on a mixed up world that nobody ever wanted? Even though everything that I had set down had been true to form. Things like that are rarely if ever recalled. Not unless they directly lad to the bad things in life. Death always overcomes life. New life overcomes death. That cycle doesn’t seem like it is going to change anytime soon.
Ninety-nine years plus one, ago my grandmother’s sister Tilly was taken unexpectedly by the worldwide Influenza epidemic that scourged the world just after the armistice of the Great War of 1914 through 1918. A year later my mother was brought into this world. Could there have been a connection? My mother lived almost ninety three years. During that time aviation technology matured from routine trans-continental travel to space travel. The television and personal computer were created, and a nuclear world of weapons and their deadly industrially based side effects became commonplace. The great empires of 19th c. Europe dissolved and the American superpower empire born of the new world grew to become the most preeminent economic and military power on the planet. What must the world have been back then before all this in her supposedly very much less complex time?
Tonight through a happenstance of rambling through different topics of conversation with a French female friend that hails from a completely different experience of cultural appreciations and standards, she mentioned that in her opinion, Americans in general acted too complacently as if they were slaves. She making the point that specific other European populations have been driven by an underlying sense of unvarying social conformity, as with the example of the Germans, and in an equivalent sense, the Russians. Now sitting here, a bit later, by myself in the midst of the descending temperatures of a fast approaching bitter Winter, I sense that a continued application of continual trauma may have much to say in terms of the root cause of this behavior? Certainly to admit to the validity of this proposition is a blow to one’s sense of overblown national identity. A collective historical sense of bluster come mostly through the filter of the Hollywood film industry of past generations. Something that has been turned on its head over the last fifty years from something to be proud of to another thing completely to be ashamed of. The blistering indictment of European culture wrought by those that direct the current movement of non-aligned third world group of cultural snatching assimilators. This being a present tense updated sense of trauma of itself.
The real unvarnished American Experience not available from the PBS programming being one of a lonely ever insecure sense of self-reliance at all costs. One that encompasses many truly diverse groups that quickly learned the ropes of where they stood in the technological evolution of the Industrial revolution. Generally as helplessly dependent for bread and board through the lens of that indifferent medium of paper based promissory notes that gave them no control over any real wealth. A form of highly sophisticated indentured servitude based on a false illusion of personal ownership. The worldwide hegemony of the pyramidal banking system calling the tune making wealth and staggering profit from the timorous surrender of a crushing work ethic. The party coming quickly to a close when health or age preclude being to offer a higher standard of practicable labor. The mass hysterical illusion of one’s elevated statue finally coming to an end.
Though the system of cheap mostly undocumented foreign labor of a hundred years ago was also the flavor of the day. The complexity of numerically more prevalent and more highly sophisticated technologies coming to an effective parody with the current population of would be workers. A world where everything necessary to life is measured and monitored and meted out for a highly organized system supervising the individual’s promise to pay. Where in the past, the discretion to initiate payment was in direct control of the individual. Now in the age old tradition of indentured servitude ala slavery the individual has no contact with anything more than the daily task that is demanded without question to perform.
Gone is that inherent sense of rugged individualism come of one’s total vulnerability on the wild frontier. Replaced by a cradle to grave sense of insecurity of being spied upon 24/7 and quickly taken to task for any variation from the daily game plan that applies so unequally to all. The bilious illusion of reality cast be the daily broadcast of faked events driving unilateral political initiatives to gain even greater power over average people’s lives destabilizing those caught up in a repugnant atmosphere of nonstop materialism. The mentality of go along to get along’ being the anthem of the day. All one’s acceptable hero’s being anti-heros with nothing in common with their fellow human being beyond the daily struggle within the highly regimented confines of the workplace. The Germans traditionally terming same within the context of the national slogan of “Ordung Muss Sein!” Their American cousins governed by “Just Do It!”
There the current most well-publicized visual analogy of Germans is standing maniacally at attention in a Stahlhelm and highly polished jackboots. The American equivalent is of someone street surfing with their head down and fully engrossed with the latest text emanating from their I-Phone. A sense of total social isolation that would have shocked even a Panopticon obsessed Jeremy Bentham. The current iteration of society beyond the comprehension of Greatest Generation sired Baby Boomer’s like myself! And waiting in futility like some Sam Beckett, Waiting For Godot type character for conventional sanity to right a sinking ship of vulnerable human traits soon to be replaced by robotic ones. The French and Asians and South Americans among others never afraid of getting out in the streets and communally risking life and limb. The average American looking for a spokesperson to flag down the nearest news camera to bitch and moan about their own personal martyrdom as a victim requiring special needs. So much for John Wayne being unceremoniously deposed by Tom Hanks!
The trauma of childhood counterpoised against poverty in the nineteen-thirties of the Great Depression plagued mean streets of prewar America being more physically traumatic but less soul crushing than the cog driven mentality of planned obsolescence and total replaceability that hangs over every aspect of modern life. Survival being harder perhaps in a system organized to serve a minority of elites at the expense of their workers. I have to wonder what my mother would have to say having to endure existing in the same. It might be very loud indeed.