Saturday, December 06, 2014

After Rereading Herbert Marcuse

Meher Baba

Looking at the brown leaves yet dangling from near bare limbs against a dismal, foggy sky, cold mist clinging to everything, it is so clear that all our so-called holidays are but the perpetuation of consumerism, of putting ever more wealth in the hands of the rich, the controlling Oligarchy. What were long ago pagan celebrations of Nature, the equinox, the solstice, the changing of seasons, has been conveniently turned into the need to buy things. Thanksgiving-- we are the real turkeys, convinced we should say thanks for what little we have, our low pay, our debt, our need for cars and televisions, the fine feast we get a few times a year. Thankful for jobs working 40 or more hours a week, usually at meaningless drudgery that has no connection to the rest of our lives. We should say we are thankful to all those CEOs making billions and insisting that we work harder, thankful that in a month, we shall have just enough money to go out and buy stuff to give to everyone we care about, as if giving stuff were an expression of love. Look at what is happening in this country, the abusive police, the expanding military involvement, the strip mining and rape of the environment, the rejection of a decent minimum wage, the voter suppression... as we are distracted with sports on television. Amazing how prescient Marcuse was in 1964, just as LBJ was elected and offering us the Great Society-- half a century ago. And like a good, dazed, numbed, drugged citizen of the Oligarchy, I'll do my part, for irony, driving to the Big Easy for meals and friendship; then to Savannah for more. Or in the words of Meher Baba, "Don't worry; be happy!"