Sober thoughts this Eve of Christmas

Canned Tomato Soup – tomato soup for the unimaginative, the indolent, the unfortunate – just like grandma used to make, but she didn’t shit in it.

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water of questionable origin, tomato paste made from tomatoes cultivated with toxic fertilisers and pesticides), high fructose corn syrup (toxic corn derivative long outlawed in much of the civilised world), wheat flour (from genetically modified wheat, in use only the US and in those nations compelled by misfortune to use American products), water (again of dubious origin), salt (but not sodium chloride, table salt), flavouring (toxic chemical concoctions, the names of which are too horrifying to mention, endorsed, still, by the FDA, as assurances that the ignorant American public will get its required daily dose of toxins, sufficient to keep it stupefied, compromised, and more easily manipulated), citric acid (of uncertain origin, but certainly not benign), lower sodium natural sea salt (why the other salt, then), ascorbic acid (vitamin C [a preservative]), monopotassium phosphate (fertiliser, food additive [yet another source of toxins sanctioned by the FDA], fungicide).

Yet another American pseudo-food that flatters taste but feeds not.

This ubiquitously occurring example of deception perpetrated upon the American public by government, business, industry, and organized religion is all that many, even most, Americans know.

Offence, here, is futile. as are sympathy and compassion. The choices of others, sponsored by fear, and by submission otherwise motivated, are theirs alone to suffer. In every or either case, too, just because one is offended does not mean that she or he is right.

In the States, currently, more than anywhere else, it seems, any and every nuance of civilisation appears denied, shunned, not elusive, but allusive of surrender to the perceived weakness of moderation, of cultivation, of humanitarianism.  Civil – affable, chivalrous, courteous, decent, gallant, genial, pleasant, polite, well-mannered… That eliminates much of the current American world, which is self-consuming in xenophobic prejudice and hatred. 

These are civilised  – An ardent disbelief in the burning of witches; tolerance, compassion, selflessness; the freedom to pursue mastery over one’s own destiny; courage, movement, laughter, and love, unrestrained; passion, devotion, obsession, uncensored.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. – from the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson

What happened to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? They were replaced by intolerance, prejudice, hate…inequality, indifference, cruelty, inhumanity…by just getting by, just making ends meet, merely surviving.

These are civilised – Giving a damn; making a difference; random acts of kindness; paying it forward…

Contrarily,  it is not civilised for people to fear their governments. It is not civilised for the government to support the interests of big business and big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of the people, the environment, the planet. It in not civilised for big government-subsidised agriculture to produce, to market, and to sell foods toxic with artificial and genetically modified ingredients, preservatives, industrially produced corn and soy derivatives, deliberately, surreptitiously poisoning the American public. It is not civilised that fast food establishments thrive on American obesity.

It is not civilised to deny a woman equal rights, protections, and freedoms under the law. It is not civilised that one gender, one race, one ethnicity, one sexual orientation or preference, one party, one religion, one socio-economic class should mandate how a diverse community may seek life, liberty, and happiness.

Supported by American complaisence, the English presence in the six counties of Northern Ireland is a crime against civilisation; as is the Israeli denial of a Palestinian homeland; as is the continued atrocity in Syria; as are the Russian and Chinese violations of sovereignty of their neighbouring nations.

How can anything American now be taken seriously when nearly everything America once held dear has been usurped by hypocrisy, sham, and farce? If it were not so tragic, its absurdity might bring a smile to one’s face. Once the leader of the free world, America is now its laughing stock, its most preposterous joke.

Hip-hop and EDM are just as civilised as country music.

Hate, wherever is occurs, should not be tolerated. In the States, though, it is applauded, supported by government, business, industry, and fundamentalist rightest religion. Denis Diderot (1713-1784), the French humanist wrote, ‘Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.’ Extreme…? Given the current state of affairs in the States once united  of America, the karma of the president of the fascist right and that of the pastor of the fascist right might well so render silent their leadership of the deluded American public.  

Is there any civilisation remaining in the States? If there were, a blind eye would not be turned, one would not pretend ignorance, one would not hold one’s tongue, one would stand, sit, or lie while others cry for help.

The world is too small for any but two types of people – those who need help, who really need it; and those who help, who really help. Which type are you?

Demonstrate your civilisation.