"We’ll at some point look in the rearview mirror and see the year 2012 as a pivotal time in the evolution of the human experience"
With all the massive hype aside, the buildup to this particular New Year, with all the uncertainty, loss of faith in our locked down political system, economic woes and the sobering, unedited news on the state of our climate, people could get caught up in these proposed “end of times.”
From the infamous ramblings of the Mayan Calendar to the pessimistic premonitions of Nostradamus, the landscape has been riddled with dire perspectives that heighten the already unsettling sensations of change. It is often change itself that causes many to dip into a feeling of insecurity, and when intensified by the unknowingness of what will replace the established “givens” that have begun to unravel, the masses tend to cling to the familiar, proven approach, even when it probably wasn’t sustainable in the first place. Oddly, though this perspective is based on what previously appeared as a mesmerized populace run by fear and easily manipulated, to a citizenry who, when actually asked, appears less than convinced that the status quo is maintainable, or even relevant in this time of accelerated change.
It is the establishment, the corporate machine, that projects so much of what we’re supposed to think and what it is that we’re supposed to agree with. A recent study shows a remarkable 70% of the population desires a renewable energy future, yet we are shown to be insatiable consumers of fossil energy with no lull in our appetite any time soon. It’s no coincidence that after decades of minimal choices for transportation, with the auto makers and big oil making sure alternatives would have a very slippery slope to climb, progress has been slow.
Even the beloved General Motors EV-1 was rounded up en masse and sent to the crusher, while emotional owners protested to no avail. The powers that be could not ingest the visual of a clean, cheap and renewable future that was potentially less profitable, coupled with the prospects of competition lining up from every direction. Remarkably, with all the countless technological advances over the decades, fuel economy in vehicles has made very small gains over the past thirty years. The banking system has shown to be controlled by an elite group of the country’s richest families, the Federal Reserve being a private enterprise run by the very banking interests it appears to control. Corporate plutocracy is now the name of the game in our government.
The people, however, have begun to find their voice. Social media has provided a viable alternative to the slanted corporate perspective and has made for a free exchange of information available to most everyone. So, while we luxuriate in this unexpected windfall of freedom, simultaneously, the U.S. Senate is poised to vote on a bill, the “Protect IP Act”, which is designed to end the free expression of the internet as we currently know it. Corporations such as Comcast and Pfizer have spent millions of dollars lobbying for this censorship legislation. In this latest attempt at usurping our liberties, these big players have teamed with another free spending contributor, the United States Chamber of Commerce. It’s a fact that they are the most powerful lobby in Washington D.C. when it comes to promoting and defending corporate interests.
If it passes, the "Protect IP Act" would give corporate copyright holders the authority to demand that the government shut down any website without a court order. All they would need is to “allege” that the website contains copyrighted material. So, instead of just listening to me share this latest tale of corporate tyranny, take action, as many millions of citizens have begun to do. Tell your senators to protect our open and free Internet and to oppose the “Protect IP Act.”
Now raging in the U.S. Senate is a debate on whether or not American citizens can face indefinite detention by the military if merely suspected of a crime against the state. No due process, no formal charges, just a full on assault on the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution in the name of national security. This continuous striping away of our civil liberties reveals the government’s agenda of controlling the populace over any mission to uphold the basic protections upon which the republic was founded. U.S. Representative Mark Udall from Colorado is leading the charge, along with Dianne Feinstein in the Senate to do away with this misaligned stipulation in the current Defense Authorization Bill. Please sign petitions for both of these, and other extremely important issues, at www.unicopia.org
Many people have come to find that participation in our political process, exercising our capacity to express our individual and collective will, feels empowering. It’s invigorating to get off the couch, turn off the latest mesmerizing slant on reality, and unite with others in the common purpose of protecting our freedoms and insuring a sustainable and renewable future for our children. It is also helpful to remember to focus on what’s good and beautiful in our lives and spend some quality moments visualizing the future we wish to live together.
So, you might be asking by now what all this has to do with the iconic year, 2012? Well, everything. Hollywood and others have cashed in on the apocalyptic theme, religions and cults have thrived off the fear generated by the correlation of predictions, and the vivid, living contrast of these uncertain and changing times has most everyone’s attention. This is a great year for introspection, healing, forgiveness, action and the personal and collective participation in our cultural transformation.
The most typical, and digestible, interpretation of the Mayan prophecy translates as…”the end of the world as we know it.” And, despite our human tendency to cling to the familiar, it’s important to recognize that these are remarkable times and to open to the limitless possibilities that the “end of times” evokes. We have the potential to create far grander realities then we’ve previously known. As our antiquated systems continue to decline, the resolve of citizens to live actively, cooperatively, creatively and in harmony with the planet will lead ultimately to the lasting solutions we seek. We’ll at some point look in the rearview mirror and see the year 2012 as a pivotal time in the evolution of the human experience. At least that’s my prophecy.