Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Entertainment, politics and life after Madoff

Just watched "Enemy of the State." During the first 45 minutes I realized I was angry, spit at the screen angry. The National Security Agency people in the movie are loathsome vermin. What hurt is that I believe these people do all the nasty, horrible things they did to Will Smith's character in the movie. I deep down believe that they frame people, murder people, ruin lives to serve their own purposes, read our emails and snail mail, listen to our phone calls, mess with our bank accounts, spy on our families for their own purposes, and worse, do all these same things to people in other countries.

I had a talk with myself, a serious get-a-grip talk about how I believe in government, I believe in the good, it's only a movie and still, I believe these creeps do all those disgusting things. This ugly belief system of mine started back in the Nixon Times, accelerated during the Reagan Times and solidified during the Bush-Cheney Times. All the awful things done during those administrations are stored in my brain, cellular memories creating a strong belief system.

I'm very sad about this. I voted for Barack Obama, I truly believe he is a Renaissance man, I think he has integrity, I like what he is doing. And at the same time I think parts of the government are totally out of our control, managed by sociopaths whose budgets are secret, names are secret, rules are non-existent. When the chips are down, I suspect some agency will do its worst and we have nothing to say about it.

What would it take for our government to clean itself up and can there ever be enough transparency?

And on to another group of Americans, the folks who lost everything to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Vanity Fair had a sad story about Madoff victims, including women who have lost everything now trying to sell their jewels for enough money to pay their $100,000 American Express bills. What will become of these women, will they have to work, cleaning houses or taking orders at McDonalds? At least one woman is, at age 70, now cleaning houses, while a man in his 90s is a greeter in a supermarket.

Omigod. I start to feel sorry for them and then I remember, I’ll be 70 my next birthday. Vanity Fair won’t cover the tragedy if I lose my pension and the right wingers (the majority, unfortunately) in the community would probably say it serves me right for voting for Democrats. I would simply have to sell off everything and go to work for whatever fast food restaurant would hire me. And thank God the Republicans weren’t able to give Social Security to the brokers to invest in stocks on Wall Street.

Then I remember all the widows and orphans in Iraq, and wonder how many 70-year-old women in that country are left with nothing as a direct result of my country’s decision, in a storm of lies and manipulation, to overthrow the Iraqi government in order to secure a stranglehold on that country’s oil? I mean, speaking of vile things done by my government.

So I feel compassion for the Madoff victims, the Wall Street victims, the Iraqi widows and orphans. I feel compassion for us all. As my dear friend says: It's difficult being human.