Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Man Will Become Maneater

I was an early teenager when HBO launched.  Even back then HBO aired series that were exclusive to its channel.  One such series that impacted my young, all-too impressionable mind was called The Man Who Saw Tomorrow.  It was about the prophecies of Nostradamus and their application to history, then-contemporary times, and the future.  With regard to events to come, Nostradamus predicted that during the “end times” (I’m not sure what that meant) that “man will become maneater.”  That phrase stayed with me since that time.

I’m not a huge believer in these “prophets,” but those words, “man will become maneater” stayed with me.  I have no idea whether there will ever be “end times,” so to speak, but I am seeing a trend that is making me very uncomfortable.  It is making this agnostic light candles, at least as energy of love and light.

The article I’m posting below is just one, tragic, unnecessary use of deadly violence to resolve a grievance.  I am extremely distressed by the increasing violence and violent sentiment that is being disseminated recently.  Let me explain briefly.

Personally, my life in Miami is relatively devoid of violent interactions, even while driving.  Just about all human-to-human interactions I have here are pleasant, kind, and often fun.  But I cannot deny that others have regrettable interactions with other persons who are violent in demeanor or physical action.  What is most troubling, however, is that it seems to me that the commercial, consent-building, propaganda machine that is the commercial news media is disseminating content relentlessly about humans engaged in deadly violence.  Such constant messaging foments more of the same behavior, especially from persons who are addicted to such content and do not possess the analytical skills and tools to parse the various forces at play in commercial content dissemination.

It also seems, gaging only from social media, that large masses of persons are committed to “being right” than to solving disagreements through human connections.

And, it does not seem to me that the commercial news media is the only one fomenting violent discontent.  Just yesterday I was on the phone with Verizon Wireless Customer Service to dispute charges and fees that had no business being on my bill.  Those charges were removed.  I asked the customer service agent why those charges had appeared to begin with.  Candidly, he confessed that he could not give me an explanation.  Also, to date, I have not been able to get AT&T to produce a statement for my Internet service and residential land line that is accurate.  Lastly, my 89 year-old mother found that J.P. Morgan Chase had taken an extra $100 out of her account for no reason.  She called Customer Service, was on the phone with them for 2 hours, and got her $100 back.  When I related this story to a close friend, who is a 20-year veteran of the banking industry, he told me that “banks do that all the time.” Meaning, that banks will randomly extract money from your account because they’re betting on your not going over your bank statements.  In common parlance, that’s called stealing.  Many actors in the marketplace are not satisfied with justly “getting what’s theirs;” they also want what’s yours and mine and want to simply take it from us.

These are dark times.  The source of the darkness, and the possibilities for solutions, begins in the mirror.