Sitting by, helpless

The country is not threatened by suffering people. The country is threatened by comfortable people afraid of suffering. I cannot understand why I have been so blessed. I didn’t obey the commandments. I didn’t follow the Word. I haven’t been much good to my neighbors. I want to help. But I can’t.

I remember decades ago, reading a book about a society mostly turned into zombies, raging around every night slaughtering whatever real people survived. The non-zombie hero hid out after dark. During the day, he searched for sleeping zombies and pounded a stake into their hearts. At the end he was defeated – not by raging zombies, but by zombies recovering their indestructible peopleness; people, again, whose enduring humanity had triumphed over their zombie influences. He had been murdering his own kind.

Despite our pretended differences, we’re all in the same frenzy. Republicans, born with hearts that don’t care, see pictures of starving Somali children and hope they’re already dead. Republicans dream of solving the planet’s problems by exterminating most of the people on it. But Democrats believe the same lie, that you’ve got to make more money for the rich to help the poor. All the lemmings rush to the sea together.

Remember, for the day you begin to recover: human nature is not competitive. The economy does not have to grow for the nation to prosper. Rich wanting to become richer is bad.

I visited a family that watched a television so I sat with them for a while. It was a popular twenty-four hour propaganda channel with a ‘news’ format. Attractive people vigorously, loudly, preached nonsense to footage of current events, peppered with warnings about the future. Odd, I thought, how we’ve made it so easy for corporations to use the Constitution against the country. But it’s the right thing to do. We can’t grow beyond a panic without listening to it. Fear is not the way. We will emerge from this, after a lot of death and suffering, still human despite our zombiness.

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