Why should Richard Branson send himself into orbit? Is it to send a message to those deadbeat dads that throwing their children’s lives away is a tragic waste of their child-making abilities. It’s not rocket science. Or maybe it is, a little. I can’t help thinking what all those souls the deadbeat dads have brought into this crumbling world might accomplish. It’s possible one of them might find the cure for childhood hunger or cancer or spam. What, we have to feed them first? Give them an education? No, that’s way too easy! That’s an insult to our vast intellect. What we need is a real challenge, worthy of our seed. We must build a giant hotel in space for the superior among us to be free of all the pain and suffering down here below on that corrupted ball of clay that wants to drag us back down into the dust from which we have arisen, to take our place as the Gods of the universe, we were anointed as, by our seed. Let them eat of their own putrid scraps, while we glide serenely in the heavens.
I believe I take into account all responsible viewpoints when I say the solutions exist to fix income inequality, childhood hunger, indeed world hunger, which are not sustainable conditions, morally or economically. I get where the Bransons and Bezos of the world are coming from. We need to push the boundaries; create a hopeful vision of a bright world future. No one I know, down here on planet Earth, supports abandoning children, even at our border (other than Steven Miller and Donald Trump). No one is defending deadbeat dads. No one I know thinks the government should support those who are able but refuse to work. Progressives are sensible people, erring on the side of reality. And I believe my conservative friends make some valid points. People should keep more of what they earn. Billionaires should be free to buy as many space ships as they want. I believe progressives understand that more than they often get credit for. After all, it was progressives who launched the space program in the 1960s. We do not lack vision. We are not the enemy of reason. But we are friend to the worker. And if we’re not, we should be.
Otherwise just elect Jeff Bezos
I honestly have nothing against billionaires. I admire the cleverness and tenacity of their achievements. They should get a medal. But unlike the government, for whom we can ostensibly vote members in and out of office, we don’t have much of a say as to how billionaires spend their loot. I just think a system where this kind of wealth can be amassed by one person, while millions who work hard are barely surviving, is morally bankrupt and unsustainable. Corporate interests should never be above the interests of the working people in this country. That’s called oligarchy and it’s time to do away with it. If I thought billionaires knew what was good for the country I would have voted for Trump. After all, most millionaires inherited their wealth (actually only 21% did) and have done little or nothing to improve our lot on this planet. Newsflash: wealth does not actually trickle down. But it is this arrogant assumption that the working poor are lazy or weak that is just dead wrong. The working poor often work much harder than those with great wealth. The millionaire class would have us believe its all hard work and smarts that got them where they are today. But a big part of wealth accumulation is just dumb luck. The working poor may be left wanting in the smarts or luck departments, but they certainly know hard work.
Sure, I could have been rich. I just didn’t want to be.
Myself, I’ve often felt I could be much further ahead financially, if I had ignored my artistic standards and aspirations, to pursue more passive forms of wealth creation, like day trading stocks or learning to code, whatever that is. It’s sometimes a matter of priorities. What is important to me is the quality and depth of the work I do, not how much money it generates. The two don’t necessarily go hand in hand. And there are many measures of success, besides financial. And morality and integrity do matter, whether you’re a migrant worker, an artist like myself or a multi millionaire.
Beacon of Hope
Space, the final frontier
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big Star Trek fan. One of the many deep messages behind trek is the question of human priorities versus human potential, whether solving the world’s problems are addressed by space exploration or investing in human infrastructure. Which came first? The invention of warp drive or dealing with and managing our greed and hate. In Star Trek VIII, First Contact, these go hand in hand. So yes, space exploration is necessary, but only as it improves the human condition. What we have, it seems, is a bunch of rich guys looking for another cool toy. I think rather than waiting around for our salvation, God might expect us to actually make positive change, show a little interest in our own well being. Like in Star Trek First Contact, the Vulcans don’t show up until we get our act together.
If I had a million dollars . . .
I’ll tell you what though. If I did have a Zillion dollars I sure as hell would want to leave a legacy of saving as many desperate, down, hard-working, confused, angry, sad, dumbfounded, hopeless, optimistic, hateful, caring, generous, insane, unlucky, weak working poor humans out there who just need a caring hand to lift them up out of that hopeless funk, that mire of confusion that reminds them every day that they aren’t good enough. Well, like my primal therapist asked me to say 20 years ago, “fuck you I’m good enough.” I would invest in infrastructure and education and create jobs that have meaning and offer dignity. And I would teach the masses to say it, loud and clear, “fuck you, I’m good enough,” over and over again, louder and louder untill they got that they were in fact g o o d e n o u g h. Because when a person believes this simple mantra, they are far more likely to contribute to society in ways we cannot begin to imagine. Call me naïve, but I believe in human dignity. And f+#k anyone that says otherwise.
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