Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Nation Buried Alive Needs the Right Spiritual Spade, and That Spade is Not Money

I've been watching the show Cities of the Underworld on the History channel. It documents and shows underground tunnels and chambers of different historical focuses. Yesterday I watched an old one on a bunker in  West Virginia underneath the Greenbrier 5 star hotel. This was the place where congress would be rushed off to in the event of nuclear holocaust during the cold war. Once entering they would be stripped, showered and issued military uniforms, which set a weird image in my mind of old white dudes walking around in fatigues and how that would alter their partisan relations.

Today I watched one on Vietnam and the intricate network of tunnels below the jungles and a whole underground village under the coastal town of Vinh Moc. Dug out by bare hands. Thick clay. My girlfriend asked me if I thought Americans would rally together to dig out and cooperate on a safe haven. And I wonder if they would. I don't mean to knock on Americans necessarily, but there is the air of uncertainty about the degree of governmental and personal roles in shaping a nation and reacting to crisis. If a war were to suddenly land on American ground, our spirit as a nation of solutions and production is currently wounded, and I'm feeling our resolve is in a doughy shape. I'm not talking about patriotism. There's plenty of that as evidenced by the rowdiness of 4th of July weekend. I'm talking about my worries of us as a nation of innovative adaptability. If you look at our congress, our lawmakers, everyone seems to clinging to old models. Republicans vs democrats. This worked. That worked. Well in the end you look at our economic situation, none of this or that worked in the long run. It got us in a trench without the right tools to dig us out.

This is America. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Yet I don't feel that confidence emanate from much of the American population. The old feeling of local comraderie seems to be thinning with the enlarged communications of the global population. And America is battered by big worries about business. Business complexities. The complexities that have popped kinks in a nation that has become a business.

America is a melting pot of creativity and as a people we need to get that jiving back whether Wall Streets wants to share with Main Street, whether congress can shift gears and become a little more solution minded or not. I want to see all of us people, not wait on the big business men to sprinkle vitality on us through paychecks, but to find a way to eat, and play and make things without the agreed upon nonsense of money.

I've read about various forms of community currencies popping up as experiments. I read about one example in Japan where say for example you help out a neighbor by picking up his kids when he's sick. You in turn get a token which you can redeem for goods or services in the community, say, get a cup of coffee.

My question to us is do we really want to let our cities and states degrade while money figures out what it wants to be for us? Or do we want to create or own local systems for providing basic human needs and joys in a fair and organized way to reward those who want to pitch in and contribute? I don't mean to harp on and denigrate Americans and world citizens, this really applies to the whole world, but what the fuck, this economic crisis is bullshit and we're all agreeing to this bullshit preventing us to think outside the cardboard box and get shit done.

A nation buried alive needs the right spiritual spade, and that spade is not money.

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