America is a tower. A tower of lies. A tower of lies that people have actually come to believe. So many lies, and none of them even remotely true. What are the lies? I will tell them to you.
There is the lies of how inadequate you are. From TV screens and computer screens come ads where people who are too beautiful to be real are telling you about how you don’t have the body that you should. That unless you take this pill, eat that food, use this exercise machine, follow that weight loss plan, that you are just another ugly part of society, and how nobody will find you attractive. Sure, there are ads where beautiful people are saying that you should love who you are, but who do those beautiful people associate with? More beautiful people. A lie that keeps people in American in bondage to the idea that they are not good enough. That they have to be better.
There are the lies of consumer culture. Things are sold to people for unbelievable amounts of money. This nation’s economy is built on selling things to people for far more than what they are worth. But people call this thievery the “free market.” They will defend this ideal, saying that this is the way it is supposed to be. With the digital age, you’d think that money would have become outdated. That we could have grown beyond the petty constraints of our business leaders who have a stranglehold on this country.
There are the lies of government. People on one side of the fence and the other follow the two massive parties, all the while believing that things are going to change. If they vote for the person with the D by their name, or the R, things will get better for them. Both sides seeming unaware that these two letters and the people who follow them are both in bondage. Bondage to a system of greed and corruption which has consumed not only America, but the entire world. People passionately defend their beliefs, saying that they will be vindicated. And all the while, banks are being spoon-fed trillions of dollars, the poor are starving, and the rest are becoming the poor.
The are the lies of childhood. If you grew up in my generation, you grew up with Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street telling you when you were very young to be nice to the other children. To share and to help them, because we are all one people. There are no races, there are no differences. We are all one, and we have to look out for each other. But the moment you leave childhood behind, that rug of comfort and what should be truth is pulled out from under you. You are thrust into a world that tells you that back-stabbing is okay. That manipulation and cruelty is what is to be expected. That you shouldn’t help others, but steal from others. The kindness and compassion of those childhood messages swallowed whole by the maw of greed that our corporate wasteland has become.
There are the lies of potential. Not that you are being lied to that you have potential, which isn’t true. The lie that you don’t. The lie that all you are accomplishing with your efforts and your talent is nothing. The artisan, the poet, the writer, the dreamer, you tell somebody that you mean to pursue these talents and dreams, and they will laugh at you. Saying that your head is in the clouds, and you need to come back to planet Earth. Because talent and art and beauty is not motivated in our society. We have become so cold and so calloused to the idea that when somebody brings it up, we look on them and feel amusement. Like they are somebody to mock, instead of somebody to raise up. Meanwhile, the culture at large raises up people like Justin Bieber, Michael Bay, and a dozen other creators who are easily packaged, easily able to slipped on a label or cover and put out to the public. Gone are the messages of Marilyn Manson, telling young people not to listen to society, and to know that being who you are is okay. We now teach conformity, and to be ordinary. Because your potential is wasted in this country.
But above all, there are the lies of living. Is it any wonder the public has become so apathetic and disillusioned with their political celebrities, who at this very moment are going around the country and putting on lovely shows? Nothing has gotten better. Obama preached a few months after he got into office that “America is back.” It was a lie that nobody believed. The people were too smart to be manipulated like that. Even now, nothing is getting better. Stagnation and just acceptable are the words that are constantly in the zeitgeist of this country. We are told that this is the best we can do.
America is built on a foundation of lies, and if something doesn’t change soon, this country will be beyond salvation. The global economy is falling apart. It could be a worldwide depression, with the banks and the corporations still making money. The culmination of our war for independence has been to be told by people who don’t care about you that you need to spend thousands of dollars on s*** you don’t need. That going in debt is the way to be saved. How many college students like myself have believed that lie. So many of them have cried themselves to sleep at night, praying to a God who isn’t real that they will get that next chance.
This is what your civil war was for, America. This is what protecting yourselves from the Empire of Japan and the Nazis accomplished. Your marches for civil rights, for women, minorities, gays and lesbians. It allowed you to be a corporate dumping ground for all their money, while people protesting in the streets get laughed at from balconies above by people so wealthy that they could care less.
Aren’t you proud? Aren’t all of us proud?
You should be crying.