During a recent discussion, the same thing came up, which elicits the same response from me each time. It's almost Pavlovian in how it runs the same course like tossing fries out your car window and watching the birds lose their minds attacking the scraps.
It goes something like this:
Person A says, "There's a drought in the West and flooding in the East!"
Me: "We could solve that."
Person A: "How?"
Me: "The same way your great grandparents would have done: build a pipeline, putting people to work, fueling the upstream industrial systems like manufacturing, engineering, logistics, banking, food, housing, you name it."
Person A: "That's impossible."
Me: "If it was oil it would have been done already."
We will send battalions of young men and women into hot, dry shitholes, to spill blood for the sake of oil, yet we dare not consider spilling a drop of sweat to save our own land from drought, crop destruction, fires, flooding, and all that it cascades into beyond that. Americans are too preoccupied with what the Kardashians are wearing or screwing, and what team traded what contract slave to another team, and what band is putting out a new recording. And we wonder why people in poor, war-torn places don't like us very much.
Everything now is done for the good of the banks, the corporations, the shareholders. Fuck the people. They're disposable commodities that feed the machinery that keeps the cash flowing between places like China, India, Guatemala and the great vacuum bag of consumption called the US of A.
It's like this: I always try to think of how I would stand in front of my grandfather and explain some issue I'm having a lot of stress over. Things like petty office politics, irritating people in traffic, annoying TV shows and the latest social network craze. He would look at like Samuel L. Jackson looked at Brad in Pulp Fiction. Without saying a word, I'd know he would want to smack the living sissy-ass pettiness off my face. (He never raised a hand at anyone as far as I know. But he had a way of making you feel like you deserved to smack yourself for being stupid).
Even our knee-jerk behavior is becoming predictable. When the ACRA bill was release, and the "news" pundits started their chainsaw jaw-jacking spewage of bullshit editorialized reviews, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, bothered to read the bill itself. It was (and still is) posted online. After a week or two of suffering through rednecks arguing with vegans about how it would fix or destroy the American economy, I decided to go download the PDF from the source, and READ IT. Yes, actually READ IT. O-M-F-G. How shocking that someone would bother to read something anymore unless it blabbers on about vampires, zombies or some other stupid worn-out crap.
Someone moaned about that saying "but, it's like 1900 pages or something!"
If that was the latest installment of a Harry Potter or Hunger Games series, people would have snapped it up like raw turkeys at the Florida Alligator Farm (a pretty neat demonstration, by the way).
Instead, most (99.9999%) of "Merkans" tuned into their favorite spoon-feeding, bullshit-manufacturing TV, web or radio outlet to have the ugly details chewed and spit into their brains like momma birds feeding their young. Never mind that momma removed 90% of the facts and twisted the rest to suit their sponsor's agenda. They got a Cliff Notes version of it and ran like leaving a gas station without paying. Turn the key, and start blabbering the same misinformed BS that they just had connected to their brains on the way to work. RTFM is dead.
Sorry for the sideline diatribe. Back to the roll-up-yer-sleeves-and-do-some-work-beyoches discussion...
We could be putting our efforts into building the next generation of cross-country (heck, cross-continent) transportation, energy generation, resource allocation management, high-speed Internet connectivity, bridge and tunnel repair/upgrades, and whatever. You know: Like our ancestors did FOR US. We could be doing for our kids. Yet we spend all our time putting some sports team flag or sticker on our shitty trucks and SUV's which are made from 90% foreign parts and consume foreign-supplied oil products, on our way to WalMart and CostCo to buy foreign-made crap, and some fattening food to keep our guts ever-expanding like a Hardees commercial. I know I sound like an old man (confession, I am), but it's true. We're now the lazy shitheads our parents hoped we'd never become.
Now it looks like China and the rest of the emerging economic powers will gradually buy us out from under our own noses. Farms first, then transportation, then shipping terminals, and then all of it. Sold to the highest bidder, because the shareholders can live anywhere and don't care which team has which players because they can simply buy and trade them around from their yacht. Meanwhile, nobody notices because we're busy teaching our kids to claim "We're Number One!!!" in between TV shows.
Good luck China! I hope you get your money's worth out us.
Daily pessimism delivery completed. Enjoy!