At the Same Time by Susan Sontag

It is no secret we live in a strange nation; a nation that believes in freedom and justice until corporations are robbing the citizens, and the countrymen believe in those terms until a personality they adore is put on trial. We are a country of double standards, hypocrisy and lack of responsibility are veiled behind our ideas of femininity and masculinity, upper-class and lower-class, whiteness and blackness, watching half the nation ignorantly associate freedom with anarchy. The lives we lead are manifestations of the people we’ve allowed ourselves to become, and our becoming is a combination of our associations, thoughts, actions, and the contents of our soul.

We deify the ultra-wealthy believing in some divine nature for their success secretly wanting to become them and experience that level of “success”. Our deep distrust of the government pushes our citizens into an aloof apathy toward the reconstruction of this flawed system, and millions pretend to be unaffected from the catastrophes happening around them as conversation spread around the fall of Greece and mighty empires collapsing before our eyes, however, I do not trust this approach to reformation. I believe in the possibility of improving societal conditions without the total spiritual collapse of every civilian. We are suffering from a mood of apathy, despairing sentimentality, and conforming to the energy of hate-filled message boards; because the amount of shootings seemed almost planned, ignored, and wrapped in conspiracy, I empathize with my countrymen, but through a rhetoric of severe patriotism Americans are associating access to guns with a simple-minded idea of freedom. Our simple-minded countrymen are also applying for positions of power in their cities, and the onslaught of shooting, pitiful politicians, and economic fear will make anyone turn everything off, but I believing turning away from every definition, every assumption, and making our individual contribution to the world is a more valuable approach.

Anytime facts contradict the image of the country our nation enters a strange identify crises causing a justification after every murder, shooting, or lamentations of the expensiveness of poverty. Along with enforced censorship, the absolute patriotism, and existential nihilism ruling the nation there is a growing amount of despair resulting in a ideology of wishing the slate to be wiped clean; a belief that these are the end times and God will destroy us for our reckless behavior and disrespect for the planet, often used in churches the ideology is even spreading without the biblical language. I believe, however, our future is gonna be defined by confrontation and not avoidance; confrontation leads to catharsis while avoidance allows changes to be made underneath our noses.

Toni Morrison On her couch, where she often wrote. April 17, 1974

Like in our intimate lives, a raging unchanneled anger can lead to hurting people that do not deserve being hurt, as Toni Morrison said, “Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.” However, I believe when the anger is challenge and released it can become a form of protest, a stimulate, leading to people being infuriated with what our lives have become. I believe, we have a responsibility in playing our ancestral role in shifting the landscape of the country in redefining our assumption, and utilizing joy, love, and confrontation as a means of protest.