In the smash-hit movie Titanic a few years ago, moviemakers combined fiction with history. As usual, the history wasn't exactly accurrate. Tellingly, though, was the way in which the actual history was tweaked.
I will never understand how decadance can be considered 'cool,' nor how laziness can seek justification as rebellion. How can ingratitude be disguised as victimization, or cynicism as intelligence? These are the bastardizations prevalent in our society today. And they all have something in common: they are equally pathetic.
To those only slightly familiar with the history of revolutions in the world, the word itself, 'revolution,' has a positive connotation. Most Americans are drawn back to the dawn of our country with fond admiration and respect; as it should be. Despite the fact that my team mate and co-author Orrin Woodward and I entitled one of our books, Launching a Leadership Revolution (our intention being to conjure the good meanings of 'revolution'), all revolutions aren't good. Many, many revolutions through history were bloody, unjust, horrific affairs ending in tyranny. Only a few, despite near universal propaganda to the contrary, have ever amounted to much more than 'the mob taking over.'
Take for instance the so-called French Revolution of 1789. What began in high-sounding plattitudes (at first blush similar to those of the American colonials) ended in mass murder and crowd-manic-hysteria. What was the difference? As author Fareed Zakaria wrote, "France placed the state above society, democracy above constitutionalism, and equality above liberty."
I would like to propose a new boycott, directed at some of the most fiendish foes ever encountered: those irascible packaging engineers who insist on ensnaring toys with wires, tapes, blister packs, and (sometimes even) screws! Just what necessitates the complex, skin-slicing myriad of contraptions that hold toys in their packages with such ferocity? Are toy theives in the likeness of Edward Scissorhands, brigands who can slice toys from conventional packages and swipe them from stores before anyone is any the wiser? Is toy theft really such a national crisis to warrant hundreds of parental hours of extraction before an awaiting toddler can get the satisfaction of even touching his or her new gift? It must be that toy theft was once such an epidemic, because there is more engineering involved in the packaging of a simple toy car than can be found in many real cars! Wires are wound through every wheel well of toy cars, every orifice of dolls, and every arm and foot of action figures, then fed through a labrynth of cardboard, wound back upon itself, then taped to more cardboard! Then, after unwinding and cutting and pulling and tearing, the toy is about to break loose into playland freedom, but no! One last wire holds firm, ripping the toy and causing damage just at the point of the miscarried extraction! Scissors are weilded against this final wire without mercy, often causing more damage to the toy.
The Roman Republic had just become an empire. Caesar Augustus ruled a nearly uncontested span of territory from Egypt and Syria in the east to Spain in the west and even part of the island of Britannia in the north. In one of Rome's client kingdoms, Judea, a seemingly insignifican event took place that would nonetheless reach over history forwards and backwards and become the most talked about, most debated event in human history: the birth of a child.
In the previous post I referred to author Jose Ortega y Gasset's classification of man into two distinct groups, the "mass man" (or "common man") vs. the "excellent man." As stated by Ortega,
The United States of America is not a Democracy. Ask any school-aged child, and most of his or her parents, however, and they will ape the word "democracy" as though it is the most obvious and pure thing in the world. This is where it is so dangerous that we do not know our history, nor understand our government. The United States of America is MOST CERTAINLY NOT a democracy, and if it ever becomes one, as it has been trending towards for seven decades, it will correspondingly cease to be free. Instead, the United States is a Republic. This is a vastly different thing from a democracy, and the distinction is extremely important.
Apparently the U.S. government thinks we are stupid. They continue to behave irresponsibly financially, while trying to hide what they do behind rhetoric and velvet talk about inflation and economic indexes, etc. The day of reckoning is approaching.
It's not complicated what they are doing. It's stupid. It's dishonest. And it's enough already.
For an introductory look at exactly what is going on, take a look at my friend and co-author Orrin Woodward's blog posting for today. Prepare to get angry.
I had heard from friends that they were tearing down the old AC Spark Plug facility, affectionately known as "The Highway." It had been over eight years since I'd even driven past the place. Then one day while in Michigan my oldest son and I were on an errand and happened to drive right down Dort Highway past the demolition. I stopped the car, got out my phone, and began taking pictures and videos.