Journal – on avoiding the news

 

You know what I hate?
Politics.
I can’t look.
I avoid it because it makes me sick.
I don’t watch the news because it’s poison, twisted scenarios, biased accounts.
Is there even such a thing as truth?
Or is truth in the eye of the beholder?
Science cannot measure ethics.
Science cannot measure a human heart.
When people look into their own pasts,
All they see
Is what they need to believe.
Even history is a tenuous thing.
I know people who believe in history.
I can’t.
It is written by human hands, filtered through human hearts, wrung through the gossip machine over and over.

They say Ramses was king from such to such a year.
This is all the truth that remains.
What does that matter, what does it mean?
But there are patterns of truth
To a discerning eye.

I see the future
Because of history.
I know where we’re headed
Because of history.
There will be no apocalypse.
But the age of America’s empire
Is coming quickly to a close.
Our decay as a nation is imminent.
It will not happen suddenly
But it will happen faster than any other empire’s close.
Technology is a joining of hands.
It accelerates everything.
We learn faster, we forget faster.
We share language and culture faster.
We are running on fast forward.
People are jaded more quickly.
People can see the patterns
In their own behavior
Like they never could before.
And when America falls,
Many of those joined hands
Will be pulled down with it.
Amidst the chaos,
A dictator will rise.
We will choose security over freedom.
That is what humans choose
Every time.

The world will not end.
The world does not end.
Humanity can survive
Anything.
But we repeat our mistakes.
Sometimes we even worsen.

Yesterday was beautiful.
Our biggest problems
Were sexual harassment and bullying.
This was a mark
Of our success as a nation.

The cultural backlash
Is growing.
Xenophobia abounds.
People are getting shunted into camps
Driven away, caged.
Rights and freedoms for all are shrinking back
Into rights and freedoms for some.

I fear we have witnessed the peak.
Today begins the decay.
Maybe it’ll just be
A bigenerational thing
But this feels stronger.
I’m afraid.
I’m afraid our time is up.
We’re due for an economic depression
We’re due for a major war.

I’m not afraid of death.
I’m not afraid of poverty.
I’m afraid of my own inability to act.
The situation is disgusting
And those in power
Are equally disgusting.
Everything is disgusting.
It fills me with frustration.
Watching the news
Is just a shitshow.
We are watching ourselves
Flush ourselves down the drain.
There are millions of people
Who know how to fix it
Who want to fix it
Who cannot fix it.
I want to fix it
But stronger is my want
For personal freedom.
We might influence culture here and there as individuals
We might start a club, write a book, invent a tool
We can devote ourselves to a cause
And leave a small dent in evil.
But nothing brings true peace.
Every effort
Is futility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


11 comments

  • Very raw and powerful, Sarah! Brilliantly expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dan Carlin has a podcast called Desperate Times in which he discusses a lot of the same thoughts, specifically addressing how different nations ended up in a mess and what led to that and whether we are setting ourselves up for the next great fall. Why do we not learn the lessons of the past? Because they are not our lessons and by the time events have gone full circle, things have changed just enough that people think something different will work this time (or the same thing that didn’t work when it was tried here, there and somewhere else too and didn’t work then either will work this time) — how blind people are, how powerless most of us are in the face of sweeping change. I fear with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the same reason parents have to sit back and watch their kids make their own mistakes. Humans may be smart but they still have to learn everything for themselves, every time around, haha

      Like

  • i worry a lot about this.
    i know change is imminent & necessary, though i’m afraid the change we need is not the change we will get….
    i am afraid for my children. i don’t want them to suffer. it’s a terrifying thought. and no matter how well i try to change the world & live a better life (low-impact & full of kindness)–how will it make a difference if i am just one drop in this self-absorbed, self-destructive bucket?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure your kids will be strong enough to handle anything that comes their way. And even if they do end up in a bad world… well, sometimes humans shine brightest against a dark background. They’ll have great perspective.
      Also, as is so often the case, it really might not be half as bad as we fear. Another thing people do, they tend to freak out about the future and then nothing happens.
      We’ll just have to live and see, I guess

      Liked by 1 person

  • Don’t think about it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • Like Rick and Morty. Sometimes you just have to not think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I clicked “like” because that was my only option. However, your poem seems tragically on point. Hopefully, we are both wrong…

    Liked by 1 person

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