The world is getting smaller. Our sense of space and time has changed, our expectations for response-time, the number of projection screens has increased, the number of possibly deepened friendships and divisions has proliferated. As the global information economy evolves, we see the human family drawn closer than ever before; awareness of our interdependence and interconnectedness is growing. Globalization in the marketplace is a predictable consequence of this evolution of technology (and a likely cause), but more pollinations are due and will be more positive.
There is one particular effect of these developments that is troubling to me right now. The conservative Christian right in America appear to be suffering from a set of rivulets of delusion joining into a river that may drown us.
In consideration of these, let me start with an analogy:
"You stay at home a lot. You have a daily routine that comforts you and gives your life firm-footing. You've achieved creature comfort, but it took some effort, some subtle craftiness. And you don't want to lose it. You love your family and your children and you do everything you can for them. You've lived in a small town all your life; houses had acres between them when you were growing up.
But now it's different. Development has escalated exponentially. Your small town has become a small city. And the community's become more diverse. You're seeing more people who don't look like you in some ways, maybe don't dress or have the same rules that govern your behavior. You're a little overwhelmed by the range of options you're seeing.
You're afraid of losing what you have. What little advantage you've enjoyed is slipping away. These new people are to blame. They're undercutting my wages. Then you hear of a murder downtown. A man with darker skin than you has viciously killed a lighter skinned person, and you're terrified you might be next.
Some people are saying we need more dialogue, we need to connect, find common ground and respect, work things out, but they seem like spineless children, leaving doors open for attack. Blind fools."
Is this America on the world stage? Are we the wounded stepchild of England who wants to return home and impress daddy with our new found manly independence? Was such a narrative re-enacted by Tony Blair and George W. Bush over the invasion of Iraq? And perhaps further mirrored in George H. W. Bush's relationship and his son?
Now consider the book of Revelations, by "John," in the Bible. An epic poem from what appears to be an unpleasant psychotic break by a devout Christian that should never have been included in the Bible.
It was included as an instrument of fear and control.
The end times. The "Left Behind" series. George W. Bush as President. Self-fulfilling prophecies. World war III.
The internet and global economy is forcing the world to be a smaller place. For some this is quite uncomfortable. For the dogmatic unaccustomed to questioning their belief-systems, it is a panic attack.
The radical right in America today is that man shocked as his neighborhood fills up. Internet porn. Violence. Sex for sale in public. Independent news. Jobs moving overseas. The bar of depravity rising, reality TV, Howard Stern, queers on cable.
A populace numbed by consumerism and a coordinated watering down of truth-saying.
Sublimated sexuality; managed sexuality; sensually disabled; anger is easier because you don't lose anyone's respect if you lose control while you're angry.
Are we headed for an historical orgasm? An endgame in the final chessmatch of Good vs. Evil? Is there any such thing, goddamnit? How many cultures have had very strong apocalypse myths? Why?
I'm not on the right or left or a member of any team. I want what's right based on how i feel, not how i am told to feel by a group. Liberals tend to blame and posture like permanent adolescents, while the right are positioned as stern fathers ready to discipline us all. Let's get past this model.
To hell with all this simple rhetoric: Good vs. Evil. Right vs. Left. U.S. Vs. Everyone who's not with us.
Let's not try to bring the end of history everybody, please. Remember, volcanic ash killed almost every living thing on the planet 251 millions years ago, and a meteor did it again 65 millions years ago. We can only kill ourselves and our relatives.
The rest will go on without even rubbernecking our accident.