Thursday, June 29, 2006

Our Complacent Comfort Zone

Americans are once again settling back into that well-insulated nest of self-awareness we are so renowned for.

It's been "forever" since we've been effectively attacked on our own soil, and since our military forces have taken the fight to the aggressors' stomping grounds, it seems we no longer have anything to fear back in the good old USA.

Well, maybe other than just an occasional dose of mother nature ...

Yes, we're back into hurricane season, but Katrina last year wasn't so bad, was it?

We all saw the recent reports suggesting Southern California's San Andreas fault may be in position now for a cataclysmic snap-back that would dwarf other modern era quakes. But that's been looming over SoCal heads for so long now, it's mostly urban legend, isn't it? Just more of the same blah-blah-blah.

Oh, and we can't deny there's that rather ominous background buzz about a potential flu pandemic that could kill off more people around the world in a year or two than all history's wars combined. But other than that ...

Heck, one thing we've got under control is the economy. It's down to a science for those Greenspan/Bernanke types, so THAT variable of uncertainty is passe ... even though admittedly, more and more economists are alarmed about key indicators that suggest a major correction is around the corner if not a global economic collapse. Bottom line is, U.S. stock markets still offer rosy opportunities for short-term investment gains, so things can't be too bad out there, right?

There IS some interesting public discourse out there about illegal immigration, peak oil, Iranian and North Korean nuclear weaponry, and the like these days, and the subsequent seasonal political posturing taking place that makes for compelling election campaigning. So along with our ever-more finely tuned/chemically engineered athletic-cycle productions coming to us in High Definition and Surround Sound to keep us mildly entertained, America is back to normal.

Comfortably Numb

America's security blanket is of course woven from the finest pure fibers spun in our media industries.

Knowledge and information ... or manufactured ambivalence and disinformation ... in this age of competitive abundance of versions of the truth, it leaves all of us at some point wiping the spittle from our chins after periodically coming-to, when the microwave timer reminds us that we can always ingest a little more convenience and satisfaction.

The fact of the matter is, throughout our nation's history, our people have always shown that we do not have the stomach for major, long-term initiatives that require ongoing sacrifice. Yes, we certainly do step up to the plate and we'll get inspired to kick some butt when required, but after a few years of putting off our collective tendency toward complete self-indulgence, we lose interest ... and by golly, that time has come again, hasn't it?

That, more than anything else these days, does have me wondering what is in the wind. The smoke and alarming scents that were recently so easy to discern seem to have become nothing more than the environmental norm.

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.net

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