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    • Maya Spier Stiles North

      Columnist, Copy Editor
    • April 22, 2017 in Columnists

    Normalcy is a dangerous illusion in Trump’s world

    The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.
    Voltaire

    It’s true. The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west. The early birds still herald the coming of dawn. Squirrels bitch out passersby from the safety of trees. Dogs still bark at stray breezes. Possums still fail to cross the road.

    All across the country, people still get up and go to work. They buy their gas and groceries. They get together with friends. Children laugh and play. Teenagers stretch their wings.

    It’s all so normal — and that’s the problem. There is nothing normal about these times, but unless you watch the news, it’s hard to tell.

    Just wait. The world is a freight train — long and ponderous. It takes a long time to pick up speed just as it takes a damned long time to come to a halt. The changes that 45 and his infestation are putting into place haven’t hit yet — not really — which makes it much, much harder to keep up a head of steam regarding the continuing and accelerating list of abominations coming our way.

    Years ago, I read a scholarly piece about the ability of mammals to adapt to damn near anything. The example was an aquarium full of rats placed outside in the Arctic — subzero weather, howling winds and all.

    At first, the rats huddled together, shivering and shaking, but the next day, they were playing and eating and running around like normal.

    The next day they were all dead. It had literally taken every bit of their life force to adapt to that degree.

    By now, the thinking majority is getting an idea of the magnitude of the horror our fellow citizens have foisted on us. Some of those fellow citizens have even joined our ranks, to their chagrin, after realizing they had voted in their own doom (which will not stop more Tea Party Republicans being voted in, then turning around and sticking it to their constituents who never seem to learn).

    Some people will never, ever figure it out, even as they grow old in their boxes on the sidewalk, dreaming of the days they could afford a can of cat food.

    If change happened fast enough for our chipmunk attention spans, perhaps we could keep up the level of outrage we need to fight this flailing, incompetent, corrupt, ignorant juggernaut in DC, but change is announced quickly yet implemented slowly, and we get distracted. Our attention is pulled back to the details and duties of our quotidian lives and there goes our focus.

    Believe me, these miscreants count on it.

    They also count on the terminal gullibility of the masses of sheepies in human clothing, raised to despise knowledge and independent thought. And yes, I do blame public schools and religion (not faith — faith is different. Faith is the real thing) for scooping out our brains and replacing them with as little as humanly possible.

    In both public schools and religious establishments, we are taught to obey authority without question. We are told that we must go on belief, not evidence — and to doubt any evidence not provided by authorities. In fact, critical thinking is severely discouraged by both venues — if we think for ourselves, we quickly realize that both groups have an agenda and it is not in our best interests. Critical thinkers soon realize that our current system is designed to create a desperate underclass of unthinking, unquestioning,  undereducated worker drones who will take any job under any conditions merely to survive — and then obediently march off to the trash heap when their rich, corporate masters are done with them — critical thinkers will refuse to cooperate. Get enough critical thinkers and their oppressive system collapses due to lack of underpinnings and that’s the last thing any of these people want.

    It was true when I was going to school in the ’60s and ’70s and when my children were going in the ’80s and ’90s. I have yet to see any evidence of change.

    Given the population at large has been indoctrinated not to question, not to observe or analyze and most certainly not to speak up, it is no surprise that, for a vast number of US citizens, nothing has changed and everything is fine.

    Just wait until the freight train picks up speed and slams into them. The shock alone will render them paralyzed and unable to take action, another little benefit the Teapublicans and their corporate masters count on.

    I know it looks normal out there. I feel its pull, too. I still have a job. My children and grandchildren still delight me. I still look up to blue sky — or, more often — endless rain, hear the sweet whispers of the wind to the fir trees. I still listen to the wordless soliloquies of the creek that runs through my land. I love my family, my friends and my pets. Riding my motortrike suffuses me with joy. The good things in my life are the same good things I had before this abomination of an election. The difference is that, before, I could simply relax into luxuriating in the beauty my life holds.

    Now? Now I must resist the urge to let down my guard, to release this endless vigilance, because we are all in danger from a “president” and attendant horde who have no ethics, no morals. Who have committed treason. Who are dedicated to destroying all that is good in our nation and even our world.

    This country has lost its normalcy, whatever it looks like on the surface.

    Do not let it fool you. Do not let down your guard. And do not stop fighting because, believe me, this has only just begun.

     



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