The pursuit of change for change’s sake is a nearly perfect description of what it is like to pursue insanity. The culture of America recently made a move to bring in change of any kind. There was no issue discussed during this decision-making that truly presented in depth what the changes might entail. From the beginning of the Obama administration, change was the key word of the hopeful candidate’s campaign sales presentation. Yet, when elected on that limited agenda, much discussed and poured over, the actual changes he wrought were almost none. The fabric of the culture was not interrupted or torn in a significant way. Certain parts of the economy were healed, while wars abroad were minimized, at least as far as ground participation. However, there were no stunning advances in technology or any other area, but there were no crushing defeats either. In retrospect, what it has come down to is there were no definitive changes that tore the current system (set up and running for so many years) asunder or afar.

But in the vast sea of possible changes, what lies ahead and out there, should be studied and known in order to guide everyone to a longer and more comforting survival on this planet. To illustrate the folly of change being sought without regard for what the change might be, imagine the captain of a ship in a storm near a coastline fighting hour after hour, both day and night, to keep the ship faced into the waves and out of the crashing surf not far from the stern. The crewmen, reaching the end of their endurance in suffering from all the misery of worry and physical turbulence, overthrow the captain’s leadership and stick one of their own members from below decks into the captain’s role. The chosen crewman from below is a little out of it when it comes to clear thinking or rationality, but he knows how to dominate. He waves his fists, thumps his chest and shows that he is the strongest and most powerful living creature on the ship. He was chosen over the others because he promised to change the conditions the ship had been so miserably laboring through. He commands the helmsman to turn the ship and steer for the shoreline cliffs. The crewman campaigned on changing everything violently, from the way it was, into a different state. The change that is about to overcome ship and crew because of his decision is not something any crew member aboard might have wanted, but it is the form of change they are going to get.

Unconditional, unforeseeable and unpredictable change is the most violent enemy of civilization that mankind ever faced in the past, or will ever face in the future. Miserable, painful and violent death is always available to every human living at any time, and to any society, no matter how seemingly wealthy or apparently powerful. Demanding change for the sake of experiencing change, without understanding the specifics of what that change might entail, is one of the most moronic and incomprehensible things that humanity can participate in, unless of course a person, or group of people, is too dumb to understand what ‘crashing on the rocks’ of some metaphorical coast can really mean for their survival.

It is often said that politics (the selection process of choosing and endorsing leaders) is not a game. 2017 may well prove, if recorded history continues, that that expression is absolutely and unequivocally correct.

Deception is the most successful and oft-applied tool of human behavior that favors survival on a competitive basis. As in the old joke: “I don’t have to outrun the approaching bear, all I have to do is outrun you.” Would it not be even more effective to simply convince the person facing the bear with you that surviving the coming encounter requires remaining completely still, after which you run away?

“We are all shaven lemurs come down from the forest canopy to gather up the fallen fruit on the forest floor below, and lie about the fact that we are doing so.” The deceptions that all cultures and individuals have experienced throughout their lives are being revealed by technology. The Internet has let loose a monster. That monster is the dreaded truth. Everyone is finally figuring out that almost everyone is lying, and that most things are either lies themselves, or based upon lies. The ‘rub’ of learning that is not what you first think upon reading, and possibly accepting, that tenant. No, the ‘rub’ is the anger and frustration that people exposed to the Internet are feeling, and exhibiting, because if everything is accepted to be lies or based upon lies others are telling them, who is going to believe the lies you are telling?

Stand on a street corner in good weather on a Saturday afternoon, in a developed shopping area. Set up a soap box. Get on that soap box and start telling the truth about yourself, and the people you see around you. It will take about thirty minutes for you to be stripped, robbed, beaten and on your way to jail, where upon you will be convicted of something and sent to prison. As Jack Nicholson, portraying Col. Nathan Jessup, stated in the film A Few Good Men, “you can’t handle the truth.” Which was pretty accurate in the motion picture, and unfortunately is also in real life: none of us can handle this truth, but here it comes, rushing right at us, in this strange unstoppable form.

There’s another expression, used in the U.S. Marine Corps, that speaks to what might be done in the face of potential chaos, or any time when the ‘truth’ is known about almost everything. “If you can’t baffle them with your bullshit, then dazzle them with your footwork.” It might be that a time is coming in the near future, like maybe in a few weeks, when performance will mean more than the indication or communication about what the performance is. Also, where a state of chaos exists, or is created, there always remain pockets of ordered and stable states where vigilant humans can find solace, and take advantage of. America has chosen chaos, and thrown caution to the wind. There is always a way to make it between the pounding surf and smashing waves. There just won’t be room for everyone to make it.

~ James Strauss


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