Posted by Pattie on 11/10/2002 02:25:00 PM

It has been over a month since I last posted. I have been in hibernation. I've felt like I had no energy at all and that has affected all my work. One reading of how I've been is that I've had a flare-up. Another is that I'm depressed. I through trying to figure out why. I just know that I've not had the energy to do things that I wanted to do and I've felt overwhelmed by life.

About two weeks ago, I went to an acupuncturist and started taking some herbs that he gave me. It has viola (silly me, I thought that was a musical instrument), astragalus, ganoderma, eleuthera (this is the herb, not the Bahama Island by the same name), codonopsis, ligustrum, laminaria, atractylodes, rehmannia, millettia, schizandra, and licorice.

I have had more energy since using the herbs, but it makes me feel funny to have to have them. I wish I knew more about bodies and health than I do. That sounds rather silly coming from a medical sociologist, but I really hate how much capitalism has hurt our knowledge of our bodies and our health. I don't know who to trust. So many more motives than my well-being.

My sitting around the house doing nothing but veging, however, has given me a lot of time to think. I've made a new resolution. I've decided to stop editing myself when I talk and when I write. By that I mean, I want to be more authentic when I write, say what I'm really feeling and thinking. Damn the consequences.

This is, of course, harder to do than it sounds. I've internalized so many messages and I still have a great fear of not being liked. It is hard to NOT worry about reactions to what I have to say. But I think the time has come to go balls out and say what's on my mind, period.

A lot of things piss me off these days. Little things and big things.

I went to see Bowling for Columbine a couple of weeks ago. I hate going to movies in theatres because the seats are too small. It was a big deal getting a seat, though I have to say that this theatre was more accommodating than most. But I thought it ironic that the seats were so small that the film's director and producer, Michael Moore, would not have been able to actually sit in the theatre comfortably to watch his own movie.

The movie was great and while I thought he could have been a little more critical of the states than he was, I thought he had some poignant moments. The Canadians gasped when they saw the over 11,000 deaths per year figure. I was also amazed at where they laughed. The Terry McMichaels interview was a little crazy, but the part about not trusting cops hit very close to home to me. My run-ins with southern cops have never been easy and certainly I felt in danger every time, though I've never been arrested, I have been harrassed by the police. The Canadians laughed at that point in the movie and I thought to myself, "they don't know how good they have it up here." To them it was just another gun nut justifying his love of guns. To me it was a scarry moment when I realized I had similar fears and angers to those of militia groups. I didn't feel like laughing.

I have felt funny about complaining about media treatment of fatness until I saw the stupid Jenny Craig ad with the elementary school teacher again last week. E-gads, the elementary students were going to be hurt by terrorists because their fat teacher wouldn't be able to protect them. Excuse me, lose weight to fight terrorism. Damn. I am speechless. I can't even put into words how pissed off the ad makes me. The only gratifying thing about it is that it confirms the connections I am making in my mind between the whole racial profiling, pro-American homeland security, war-on-terrorism crap and the whole obesity phenotype profiling, pro-American bullying of fat kids, war-on-fat crap. The major connection is social control. The war-on-terrorism and the war-on-fat is a way of keeping people in their place. What disturbs me most, of course, is that recent elections indicate that most Americans either don't give a damn that they are being controlled (those who didn't vote) or they like it (those who voted republican). Of course, I should probably not speak too loudly about the vote. I didn't bother to get an absentee ballot and vote. I'm registered in North Carolina, so you can blame Elizabeth Dole on me.

The problem with voting is that I see little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans these days. Jim Hightower once said that America has a two-party system, those rich guys who run for office and those of us who can't afford to run for office. The fact that the rich guys divide themselves up between the kinder pro-corporate party (Demos) and the meaner pro-corporate party (Reps) doesn't really change much. It might even suggest that the Republicans are just more honest. Mostly the whole thing just blows. I feel frustrated and angry just thinking about the whole mess.

Here's my theory on how everything will change in the United States. It isn't a pretty picture, so stop reading if you are squeamish.

The U.S. is going to piss off the rest of the world and use up so much of their own natural resources that someday, maybe in my lifetime, probably not, they will have a major disaster that just can't be handled. The annual summer forrest fires, floods and mudslides are just the beginning. I've seen this in Florida. Developers took down all the natural barriers to beach erosion and all the foliage, including trees, in swamp land. Now everytime a hurricane hits or it gets a little rainy in the summer time, the beaches wash away and sink holes form. In addition, natural fires that used to be contained by wetlands, now rage out of control every summer, creeping closer to populated areas. Do you think a state that can't figure out how to vote and is running out all it's educators is going to have anyone left to fix these problems? Better yet, do you think trees and foliage can grow back as quickly as they have been cut down? I don't think so. I think the next big thing is going to be malaria or cholera or some other disease and then the people are going to wish that they had done something to educate their children and take care of their land. Florida is not an extreme example. Half of the west was in flames last summer. Maybe, if the U.S. had allies who cared about them, they could depend upon others to help them out in their time of need. But the U.S. is pissing off a great deal of the world. One big plague or one big natural disaster away from losing everything. This is what denial and power-mongering will produce.

I'm not spouting a conspiracy theory or lamenting about how the gods are going to get the U.S. I'm just saying that no matter how much people think they can live in isolation and outside the fish bowl of ecology, it will catch up with them. Diseases and natural disasters have brought down powerful empires before and they will again. You might say, "so what, nothing can be done about these acts of god." Not true. Think about the resources we are wasting on making war. Could these not be used to make peace with the earth? Could these minds who strategize 250,000 ground troups going after Iraqis, not be used to find ecologically sound ways for humans to live in their environments? The war machine and the capitalist machine are moving forward with efficiency of a huge industrial-military infrastructure. Meanwhile, infrastructures for clean water, clean air, and clean energy are deteriorating. Brown people lived for thousands of years in the Americas by staying in harmony with their surroundings. White people are going to self-destruct in less than 600 years at this pace.

It doesn't have to be this way. It could be different. But to be different, Americans would have to give up their toys and they don't want to. I don't want to either, to be truthful. I like living in an urban neighborhood and sucking up electricity while I watch my digital television or type in my electronic blog. But I can't help but see that it is the beginning of the end for North American dominance, especially the dominance of the United States.

I am angry about this, but I'm also sad. I feel a great deal of grief over what I see being played out. I grew up thinking that the 21st century was going to be a time of wonder and joy. Technological advances were going to take us to the stars. Instead, we are going to be done in by greed and power-mongering. All I can say is that sometimes people have to hit bottom before they are willing to change. The sad part is that the bottom can be lower than death. That is why I am sad.

Well, pass the prozac, baby. I guess I'm just a downer.

Wait a minute. Maybe I just am having a normal reaction to a lot of crummy stuff. Ah, pathologize this! :P