Inconvenient Universe IV

Notes on an Inconvenient Universe – Part IV by: the Good Reverend Roger A lot of people think America is addicted to McDonalds, or TV, or porn. And we may very well be… But America’s number one addiction, the 500 pound monkey on our backs, is punishment. We LOVE punishment, we love to see no-good shits get theirs, even – especially – if we do or at one time did the very same thing we’re hollering about. This ranges from the public to the personal. Publicly speaking, we have 5% of the world’s population, and 25% of the world’s incarcerated population. We lock kids up (as recently happened in Alabama) for TWENTY-SIX YEARS for a pound of pot. Given that the kid is 19, he’ll be middle-aged when, or if, he gets out. His whole life is gone. For a pound of pot. A LARGE MINORITY OF THE POPULATION BELIEVES THAT THIS IS REASONABLE. We arrest 6 year olds on felony charges for acting out in class.. .Then Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media sites fill up with outrage that would be appropriate if the people expressing that outrage hadn’t spent their entire lives voting for asshats who promise to “Get Tough On Crime” in a system that is already VERY tough on anything even remotely resembling a crime. Hell, they RAN OUT of crimes, so now they’re after 6 year olds. THIS IS WHAT YOU SCREAMED FOR, AMERICA! THIS IS WHAT YOU DEMANDED! WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING NOW? In the private sector, we punish people by firing them. Not just for things like non-performance or being drunk on the job, but also for posting things we don’t like on social media. Or for having the wrong friends and/or political beliefs. Or for expecting a living wage. Hell, we even punish our own friends and families. And not always by obvious physical abuse, but also by withholding attention or aff ection, to show them WHAT. By deciding that they need to feel your disdain for a while, so they won’t do whatever it was they did to give you the urge to punish them. Then we wake up one day, wondering where everyone went and why we’re so alone. It’s not a mystery where they went, really. They’re in jail. Or under a bridge, eating from garbage cans. Or they got sick of our emotional manipulation and just, you know, went away. But we console ourselves that they deserved the punishment they got, because they were no-good shits anyway, and we are an island, we are better off without their company. And THAT, friends, is how you get the utterly psychotic society that frightens and depresses you so much.

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