” I awake each morning with a feeling of dread. And then remember that at this particular moment I and my family and friends are still alive.”
The words above did not come from Palestine or Syria or Libya or Iraq or any of the other places that the US government have wrought their own selfish form of democracy. No. They came from a very comfortable friend of mine in the States, lamenting from a warm and sunny winter refuge somewhere away from February in the northern states.
I couldn’t believe it when I read it.
I imagine that there are a lot of people in the world who would like to be able to complain that way from the comfort of a beach house. Or maybe not.
There may be a lot of people who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about having a winter refuge in clement places and then complain about the world as it is. In fact, I’d go so far to say that having a house of any kind other than something you could take with you, is an illusion. It could be a tent or a boat. Or the ability to build a shelter, on the spot, that would get you through until the next move.
But discussing the optimal house for surviving these times is kind of beside the point.
What is not beside the point is the fact that at least one American I know wakes up in the morning with a “feeling of dread”. At least one person admits that the insanity, the dissonance that seems to infuse American values, the American Dream, American foreign policy is having a daily impact. I consider it a courageous statement. Some may consider it an easy out, not so much a confession of serious dis-ease, but an excuse to do nothing more than to say, as Bill Clinton once infamously said, “I feel your pain”, as if that was all it took to convince people to vote for him. And while he turned around and inflicted more of the pain he said he felt, too many people believed him, and he began that famous Democratic turn to the right.
I’ll grant you that waking up in dread in a beach house is a lot different from the dread the Palestinians, Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis, Afghanis, Yemenis, or any number of other people wake up to every day. But it is a sign that, even in comfortable America, people are becoming aware of the dissonance of things as they are.
I’m perfectly aware that this complaint from comfort is not going to engender a revolution. I may be the only person to whom it has been confided. But in the small, diverse circle of people I call friends, it’s definitely a good sign.