"Hell, the people want more cable channels, fried chicken buckets and someone to tell them there really is a free lunch. And that they can return to the same shameful waste and stupidity as before, through "a recovery."" The following is an excerpt from a letter to Joe Bageant asking if he has given up the good fight, and his reply. It brought strongly into my thoughts a consideration and evaluation of America that has bewildered me for some time. Our seniors demand their entitlements, our youth demand their entitlements, and the few who wonder where this all takes us, wonder why and where and how. Bageant reminds me often of Derrick Jensen another 'tree hugger' or 'dreamer' or 'realist' depending on your point of view. Nothing matters in America today aside from money, sports, and fear. Fear is the complex element as it is mostly the haves who fear the have nots. Or those they think are the have nots. Youth wants money, they only fear the lack of same, and many fear those people over there, the ones who hate us, but never wonder why. Anyway, given an ethic that worships only material and condemns all who do not play along, I thought this worth a thread and a thought. And in case anyone is thinking I am forgetting the common man, hell no, we were recently at a very exclusive resort, and there I saw the entitlement that used to be called class privilege (connections) and is now hidden behind a smoke screen that points out at others. "So get out of my way and Katy bar the door! I for one am taking to the streets, joining every damned faggot commie tree hugging protest march that comes rattling the pike. I don't care if these are the last days of the empire of the locusts. I don't care if the entire jackal nation is at our very throats. Let whatever history remains record that some of us went down with a fight, and that perhaps a few of us indeed became "sages with transfigured faces". The economy stinks, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done -- that in itself is an indictment of our economic policy. The environment is trashed. Even more work to be done here. In the meantime the jackals are winning." .....Joe replies.... "It is seeing everything in material terms, just like our avaricious capitalist overlords, that holds us back. Of course it's about money and the material, and its fair distribution. But that ain't the whole picture. Engorged as we have been for so long on goods, services, commodities and spectacle, I think we have lost sight of the power (and frailties) within us as human beings, as souls on this planet. I am not saying saying that we should run away to some transcendental space and never come back. I'm just saying we can never have a clue unless we look inward and learn that spiritual territory, then look outward and discover that it's common ground for all of mankind. And besides, doing that helps one get up every morning and do the right things -- such as stop mindless consumption (which in itself is subversive in a nation of zombie gluttons), stop following sham leadership (we don't need elite "leaders," and indeed they are all elites by virtue of making choices for the rest of us). We need to own our own lives, inside and out. And you can never own the outer, other than in appearances, until you possess the inner." Joe Bageant: Joe, why did you crap out on us?