The Vampire Society is more than just a book to me; it's a fundamental truth. We live in a society of consumers, of vampires, who value material goods above all else. It explains so many current issues, it is inescapable.
And yet, people try to escape it.
In some ways, it is funny. It has to be because it is so horrific.
This current stream of thought began when I read Tim Murphy's blog. I was surprised to find him writing about recent events here on My Side. His opinion, as I see it, is that, after a barrage of very despicable comments resulting in the removal and eventual shutting down on this blog, Tony (the poster of those comments) and I should "get along". And it has to be, we are both his friends. I do not see it this way. Tony's foul comments show me that there was more than just a disagreement of opinion. Tony's disrespect for truth and flagrant disregard for decency destroyed his humanity in my eyes. Who I once saw as human, I cannot bear to think about.
Sadly, though, this isn't rare. When I look around, I see that it's all too common throughout our society, from rappers to elected officials. I believe it is because we have devalued common decency, because it cannot buy anything of material worth.
Then, I noticed that Tony had polluted Tim's entry with one of his comments as well. And this comment, not surprisingly, was not in answer to Tim's writing but, rather, an attack upon me. And it wasn't an attack over something I wrote, either. It was an attack upon something I did NOT write.
As I wrote My Side after My Side about the common good, human decency, and the ideals that I believe founded this country, Tony mocked me because I did not write about a recent Supreme Court ruling. I'm not going to go into details but, in a nutshell, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is the government's right to seize private property, pretty much abolishing a fundamental human right enjoyed by most citizens.
But that's just it, don't you see?
It took me a while to see it. It took me several days.
I went about my life, thinking I wouldn't write about it because I could see little relevancy to it. After all, how can you ignore a nation that tortures innocent people, neglects those most in need, comforts those who do the most harm, and then cry out in a rage, "Hey, they're taking my stuff!"
And then, I began seeing it on the news and hearing it on the radio.
Hey, they're coming after me now!
Okay, this is where I try the line.
Bunch of fucking hypocrites.
Was the ruling wrong? You're damn right it was wrong.
But it's far more wrong for people to sit on their greed and watch injustices carried out in their name as long as they can keep their stuff.
The longer I'm alive the more I realize that events of the day mean nothing. I've found that names are interchangeable and places are illusory. Is Karl Rove any more evil than anyone else? No, he's not. His deeds are evil. Evil is performed every day. The ideal is not to stop Karl Rove. The ideal is to stop evil. If you concentrate too hard on Karl, you miss the bigger picture. Is the war in Iraq unjust? You bet it is. But, then, so are many other wars in many other places. The ideal is not to stop just the war in Iraq but all wars.
Most people don't see it this way. They are far too eager to assign an exclusive form of guilt and end conflicts only where it affects them.
Right now, the Supreme Court is also moving to rule against public television, national public radio, and the National Endowment for the Arts, programs that perform inestimable good and cost literally less than a penny a day. People say, "That's my penny! I want my penny!" It's short sighted thinking like this that has led to the poor quality of public education, an upsurge in homelessness, and inexistent health care for most in this country.
Do you want to get outraged because your pennies are being taken but not because people are dying? Then, I am ashamed of you.
Welcome to the Vampire Society.