This (or That) Side of Sixty

The black and white static screen slowly, slowly fades to color. The standards flow and the trumpets sound while you listened, clutching toys, not knowing.  You listened, played and watched. Time only accelerates. Days, years, decades pass. The message is the same with the truth underneath. The message works, has worked for so long. The truth keeps changing, opening into the political wind. The truth we were told, the truth by repetition, the truth by fear, the truth by anger. The righteous. The hubris. Doubts ran through and somehow compromised. A new campaign ! A policy change ! Camelot leveled, buried under the weight of greed and corruption. Raised again as the shining city on the hill. Only to be drawn and quartered by a line in the sand. Tomorrow has been renegotiated into nothing. Rwanda happened, you really did care, your concern, ignored. One wall came down another came up. Reach out and your fingers were burned by those you trust.

Love is the outlaw.

You are allowed to feel pain only pain. Nuance is dead. Your pension and security have been spent to finance war and greed. Destroying others who don’t look like you, have the same hopes as you. They are called evil. They are called to destroy. The towers fell. Vaporized like your pleasant hope for a quiet retirement.  You join into the chorus, of the bitter, of the left behind. You want to know what happened. When did it change? You can’t get through to a person who speaks your language. Where did you fall asleep? You’ve paid. You voted for those who made the promise. You find you voted for the pain, for the let down. It’s all gone and there is no recourse no one to listen to your story, to  your grievance. The schemers repackage the lie and sell it as a dream. They speak to the pain they have created and promise a way out. Boxing up hope like an on the shelf item at the Dollar store. Some for everyone and cheap, exclusively for you. We have to refinance your retirement, your healthcare, your savings. Your future it’s a take away and it sounds so good, offered with a smile and a plan non-disclosed.

Transparency everywhere. Even a vote for change stays the same. Shop for your freedoms.

You notice others seemingly so happy, so secure. Where did I go? You are marked. You are identified as the discontent. You are ridiculed. You are the poster child. Just another lie. You join the group. A group of mutual misery. An association of pain. No help only hate. Love is the outlaw. Fun turns to pain for others. HI-tech beauty, hi-tech death. Euphoria when the building lights up and falls, when the bodies explode on the street. Your traumatic stress is broadcast for your enjoyment. Your nightly family experience. Joy of the righteous death. No time to reflect, to discuss, to understand. Shop for your freedoms. You’ve been told not to fall for the stereotype that you have become. Don’t assume stereotypes and embrace your own. Contradiction is the new reality. Guided by unseen hands you’ve been abused. But you know the truth. You know the right way. But you are now compromised. Your concerns are turned into complaints and held offensive.

You can be kind, you can love. But Love is the outlaw.

All of the old comforts are gone. Where on earth did the heroes go? Those who had it right? Those who lead the way? They’ve been pushed aside by hate. They’ve been marginalized by greed. They were only human.

You are only human. You can love a stranger. You can empathize with the other. You can avoid the immediate response of hate. When it’s time to judge, you can think it through.

Everyone has a story and you’re a great listener.

~Mike

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About henrywest


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