Shroomy US map / Bring on the draft
Great swaths of red got you down? It's not what it seems. Check out this kickass site, which has election result maps with the state sizes rescaled to reflect their populations and shades of color added to depict the degree of support for the candidates. The Rocky Mountain states look like they're getting sucked into a black hole. My god, where's Montana?
This is the real America. Whoa, dude.
I think that America really is God's country, man, cuz I looked at this picture for like 15 minutes straight and I think I almost saw God. The walls in my room started breathing too, man.
Anyway, it seems we're not as geographically polarized as people might think.
We're essentially pretty liberal folk, and in a few years from now, when the Iraq death toll is astronomical and gruesome photos of dead babies start to show up on the mainstream media, there will be a massive liberal backlash in the US.
Or so I used to believe, but now, I don't think this is how it'll happen. It's not the number of dead soldiers or photos of mutilated bodies that will push Americans to the breaking point. As long as we have our Chevy Suburbans, La-Z-Boy recliners and microwave popcorn, we really don't care. So what if some stranger half way around the world gets his brains splattered? Man, most of us have coworkers we'd like to kill!
That's why we need the military draft, and sooner rather than later. Americans will remember Vietnam as soon as the draft kicks in. The effect of the war on our lives will suddenly become very real, and people won't stand for it, cuz as soon as it's our own asses on the line, we'll start caring a whole lot more about the rest of the world. That's how people are. We're selfish bastards.
Of course we won't say that we're opposed to the war because we're afraid to die, but that's really what it comes down to. Like the Vietnam era protesters, we'll spout ideology to bolster our cause, and even think we believe it. But like the red-drenched election map, the real picture will differ from what everyone sees.
Super smart bald guy Ken Wilber talks a lot about human consciousness and its stages of development. The major stages are typically referred to as preconventional to conventional to postconventional, which can also be thought of as egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric. Your average college educated guy--much less the Budwiser guzzling factory worker--is not going to be the most enlightened dude around. Wilber cites a study that was conducted on Berkeley protests in the sixties that found most of the students, despite their claims that they were fighting for universal moral principles, were actually acting from egocentric drives.
...no matter how high-minded, idealistic, or altruistic a cause might appear--from ecology to cultural diversity to world peace--the simple mouthing of intense support for that cause is not enough to determine why, in fact, that cause is being embraced. Too many social commentators have simply assumed, for example that if the boomers were calling for "harmony, love, mutual respect, and multiculturalism," the boomers were themselves moving in that idealistic, nonegocentric direction. However, as we will see, in many cases not only were the boomers not moving in that direction in terms of their own growth, they were loudly embracing a nonegocentric perspective largely to conceal their own egocentric stance.But you know what? The motives don't matter. It's this seemingly liberal backlash, which really just conceals our selfish desire to save our own hineys, that will ultimately bring an end to the war. So reinstitute the draft, I say! I'll be out there protesting alongside all the other neo-hippies, man.
And, more importantly, I'm already old enough to avoid the draft. (See? Selfish bastard.)