….there are valleys. And often there’s also a river.
There’s one bridge across the Wallkill River that I can cross to get into town. The road to that bridge is still closed because of flooding. Of course, it’s nowhere near as bad as other parts of New York State..
This is the first week since I started that I won’t have done my three weekly sessions at Curves. And I needed to get to Rite Aid to pick up a prescription. So,, today I decided to drive all around in a circle to get to a bridge that was not closed and take care of all of those things. I put more than 40 milies on my car for a trip that usually is less than ten.
I shouldn’t complain. There’s a definite advantage to living on higher ground.
There are also advantages to living on a higher plain; unfortunately, our current government leaders have no idea where that is.
As I continue to find out about Cho, his background, and his frustrations, I can only believe that there are more balancing-on-the-edge young people out there in this counry. After all:
….the social gap in America has widened in the past decade. By 2005 the top one-tenth of 1 percent of the US population earned nearly as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Those 300,000 wealthy individuals each received 440 times as much income as the average person in the poorest half of the population, nearly doubling the divide from 1980. The rich lord it over everyone else, piling up fortunes that come directly at the expense of wide layers of working people. Society is divided starkly into “winners” and “losers.” For the latter, the future is bleak.
More generally, the past twenty-five years have witnessed a sharp lurch to the right by the American political and media establishment, driven by its relative economic decline, and an accompanying coarsening and degeneration of the social atmosphere. Brutality in language and action is now the preferred policy of the powers that be.
The proliferation of violence, the continuous appeals to fear, the incitement of paranoia—all of this has consequences, it creates a certain type of climate. American society has for so long tried to cover up or ignore its most pressing problems. What are the official responses? Punishment first, then the invocation of the deity. The suppression of contradictions, however, doesn’t make them disappear.
The culture as a whole has suffered. Without giving any ground to the right-wing morality police, the prevalence of video games, popular music and films that celebrate rape and killing can hardly be taken as a sign of social well-being. Every effort has been made to atomize people, to render them callous and inured to the suffering of others. Human life has been devalued and often held in contempt.
Clearly, there have been consequences. The ability to kill one’s fellow students methodically in cold blood reveals a terrible level of social anomie. A doctor at Montgomery Regional Hospital, where the injured were treated, commented: “The injuries were amazing. This man was brutal. There wasn’t a shooting victim that didn’t have less than three bullet wounds in him.”
We need economic, social, and moral systems that operate on a higher plain.