You are hereBlogs / dlindorff's blog / Looking for a Straight Answer

Looking for a Straight Answer


By dlindorff - Posted on 02 September 2010

By John Grant

Last Saturday, I pondered America’s soul.

I was in Portland, Maine, attending the annual Veterans For Peace convention, which featured Chris Hedges as its keynote speaker. Hedges, a Harvard divinity graduate who worked for many years as a war correspondent in El Salvador, Bosnia and other very violent places, gave a take-no-prisoners speech that prophesized the end of America as we know it.

The way Hedges saw it, the forces of militarized capitalism organized a coup in America, and that coup has been successful. The party’s over and things are going to get a lot worse. He spoke of a land fallen into barbarism and a dictatorial state in power.

It’s becoming pretty widely understood that America is in the midst of a major, epochal reckoning that does not seem to be letting up. Few in Portland would have disagreed with this. The issue was in the degree of unpleasantness one could stand as one contemplated the future. Some felt Hedges had come too close to hopelessness.

As Dylan said: “Somethin’s happenin’ here, and you don’t know what it is … do you, Mister Jones.”

After listening to Hedges and discussing his speech and other things over beers with veteran friends, I turned in for the night. I flipped on the massive wide-screen TV in my room and ended up watching 45-minutes of Glenn Beck’s “Returning Honor Rally” recorded earlier on the apron of the Lincoln Memorial.

Beck was “like an Aztec priest ascending the Pyramid of Huitzilopochtli,” according to James Howard Kuntsler on his blog Clusterfuck Nation. It was lots of tired Christian revivalist mush mixed in with some sensible family counseling. The country was going to hell and “God” was the answer.

There was no avoiding a comparison between Hedges and Beck. Both saw the nation in a deep crisis that would not be solved by the current politics. The difference was in what aspects of this “clusterfuck” they identified with and who they would stand and fight with when it all really hit the fan.

Hedges came down on the idea of local communities working cooperatively and providing for themselves, finding safety in numbers, in fellow human beings. Time and again, Beck came back to his “God” -- or, as Kuntsler put it, “what people resort to when they don't understand what is happening to them.”

I have a healthy spiritual sensitivity for the mystery of life and nature. I see this as a fundamental human need to find answers for the unanswerable questions that reside at the outer edges of all human thought. As far as Beck’s “God” goes, I’m an atheist...

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, online alternative newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.