Sunday, March 6, 2011
Astrologers call it a grand trine. It's when 3 planets align 120 degrees apart giving the appearance of an equilateral triangle. I'm not the best at math, and hardly into astrology, but it's an intriguing metaphor for the current state of affairs. At one end we have the current wave of democracy rolling over the Middle East and North Africa. Powerful stuff; definitely an idea whose time has come. Libyans now rebelling know full well that they are in for the fight of their lives. This is no Egypt. But they will not turn around now. Their inspiration is currently igniting fires in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Point two on the triangle is none other than Charlie Sheen. He's chosen to place his bi-polar self on the airwaves every day for pundits and pseudo-journalists to pick apart. He too inspires the immature, the uneducated, the duped. They admire his "life-style," his obscene income, and his choice of female companionship d'jour.
Finally, the massive 3 point shape is anchored by the battle for wealth and power currently taking place in state capitals like Madison, Wisconsin, Sacramento, California, and near me in Salem, Oregon. For Sheen, it's the CBS executives, the LAPD and anyone who would tell him something he doesn't want to hear. To Sheen, he's winning. It's all about winning. Certainly some democratic uprisings are about winning too. Col. Gadhafi, also quite reminiscent of a manic megalomaniac, has already announced he will take his last breath of air and shed his last drop of blood in the land he so earnestly sucked dry. He will win or die trying. Likewise Gov. Scott Walker, the committed union buster covets a win too. His personal psychology is entwined with coming out number 1 as well. We're just now finding out how he was disciplined and ultimately dropped out of Marquette University for campaign violations during a student body elections. This purveyor of democracy wasn't endorsed by the school newspaper, so he decided to destroy all copies of same. Great preparation for governing a state, don't you think?
So here we are, witnessing the grand trine of decomposing political battles.
Now I can't speak for the freedom fighters in Africa and Asia, and I certainly even utter a sound for Charlie Sheen. But when it comes to my own situation, I have no problem. What we have hear is a battle royal for power and money. As much as I'd like to believe the struggle for unions and a decent wage is at the bottom of it all, I know better. Eliminate unions and you eliminate funding for the Democratic party. Convince an apathetic public that test scores are true indicators of outstanding teaching and you have a say in how budgets are funded and money is spent. (wealth and power)
When you study the history of this republic, one thing emerges repeatedly. Our great conflicts come down to questions of human life and rights vs. wealth and profit. You know where the legal system usually lines up on these issues. What's different this time is that the gulf between haves and have nots has never been so wide. In monetary terms, there will be a price to pay. Along with rising gas prices and blood pressure and flags, and consciousness, will come the tides. As the old labor song used to ask, "Which side are you on boys? (or girls) which side are you on?"