Pax Americana? No, more like pox, pox Americana. Poxed in a box Americans. You say, per Lee Greenwood, “And I’m proud to be an American / Where at least I know I’m free” and so on. But what if your biggest freedom here is that here you are free to fail like in no other developed country. Here you are free to be poor or as sick as you can be. Still proud?
Yes, you have other “freedoms,” like choosing this or that toothpaste, cabal (sick) news show or candidate. But your choices are not really much different. While the packages are unique, the active ingredients aren’t. Their goals are all the same to increase the sponsors’ wealth/power/fame at the consumers expense, you can’t not choose that.
You better attend the service, not to is almost treason. You must embrace the spectacle of the telegenic super star liturgists each preaching their special mix of purchasable salvation or eminent damnation if you don’t. You must sing along whether you believe or not.
Yes, you can change the channel, adjust your experience to be like a day time soap opera or an NPR period drama and you can choose which actors to root for and which to boo. But the show is always the same. You can’t turn off the telescreen.
Yes, I know it’s worse elsewhere where staying alive is enough an issue that moving beyond that doesn’t come up much. It was that way, I’ve read, for most human’s most of our history. So I guess that most of us didn’t see that staying (or becoming) human was a multi-step process. And if our ancestors did perceive something beyond just staying alive, it seemed to them, also as I’ve read, that it was some sort of religious thing requiring guilt, suffering and, in the end, death to achieve, as well as a lot of labor for the benefit of a few powerful individuals. These days we substitute anger for guilt and delay death some, but staying alive—and becoming human—still is frustrated by lies and low wages.