Complacency and Stagnation

“To make spaces inside these questions, the first thing I want to perturb is my relationship to the systematic ignorance about how our world works. The befuddling irony of the information age is the institutionalization of a profound ignorance about everything: how food gets on our table, who is buying all the new condos in the neighborhood and where the money is coming from, why more and more people I know have cancer, who is living in our cities and how they get around, whether hosting the Olympics actually helps most residents of a city, why education costs more than ever, why there are shelves of lawn pesticides in the home improvement stores, why the Mexican economy is so distressed that thousands risk their lives to come to the U.S., why pledging allegiance to the flag now means pledging allegiance to the approval of torture and trials for certain people without access to the evidence against them.”

This was the most important passage in Claire Pentecost’s article Autonomy, Participation, And. I think It calls into focus the major problems facing our society today. Complacency being one of the biggest. It might be that I’m reading a lot of books on Punk culture and listening to a lot of the music that made me think and get mad at the world when i was younger, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. No one wants to question anything. (Side note, my angsty punk pandora station just put on a Scott’s lawn fertilizer and pesticide commercial… Cosmic irony). It’s one thing to be autonomous, but its an entirely different thing be blind to the world. We may be a mass of individuals, but there is no denying that each and every one of us is part of a whole. We are capable of contributing toward a better world. I hope that I can instill this questioning and reexamination of the status quo in my kids. If we stay complacent we will stagnate.

“But now,” says the Once-ler, “now that you’re here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Recommended track list:
Bad Religion: Better off Dead
The Ramones: Humankind

(I wrote this for a class response, but thought I would share here with you, too)


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