Comedian, activist and crusader for the truth, Russell Brand took to his youtube channel “The Trews” to examine the hypocrisy of American commercials.
“Capitalism is their religion,” Brand said. “To tie together concepts such as pride with the purchase of an automobile at a time when we really need to regulate the way we use energy and the way we use transport is reckless and irresponsible.”
You’ve got to admit the outspoken Brit has a knack for cutting through emotion-charged imagery and boiling it down to the brown goo that it is. Not unlike Coke after it has been boiled down. Did anyone else know what happens to Coke after it has been boiled down? It turns into an ugly brown tar.
Brand rightly points out that this brown tar, these phones, these cars have absolutely nothing to do with family, friends, fun, a full, happy life which is what, underneath it all, the commercials claim.
“They see us as nothing more than fat little piggy banks waddling around and they’ll try and crack us with imagery and provocation and they’ll use sex, they’ll use honor, patriotism, anything at all,” he said. “But really the message is, give us your money and shut up.”
In a recent interview published in the Argentine weekly, “Viva” the venerable Pope Francis provided a 10-step recipe to happiness.
The message overall speaks heavily of enjoying your life, forgoing stress and worry for love, calm and especially the promotion of Peace.
His list came with a decidedly anti-consumerist bent as Pope Francis expressed a dissatisfaction with our object-obsessed culture.
Don’t talk about people. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
Don’t worry about your stuff and Take Sundays off. “Workers should have Sundays off to spend it with their families.”
He encourages people to turn off the TV when loved ones are around. Give your attention to those around you.
In a similar vein he asks that adults take special care to protect young people by providing beneficial and creative outlets so they don’t fall prey to negative influences.
Play and enjoy your life. “Consumerism has brought us anxiety.”
Take care of the environment: “Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?”
Stop trying to convince people to think like you and convert to your religion. Lead by example instead.
Work for peace. Pope Francis expresses particular concern for the time of heavy warfare we live in. He asks that we try to avoid divisive thinking and instead actively work on the side of peace.
“Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive.”
In the far, distant future, when our once thriving society is naught but a pile of memory-infused rubble, those who are tasked with sifting through our remains will no doubt be thoroughly confused about the meaning of the words “Christian” and “Christianity.”
One the one hand they will uncover acts of great love, charity, peace, acceptance and humility done in the name of this mystical and undoubtedly perplexing ‘Jesus’ figure.
Imagine their bewilderment when they find an equal if not greater amount greed, violence, injustice and murder. A love for weaponry and war… all committed, again, under this ominous umbrella of “Christianity.”
In regard to American society specifically, what would an uninitiated observer conclude about a governing set of laws–a Constitution–which emphasized a separation of church and state; juxtaposed with elected officials who ceremoniously bowed their heads in prayer before sending their people off to war?
These eventual witnesses could notice that although, according to the ‘Bible,’ Jesus welcomed children and the needy to his arms, somehow so many of his followers seemed to violently abhor them; terrorize and harass them at their borders.
It’s quite possible a future observer may notice that we, as a largely self-proclaimed “Christian” society, adhered to Jesus’ peaceful teachings by cohabitating with some of the most helpless of all, the animals; while routinely and systematically torturing and consuming the others for food, sport and amusement.
Perhaps they will delve deep enough into our history to learn of explorers that slaughtered their fellow man for their land, only to ultimately destroy that same land for profit, ignorance and neglect.
After all of this, what would tomorrow’s archaeologists determine was our true God? Money, power, stuff… hate? If that were to be our legacy, would that mean we were successful as a people, or did we fail?
If we do end up as the architects of our own undoing, perhaps, it’s easy to imagine our future observers concluding that we, as a society, perished from a sort of schizophrenic dysfunctionality. That we as a people had become too sick and mad to continue, all the while proclaiming an allegiance to a humble and gentle saint which we bear no resemblance to.
Is this our overall destiny? If the earth survives, is this the impression we will leave upon the future inhabitants of our beautiful planet?
I wonder what our remains will express about our true beliefs, when our empty words can no longer suffice.
I will never forget the exhilaration I felt on the night in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected President. I had been impressed by him since I first became aware of the young senator as a keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic Convention. He seemed to be able to uniquely tap into the root of the frustrations felt by so many Americans.
Further, as a life-long proponent of civil rights and progressivism, I was delighted that we, as a country, had finally evolved to the point where we had elected our very first non-white President.
It was a great feeling. Fast forward six years and the glee has been replaced by despair at the steady stream of unanswered white on black brutality that has been occurring ever since.
The latest case, the choking death of Eric Garner at the hands of policeman has me more devastated than usual. I can’t help but wonder: Has the white American mentality changed at all since the days of lynchings?
It seems that civil rights activists have been successful in installing protections, but have as yet been unable to assuage the level of hatred, racism and fear permeating and ruining, white America and beyond.
From Eric Garner, to Trayvon Martin, to Renisha McBride, to Marissa Alexander. A black woman and mother, also of Florida, who received 20 years in jail for firing a warning shot in the air; shortly after George Zimmerman was exonerated by a jury of his mostly white, Floridian peers, no less.
No one was injured. Alexander clearly was not granted protection under the ‘stand your ground’ laws in this case. Why not?
It’s as though the election of a black President blew the lid off of a roiling level of hatred always brewing underneath the surface, kept only at bay by what fearful white Americans believed to be their rightful and permanent establishment of authority.
Never in history has an American President been treated with such disrespect and disregard. Never before has one party opted to destroy the country if it meant destroying the black President.
Yet somehow, according to the most ignorant aspects of white tradition, it’s the scary black man we ought to fear.
I don’t see it.
If hateful white people could just come to their senses, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Renisha McBride would still be alive. At the very least, their murderers would be behind bars.
I think of all of this brutality and I remember back to when Barack Obama first became President. For a while I felt heartened and hopeful that peaceful race relations were on the horizon.
I think the way large swaths of white America has reacted to the election of our first black President will go down in history as a shameful and embarrassing scar on our history. We, as a nation were given such a golden opportunity for growth, enlightenment and brotherhood.
But that opportunity is long gone.
Buried, along with poor, innocent, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride and countless others. May they all rest in peace. May God have mercy on our souls and may we, as a country, one day have peace as well.
“Maslow based his theory partially on his own assumptions or convictions about human potential and partially on his case studies of historical figures whom he believed to be self-actualized, including Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau.
Maslow examined the lives of each of these people in order to assess the common qualities that led each to become self-actualized. In general he found that these individuals were very accepting of themselves and of their life circumstances; were focused on finding solutions to cultural problems rather than to personal problems; were open to others’ opinions and ideas; had strong senses of privacy, autonomy, human values and appreciation of life; and a few intimate friendships rather than many superficial ones. He also believed that each of these people had somehow managed to find their core-nature that is unique to them, and is one of the true goals of life.”
Treating others with kindness is treating yourself with kindness. It’s all the same. We’re all connected. If a person is self-actualized, their heart will swell with a calm and happy sense of fulfillment just by being nice to others.
We should take pity on cruel people. Take, for example, those who’ve made the news for shouting at immigrant children on buses. Every one of the individuals in those crowds actually determined that the best use of their energy and attention was to stand and shout, at children…
Their actions cause anguish because they come from a place of anguish. All of us can manifest only what we are.
People like these are lost when it comes to the way of the universe and their higher purpose in it. They live in the worst kind of darkness there is. Their energy is dark. They hate, because that’s what they are.