an alarm clock with the american flag inside it. there are flames behind it

How It Is

It’s Time to Wake Up, America!

Saving the American experiment is possible. But we’re so worn down by everything that it feels unattainable.

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We are three weeks into 2022, and the United States is still starring in its own dystopian horror movie that is running hours longer than it needs to be. But the producers and the directors are drunk and high off their own supply, so coming up with new ways to torture their stars has become sport.

Welcome to year three of the completely politicized coronavirus pandemic. We still have no plans to actually cure or treat Covid-19. The plan seems to be to keep increasing the number of vaccinations everyone has to take while simultaneously giving confusing and contradictory information on how to combat it. If you test positive, do you stay home for 14 days or just five so your employer doesn’t lose out on any human labor hours? If you have been exposed but test negative, do you just continue to run around town hanging with your friends like nothing happened?

When the violent and angry anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers (because let’s be clear, there are two distinct factions in both of those groups—those who have made their decision and mind their business, and those who choose to become patriots in the name of FREEDOM!) get together to battle against “the Others,” will it be like on Lost, or more like Lord of the Flies? Will this year send us back into lockdowns, complete with shortages on toilet paper, cleaning products, and patience? Is a trip to the grocery store for basic food necessities going to turn back into The Hunger Games?

“We did it, Joe!”

Girl, did we?

Forty-three million Americans owe $1.75 trillion in student loan debt. A phantom campaign promise was supposed to help with that, but thus far all we’ve seen are deferments with the promise of payments resuming at some later date. So student borrowers continue to drown, because those degrees do not come with the guarantee of a job that pays a living wage, and what supposed to be a simple education has turned into an elaborate pyramid scheme that you can’t escape from because if you default, your credit will be ruined forever, and how can you live in this world without good credit?!?

The hoarding of wealth is the epidemic they don’t talk about out loud, but billionaires are transporting themselves to just across the street from space while our nation’s homeless population continues to increase, and food insecurity continues to be a real thing for so many. We live in a country where children are punished for not having their lunch money, parents don’t have enough money to feed their children, and the cost of food continues to go up as if it is all part of some sick, torturous game that someone somewhere is watching with horrific glee.

Monday was the national holiday to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He would be so proud! Fifty-eight years after the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Black people in America are still fighting for both the “civil” and the “rights.” We get more symbolic gestures than actual change. We get the proverbial pat on the head from the same hand that continues to shoot us  in the back. Lynching never ended; they just do it with bullets now.

Dr. King was celebrated by the NFL with a sticker on the back of helmets. What a kind gesture from the same league that has only one Black head coach. How noble of the same people who still haven’t given Colin Kaepernick a job.

Nearly 54 years after his death, people still want to say “He gave his life,” as if he voluntarily stood in front of an assassin’s bullet to get shot in the face. And what exactly did he “give his life” for? What was accomplished? Because we seem to be stuck in the same circumstances. The only thing that has changed is the time period and the technology.

I could go on, but Kaitlin Byrd said it much more eloquently than I ever could.

The point is, for as much “progress” as America wants to claim, we are still the same shitty country. We just dress a little bit better.

The entire Critical Race Theory propaganda campaign had one goal: to keep people from realizing America is the very “shithole country” she claims to be against.

People are hungry, poor, and tired. Classism, racism, and capitalism have joined forces to become a Voltron of oppression, and those elected to serve our interests will not fix it because they are too busy serving their own personal agendas.

We are on a collision course with disaster, and when they study this time in history, it will be with disbelief and an inability to understand how a country that was supposed to be so great, so much better than others, was really just a sham filmed on a soundstage in Hollywood.

If Don’t Look Up was any indication, doom is coming soon, only we aren’t afraid of the comet because we are the gotdamn comet, and we are going to destroy everything else around us.

Wake up, America. It’s time to get your shit together.

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