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The Sounds of Silence: a Hushed America Is…Waiting

There’s an eerie silence over the land; I’m hearing friends far and near speak of it with concern and wonderment.  Sure, the chattering political classes are doing their same old pompous picayune pissing contests, calling the electoral horseraces as though there’ s freaking election next week…never asking any of the right questions, content to keep to the scripted menu of allowable faux-discussion.

But I’m talking about actual real Americans, the 53 million who have sunk into poverty; the employed who wonder if they might get a pink slip in their next pay packet.  I’m thinking of the ones who wonder where their kids’ next meals might come from, and if the local food banks might be restocked before their next allowable trip; who keep themselves gathered tightly in, withheld,  their faces strained and dour; faces whose expressions we want to look away from, lest we find them mirroring our own faces, in either pity or solidarity.

Shhhhh; they aren’t to be mentioned; this is America, the greatest nation in the world. Not long ago, they sat in coffee shops all over the country, griping about who’s at fault,maybe claiming ‘their team’ could do it better, cursing government blithely without even knowing much about their contentions, just that they had heard some of it on their chosen teevee programs; mouthing stuff ‘their guys’ seemed to believe was good enough for them.

Now even many of those with jobs are falling behind on their utility bills; the hospital bills for the last baby, or Mary’s emergency surgery last year; they’re noticing that their grocery money just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to, and the same-sized packages of food contain a few ounces less than three months ago.

Some have thought of down-sizing their houses, but have found that they’re worth less than what they still owe on their mortgages, and wonder if all the doo-rah  about The Ownership Society was just another con.  Or was it all this new guy’s fault?

Many may be thinking about how much value their 401-K’s have lost, and now that  their houses aren’t any buffer against…well, let’s not think of that now; it’s too frightening. Maybe they’re thinking that they’ll never have enough to send John to college; damn, the tuition’s gotten high, but borrowing fifty grand and ever paying it back  is tough to imagine.  And so many folks’ vows that their kids would have more in life than they do, and maybe more vacation time…seem to be dying slow and painful deaths.

Perhaps they are anxious for news about their sons and daughters deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq, and wondering when the insanity will end; don’t they know the wars aren’t winnable?

But the silence is deafening; too many are too humiliated at their troubles:  their impending bankruptcies, their inability to put gas in the car this week, or that their jobless kids have had to come home to live with them.

They are waiting.

You can’t hold out, you can’t hold out
all year, all year
You can’t hold out, you can’t hold out
all year, all year
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere

See it come along and
don’t know where it’s from
Oh, yes you will find out

Well, it happens all the time
It’s censored from our minds
You’ll find out

Slow or fast, slow or fast
all year, all year
End at last, end at last
all year, all year
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere
Waiting for someone to come out of somewhere

Stand up coming years
and escalation fears
Oh, yes we will find out

Well, like a WINTER STORM
Fears will pierce your bones
You’ll find out

Waiting in fear and concern; waiting for the next shoe, or God forbid…shoes to drop?

What form might the shoes take?  Another war?  The impending failures of the banks in Europe to crash America’s banks?  That it becomes crystal clear there really is no one in government who cares to help them?

Are they waiting for news that Troy Davis is dead?  That the Wall Street protestors have been routed?  That the clouds of radiation from Fukushima are beginning to make people on the West Coast ill?

Or that the ‘someone to come out of somewhere’ they were waiting for…is still absent?  Hidden?  Silent for now? And are they growing tired of hoping for some proof that will signal that things are getting better…but for now…waiting is.

And all we can do for now is reach out to one another; to talk to each other, care for each other, and speak of what are the real causes of our sinking Empire, dying economy, stolen futures…and push back with all our might.  We have to banish the monsters under the bed, drag them out into the light, and take our destinies into our own hands with the tools we have available; we all need to ramp up our games, whichever ones are the best fit for our various talents.  We’ve all got a purpose to serve.

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