There is *always* an evil to fight…

Dave says educating on how SUVs are bad for the environment is fruitless and unfair. It’s a great post that I think you should read.

To begin I’ll let Buffy do some talking for me…

BUFFY: My mom… said some things to me about being the Slayer. That it’s fruitless. No fruit for Buffy.

ANGEL: She’s wrong.

BUFFY: Is she? Is Sunnydale any better than when I first came here? Okay, so I battle evil. But I don’t really win. The bad keeps coming back and getting stronger. Like that kid in the story, the boy that stuck his finger in the duck.

ANGEL: Dike. It’s another word for dam.

BUFFY: Oh. Okay, that story makes a lot more sense now.

ANGEL: Buffy, you know, I’m still figuring things out. There’s a lot I don’t understand. But I do know it’s important to keep fighting. I learned that from you.

BUFFY: But we never…

ANGEL: We never win.

BUFFY: Not completely.

ANGEL: We never will. That’s not why we fight. We do it ’cause there’s things worth fighting for. Those kids. Their parents.

BUFFY: (has an epiphany) Their parents.

ANGEL: Look, I know it’s not much.

BUFFY: No. No, it’s a lot.

Buffy is Gen-Y entertainment written by a Gen-Xer.

Dave’s post emphasizes getting your own house in order before thinking of others. I agree with his view that change begins with your own soul first, but I also know from the bottom of my heart that Gen-X took that lesson and ran with it for a long enough. You have to keep sharpening the saw but you also need to recognize you’re interdependent. Not doing so has brought disaster upon us all.

One of Dave’s core messages is that we need to stop looking at the world as a zero-sum game. I agree. Previous to 9-11 I didn’t know of one person my age that looked at the world in terms so stark. After 9-11 we need to be especially wary of it. But know that Gen-X simply wasn’t brought up that way. It was the Boomers who brought us up. It’s *always* been shades of gray for us. It’s been taken to the extreme. It’s gone too far.

Look at entertainment over the last ten years. What has it been about? Nothing. Nothing at all. Even our entertainment had commitment issues. The quote that defines Gen-X’s entertainment: “Oh well whatever. Nevermind.” The sitcom of the 90s? Seinfeld.

We have unreasonable standards of perfection for leaders and causes. Standards so high that no one can reach. Everyone is looked at as a fake and every cause get’s looked at with cynicism. Nothing is going to change. It’s not comprehensive enough. If it’s not done instantly it won’t be done at all. There are bigger troubles in the world to face. These sentiments have been guiding us. Leading us to apathy.

Entertainment, leaders, causes – all have been slowly nichified to the point that we can tune out any kind of participation with others. We’ve been taught that’s desirable. It may even be human nature. Technology helps enable this further and further. Even the Army recruitment advertisements sell us on being an “army of one.”.

Let me lay some lyrics down on you about how Gen-X looks at causes and leadership and you might understand. This song defines it better then anything else. From a hugely underrated band Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”:

Look into my eyes, what do you see?
Cult of Personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you want to be
I’m the Cult of Personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I’m the Cult of Personality
Cult of Personality
Cult of Personality

Neon lights, A Nobel Price
The mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your T.V.
I’m the Cult of Personality
I exploit you still you love me

I tell you one and one makes three
I’m the Cult of Personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandi
I’m the Cult of Personality
Cult of Personality
Cult of Personality

Neon lights a Nobel Prize
A leader speaks, that leader dies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set you free

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You me power in your God’s name
I’m every person you need to be
I’m the Cult of Personality

We’ve been brought up to distrust leaders. Distrust causes. Distrust each other and work on ourselves first. “Only you can set you free.” It’s the “greatest love of all” you know.

It’s time for us to open our windows. Time for us to look outside. 9-11 shows just how much the world will intrude on our inward journey. You cannot shut out the world. Whether it be with baby steps such as educating about SUVs, marching on Washington, or just getting out and voting. These small things mean more then what we’ve been taught.

The real definition of who and what we are is not what we think of ourselves – that’s the lie that’s been taught to us by marketers and the “me” generation. No – it’s how we treat others. It means telling some people we think they are irresponsible and not turning a blind eye to what others are saying. It means living by example. It means putting faith in human beings other then ourselves. It means knowing that we are not isolated islands but our actions – or inaction – has an effect beyond ourselves. These are hard realizations since we live in a time that interpersonal trust is at an all time low. We must fight that. We must reach out. We must converse. We must argue. Every person matters. Every soul matters. Dave says it’s about faith.

And I agree.

P.S.:

1. I normally refrain from cross-site discussions but I can’t help it this time since this is related to another conversation I am part of.

2. Dave equates my stance on SUV’s with this man hating post. Well no – I don’t agree with her at all. And I don’t agree with that equation either. Let’s not mix arguments. They aren’t related whatsover. Both are opinions, like assholes we all have them. Elaine and me are simply bucking the trend (or are part of the new trend) by sharing them. I don’t agree with her – but I support and welcome her right to express her opinion – no matter how rediculous I think it is. As far as I’m concerned – we’re in this world together – men and women. We need to work together. Not chemically try and elimate the other half of the human race or try and assert the superiority of one half from the other. Wow!

3. I realize some people need SUVs – the above is not directed at you. I never said I supported eliminating all SUVs. Far from it. I’m too much of a Gen-Xer to have a view that closed minded. Let me also add that I am a fan of recreational vehicles. I’m going to own a Mustang someday. But it’s not going to be my daily drive.

4. Dave and me are both devotees of Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and much of what we share has to do with subconsious reflections from that book. Buy it and read it.

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