When I was young and home alone with two small children, I eagerly awaited each episode of the original Star Trek TV shows. One in particular, left a vivid impression on me!
The Starship Enterprise met a monster and he entered the ship, attempting to suck all life out of the crew. The more terrified they were, the larger and fiercer he became.
Captain Kirk discovered that the source of his power was the fear they were giving him. He told the crew that if they switched their energy to good humor it would starve him of energy and weaken him. In the next few minutes he told jokes at the monster’s expense until everyone was roaring with laughter as the monster faded and finally exploded with a poof!
A similar story is acting out in the US. The monster is the malicious wealthy interests who are seeking to enslave the rest of us by starving us of what we need to exist and flooding the media with fear. The more we give our attention to this fear, the more we feed the monster, and the bigger it gets.
A big move forward for this monster, right into our ship-of-state, was with the decision our Supreme Court made with the Citizens United case. As many of you know, in that decision, corporations now have the same rights as people. This enables them to flood our political field with as much money as they want. They have bought up politicians and pulled in favors to change any laws that get in their way and blocked other laws they didn’t like, from passing.
In Wisconsin and across the nation, they went after union rights, and scaled back schools and other public services. (Wisconsin has had unusual citizen participation since then, and the Governor and several State Congress People may be out of a job in a month or two. It has backfired there.)
The governing body in one entire town in an eastern state was closed down because the town went bankrupt. The governor of that state put in a conservator to make all the decisions for the entire town. Beach property that belonged to the people was sold to a wealthy buyer and people are forbidden to go there unless they pay expensive club fees. The common people have one radio station to get their voice out, but that equipment has been up for sale.
Now, this monster is going after women’s rights - big time! It has gone from preventing abortions in some states to putting up blocks to family planning and birth control for women. Politicians running for the office of President are saying that if elected, they will shut down Family Planning which is a major health service to poor women. Without it, women and men who need services such as cancer screening and sexually transmitted disease treatment, would have to pay for it. They would go without if they couldn’t afford it.
A lot of pressure is being put on governments to shut down payment of birth control pills by insurance policies. Arizona has just passed a law that says a woman’s employer can ask her if she has a medical need for birth control pills or if they are just being used to prevent pregnancy. Her answer will go on her health record and could even cost her a job by indirect discrimination. The curtailing of birth control will mean we will have more unintended pregnancies and many more women will seek some kind of abortion - many illegal and dangerous. It makes no sense - it has no heart. These advocates are morally bankrupt! The monster is seeking to take women’s rights back decades. This fierceness is shocking!
There is some good new in all of this. The monster has become so blatantly desperate to gain control by any means, that it has our attention and has become ridiculous. One wealthy political donator even suggested that women should just put an aspirin between their knees to prevent pregnancy, like they did in the old days.
Women, and men who love and protect them, are beginning to wake up and realize how precious every life is and that we must do everything that we can to protect and nurture the quality of every life and protect the common good for all. As a nation, we are beginning to realize that simplistic solutions for this issue and the many others we face, will just not do.
More money than ever before has been poured into presidential campaigns, only for it to make very little difference. It is becoming more evident that these millions of dollars have become irrelevant to some campaigns. This is an encouraging trend.
People are beginning to organize and take back their rights and to recall governors and representatives who do not serve their interests. Wisconsin is leading the way. We will see some of the results of their efforts in May or June.
Best of all, laughter is beginning to break out everywhere. This is giving comedians the best material they have had in a long time. I think our laughter will wake us up to our real values, and cause these many heads of the monster to loose energy and poof out of our way. The Webster dictionary says, a farce is a satirical comedy with an absurd plot. And there is soooo much good material for farce!
May the Farce be with us!
And may it Empower us, Everyone!