Parenthood and the demands of job and family act as an anesthetic that keeps the bulk of Americans too numb to stay informed and angry about the direction the U.S. is taking. This is not meant to be an excuse for an uninvolved citizenry, but just an observation. Being fifty is a good thing. It gives me fewer anesthetic demands on my energy, and allows me more time to be informed and angry. Being fifty also gives me more time in the dentist's chair.
After the early morning dental appointment my face, mouth, and brain were pretty numbed, plus it was raining. I felt too drooly to accomplish housework, and almost drooly enough to fit in with the unusual characters who attend movies on weekday mornings. So I figured it would be a good time to go see Eugene Jarecki's documentary film, Why We Fight.
The film is informative and detailed, but done well enough that it doesn't feel like a junior high filmstrip (except to that one guy who was snoring. I wanted to put his ponytail in the inkwell.) Mr. Troester's eighth grade social studies class is where I first heard of the "military-industrial complex". The complex has only grown in the decades since. The military-industrial complex controls our elected representatives, and dwarfs our president (who is not exactly fighting back against Mr. Tooth Decay). It keeps citizens numbed on propaganda and platitudes. We don't really feel the grinding away of our beliefs and values, our rights and representation, our respect worldwide.
Chris Vognar's review in the Dallas Morning News.
From President Eisenhower's Farewell Address, January 17, 1961:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.