I don't really know how to say this, so I'll just come right out with it: I give up. I will no longer worry about the state of the planet or the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. That isn't to say that I no longer think that the problem exists, but I no longer believe that significant change can be made.
Because the thing is, the world is a disaster. The American political system may be irredeemably corrupt at this point. I no longer believe that voting will solve all - or any - of the problems. Short of an Arab Spring style revolution (which is inappropriate, but maybe not as inappropriate as it first seems), there may be no real solution. And I am certainly not advocating armed revolution, or even non-violent revolution. But that is what it will take. Corporations own our politicians. This sounds reactionary, but I really believe that it's true. There's no substantive difference between Democratic or Republican lawmakers, and although there may be a dramatic difference between Democratic and Republican voters, the gulf there is not as large as it may at first seem.
I truly believe that our politicians use the energy that we (the voters) generate each year to distract us and keep their shell game running, and the media is complicit in all of this. I know that this sounds like the paranoid ramblings of a lunatic, but that's why I'm giving up. I've realized that I'd rather spend my time playing video games and listening to music and reading fiction and watching TV and movies than fretting about the fucked up state of the world. I'd rather spend time banging my head against the walls of religious stupidity than bang my head against Republican stupidity.
And yes, this is exactly how the game is intended to work. The Target CEO makes campaign donations to a pro-business homophobe and we, as progressives, are supposed to boycott the store. But they know that we won't. And I don't. I like their brand too much to care what their agenda is. So we get distracted with flashing lights and bright candy and they go about their business. I just don't care anymore. I guess I never really cared in the first place, since all I did was give money to causes, which is something that I will continue to do. I'm not going to attend protests or engage in discussions because they don't go anywhere and the only people I really talk to are members of the choir like me.
I still think that, on balance, factory farming is worse than the holocaust. I truly do. I guess I don't see the difference between human animals and non-human animals as being that great. We're all just tiny ants on a ball in space; are some creatures inherently more valuable than others? But aside from not eating meat or purchasing leather, there's not too much that I can really do about it. So I'm giving up.
I also think that global warming is real and the future of our species - and all species, to be honest - is in real question; I'll continue to recycle and be as environmentally responsible as possible, but I'm no longer going to worry about it. To be honest, I have very little emotional stake in the future of the planet. I don't have kids, and although I know some children, I really can't do too much about it. So the corporate oligarchy wants to burn the world up for their own immediate financial gain and wants to distract us stupid bullshit. I say "good" and "go fuck yourselves."
I've stopped listening to NPR. I'm listening to fewer political podcasts and focusing on entertainment podcasts. I'm hoping to do more writing, which has always been an interest of mine. I'm just going to turn back inside and try to have fun in my life. It's just too frustrating a world for a vegetarian, atheist, socialist who is trying to land on the right side of history.