Heard a song not long ago which I’ve heard before called “Chicken Fry” which refers to simple pleasures. I can relate to it in many ways. It talks about things like enjoying a pair of jeans, cold beer, fried foods and sunrises.
I live a simple life, overall. While being rich is always a nice thought, I do not stress myself and never have with the goal of extreme wealth. I’m far more interested in security.
I’ll say that I did not grow up with much security. Not even safety was assured. Most people can say that in abstract but it’s a different sense in which I speak. I went to school often with a knife in my pocket. On several occasions I pulled that knife to make it home that day. Eventually, while being an adamant pacifist who studied to be a minister, I learned to fight. To an extreme. To defend myself and my family. Those skills have been used more times than I like.
Food was not a given. I won’t go into details. I will say it helped teach me to cook. Learned to make biscuits and gravy because that was all we would have at times. I’m no stranger to french fry sandwiches. So I know about food insecurity first hand. Fact of life, no animosity.
I spent years in restaurants because I was sure I would be able to eat.
Utilities were turned off uncounted times for uncounted days. Along the way, I learned to make candles from wax, shortening and cooking oil. (That was the 70’s and there were no YT videos to teach you.)
We all survived those times. Since adulthood, I have learned my childhood was worse than many yet so much better than others.
As an adult, some of this led to time in the military. I was at least assured of a roof over my head, food and medical care. By both military and my own efforts I learned many survival skills through the years. Though none of that was enough to keep me in because it was just not my nature. My friends and family all knew that before I went in.
Even after the military, I have gone through times when I lived on things like hot dogs, ramen and potatoes. Lived in a house with no grid electricity for 18 months because of financial limitations brought on by local medical politics and capitalism affecting my employment.
I’ve walked and bicycled unknown miles for lack of transportation, ridden many buses, trains, streetcars, etc. At least I have strong legs from it.
Back to the song. Where I stop liking the song is where it starts talking about patriotism and basically military worship. It speaks of supporting veterans who defend the simple things named in the song. If you follow my content, you know how I feel about all of that being a delusion, so I won’t launch into that aspect.
Basically, my objection to the song is that it is way too Americanized and even fails to recognize that not all Americans have the same simple life pleasures assured. There has never been a point in American history where basic security was evenly distributed to all citizens.
People in other countries have their own simple pleasures which they love to indulge in. Their own ways of life they want to be able to depend on. Until US foreign policy invades their countries and their lives, not only depriving them of their basic needs but decimating the ability to obtain those things. US foreign policy leads to the absolute destruction of their cities, towns, homes, farms, food and water supplies. Children in countries subjected to US foreign policies fear the sunrise, knowing US drones strike most often in clear daylight.
No, I cannot support or respect our military for these things.
Until this past year, some Americans may have experienced some of the things which I have experienced in my life and can relate. However, until 2020 most have not. In 2021, more will know the deprivation and fight for survival which I describe. Not to the same level, with more food banks and social support structures in place than any time when I was growing up. They will still have more security in some ways than I did at that time. In some ways, I admit they will have less security than I did.
I’ve said in the past that US foreign policy has now become US domestic policy. This is the nature of end stage capitalism. When a capitalist system runs out of external sources on which to feed, it then turns to feed on itself.
We have taken our security for granted for far too long, closing our eyes to the sources on which our system has fed. The deprivation and atrocities which have stolen resources and lives in other countries and even our own citizens through centuries. All to support the American Way Of Life.
Our country has always been a devouring machine. It has always fed on the misery of those it deems unworthy, undesirable and different. Those higher in the food chain have taken for granted their place in that system, blind to the fact that as the machine continues to devour, the bottom of the food chain has reached ever higher until now they ARE the bottom of the food chain.
I, among many, understand what it feels like to be devoured, chewed up, spit out and abandoned. Many who have gone through that experience inside this system have only strived to reach the position of being one who devours instead of being devoured. They devoted themselves, their lives, their minds and their souls to perpetuating that system, feeding it, enabling it and cheering for it. They assisted in the situation which has led to them now being that bottom of the food chain, never realizing, never caring. At no point have they realized they have continued being a food source all along. They were still being fed upon but were less cognizant of the fact. As long as they could continue feeding on others enough to race against the balance of devouring and being devoured, they took it for granted they would keep that balance.
That balance is gone and it won’t be coming back without major revisions to our system. Our system was never designed for balance.
There are two sides to my perspective. It’s obvious I abhor and feel great sorrow for human suffering. I do not want my fellow Americans to be forced to endure what is happening or what is to come. On the other hand, I have known and said that it was imminent. This is a wake-up call to this country. The positive aspect to the deprivation, insecurity and suffering of so many Americans is that they will no longer so willingly be able to close their eyes to the plight of others. Once their eyes are opened, they will never be able to fully close them again. Once they understand fully that the system they, themselves supported and helped to expand is the system that has fed on and devoured nothing short of billions of lives before they have finally become aware of it. That system will continue feeding infinitely if they allow it, endorse it, perpetuate it and continue feeding it with their own lives.
I’d rather have my chicken fry and cold beer as sides, with a main course of humanitarianism. I’d rather watch the sunrise knowing others can enjoy the sunrise without watching for the shadow of drones.
As long as your security relies on depriving others of their security, you do not deserve you security. FTR, you can also use the words safety, rights, freedoms or liberties.
I want to take certain things for granted. Then again, I want everyone to be able to do that.
Now, can we please sing some patriotic songs which don’t involve praising mercenaries for the machine?