The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

The Collective Crumpet

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do declare and certify that “We”, that singular entity that constructs this national body, be deemed legally insane.

Yes. This national entity, America, has gone off its Collective Crumpet.

But let me back up a space so that we can examine the “self” that was, in order to make the situation clear. This nation was born a breed of fighters. We were, by the very nature of our inception, fighters against oppression, even though at times we have been the oppressor. We came out of relative safety and comfort of civilization to stretch our legs, to breathe in deeply the pure, rarified essence of Earth as it was intended. It was raw, relatively untouched, it was indeed a New Earth.

…And it was Harsh.

We fought disease. We fought the Elements. We fought starvation. We fought a wild land and we fought against natives who took umbrage at our assumption this was our wild land for the taking and taming. And eventually we fought against the would-be Lords who followed us here to try and retain and expand their position of power. We fought. Side by side, we fought these common enemies. It gave us a sense of solidarity, to have fought so many battles together. We knew each other, we trusted each other. We expected each other to be there behind, ahead, and beside us. And we expected each other to be capable of being very, very dangerous. It‘s what we wanted in compatriots. We wanted each other to be dangerous.

In the decades and, dare I say it, centuries since our initial birthing pains, we have alternately saved and wounded ourselves with that element within us – the ability to be rough, to commit acts of violence in defense of our basic Human Rights.

In the meantime, our population has changed.

Initially we were made up of the inherently strong, those with a taste for adventure, with a yearning for a raw, close connection with the earth that gives and takes life. As those struggles were overcome, our strength was redirected to those who followed. We received “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore”. We have received them, adopted them, and integrated them into the “We”, that we stood so proudly for.

Many of those were not made of the same sort of stuff as the pioneers to this land. But that‘s not to say they were helpless or useless.  They came with other qualities critical to a healthy society. They came with a cool intellect, with an empathy for the wounded. They came with an understanding of healing, and of arts, and of industry. And Always, Always they came with those who would be Lords of us amongst them. Together we fought against exploitation.  In some places the two of us meshed beautifully. The Fighter and the Nurturer, the Explorer and the Industrialist, the Hunter and the Farmer found a symbiosis. We struggled to learn to love each other.  Like brothers and sisters we fought and lived together.

But somewhere in there we went insane. Some say it was the Industrialists that ruined us. Some say it was War – the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Great Wars, etc. perhaps. Some say it was the would-be lords, who have intentionally driven us insane to make us pliable to their form of control, a certain parasitic existence. Some blame the paranoid fierceness of the fighters, or the utopian optimism of the nurturers. Some blame God. Some blame the devil.

And some say it is The Gun.

Some are saying, and have been saying, that our penchant for violence offends one of our fundamental tenets of existence, the right to a peaceful life. They say that we can no longer be trusted with our weapons, that we are as likely to harm ourselves as to protect, and that in this time of comparative peace we should renounce our weapons as the tools of a past, uncivilized society better left forgotten. It‘s a fantastic dream, to believe that the elements are tamed, that killer diseases are conquered, that evil and opposing forces are spent and have laid down their arms. But it is a fantasy of a softened populace who no longer feels the harsh realities of tyranny. They believe it is no longer possible for tyranny to exist, or alternatively that it cannot be fought. This illogical paradox of conflicting dreams lives in a protected world where our defenders are anonymous, predictable, and infallible robots that require no thought, maintenance, or relationship from us, leaving us free to nurture the illusion of personal relationships with people we‘ve never met, while sitting side by side with others we‘ve never met. We formulate new rules based on what we want, rather than in what is right.

It is also a fantasy to believe in the heroic scripts of personal vengeance and victory that are fed to us through Hollywood stories. We dream of accolade, rather than the simple function of self-defense. We imagine ourselves in a CGI world where we can pick up a new cache of weapons and/or ammo by walking into just the right spot hidden in a wall, and that our weapon lasts forever, lives can always be restored, and that will rat-case scenario we can load up a backed up character. We fight solely for glory, and entertainment. We‘ve forgotten what it means to defend. And through these delusions – of grandeur, of peace, of manipulatable relationships that can be crafted like unspeaking clay, we have gone quietly insane.

We are awakened startled from our dreams of a homogeneous, nurturing society by the sound of gunfire, and are angry at our defenders for not having protected us from the unwatched door. The defenders stand furious, disarmed and distracted with trying to satisfy the irrational expectations of protecting and nurturing simultaneously.

Our path back to sanity is an ugly one. In fact, there is no path. We lie at the bottom of a ravine, scratched, broken, and bleeding, screaming incoherently at figments of our imagination, demanding to know how we fell off the path. But we know where the path is. Up there, following the marks of broken branches, loosened rocks, and shifted soil through which we fell, lies the path we were on, and to where we must climb back up, to create a place where equality is a measure of respect, not bank numbers, where delusion is considered an enemy to be shot in sight, and humanity – real, honest humanity, is both protected and nurtured. It is not the fighter nor the nurturer that must be assailed. We cannot start dissecting ourselves without bleeding out.

It is the delusions of our society that must be rooted out.


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