When the Rigged System Doesn’t Hurt You

I recently read up a little on the actor Ted Danson, whose work (and often snarky roles) I have always liked.

Not too surprisingly, I came across a report of his political activism, and – again not too surprisingly – it followed the normal pattern of his generation of celebrities. On one hand, he is an environmentalist, which goes to his credit. On the other hand, though, he is a habitual supporter of the Democratic Party and its corrupt leadership which took over and warped this party — a party which had been a people’s party in his youth, but which has since become a party for the upper 10%, unnoticed by people like himself.

It’s natural for the less fortunate among us, the majority by now, who struggle to survive in the bottom part of our dungheap society’s economic and political pyramid, to be upset with celebrities who have placed their support with corrupt graft politicians like the Clintons and are likely to do it again. I only need to recall the 2016 election with its blatantly rigged “Democratic” primaries to get my anger boil up regarding all those celebs that lined up to support a shill for the establishment. However, I guess, many of them do this fairly innocently, not realizing that the party has changed, and that influence peddlers like the Clintons merely talk the talk (way too little, actually) but don’t walk the walk, as they are too busy making lucrative self-serving deals going in the exact opposite direction they were talking about.

When you were lucky in show business, and have been living well most of your life, it must be real easy to stay ignorant about our country’s decay. You simply don’t notice our political corruption when it doesn’t affect you.

When things have gone your way nine times out of ten for most of your remembered life, and you have never looked outside the happy bubble you have been living in, you easily fall for the delusion of our fake meritocracy and have no clue about the lives most of us must endure: an endless and hopeless struggle in anguish, injustice upon injustice, humiliation upon humiliation, and a constant fear of a health crisis that will bankrupt you, and – to bring it to a matching conclusion – an old age spent in abject poverty you can do nothing to avoid and won’t be able to work yourself out of anymore when your aging body fails you. The much overlooked reality is simply that there exists only a limited number of pleasant places on our dungheap of a society. When you aren’t lucky to occupy one of them, you can struggle all you want, and all the talent in the world won’t help you, lest you displace another talented person. This is the fundamental flaw of a pyramidal society rigged by the few against the many — and being shielded from its adverse effects by one’s own personal good fortune doesn’t change this. If one doesn’t look beyond one’s bubble, one stays blind to the problems of others and any systemic flaws.

Consider how many of us, who are riled up and demanding a political revolutionnow, used to be politically ignorant, naive, and quite blithe ourselves in earlier phases of our lives. For most of us who are not naturally inclined to political activism, it takes a rude awakening to develop an interest in politics, realizing that it affects us bitterly, no matter what our individual talents and prowess. And thereafter it takes quite a bit of effort to educate ourselves to the realities of our politics and economics if we are to find a path forward rather than falling for the platitudes and false promises of establishment shills like the Clintons or even opportunistic demagogues, say, of the Trumpster variety.

It’s a pity, Ted Danson and George Clooney, and so many of you establishment-supporting celebrities, that your blinders haven’t come off, as they did for so many of us less fortunate folks when we were getting punched and kicked from all sides and had to slip the blinders off to see where the blows were coming from. I can only wish that you will learn from those rare colleagues of yours who walk around without those blinders, like Susan Sarandon, Rosario Dawson, and Viggo Mortensen.

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