The Bill Cosby Syndrome

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In varying degrees we all live in imaginary worlds – fantasy worlds not in alignment with reality – but that doesn’t stop us from trying to make them real.

It appears (based on all the women coming forward) that Bill Cosby lived in an imaginary world. He wanted to have sex with lots of women. None of these women wanted have sex with him. But [evidently] this ‘reality check’ did not stop him. He was able to convince himself that he had the right to use force, drugs, or whatever means he saw fit, to make his imaginings become real.

The (alleged) evidence that the women did not want to have sex with him was not an obstacle. He was unconcerned with the consequences, the harm he was doing. His fulfillment of his imaginary reality was more important, more real, than … reality.

Whenever I make a choice that does not consider the needs of what is best for everyone, I abuse ‘free choice’ and I enter into an alternate reality – of consequence.  Even if I have ‘good intentions’ but I do not consider how my actions will affect the whole, I will face consequences and regret. Regret is not polite – it comes too late – after a slap in the face, a court order, an ecosystem destroyed or a loved one disappeared.

Regret shows us the obviousness of the illusion – the illusion that we can have a singular pursuit of happiness – my right within “free choice.” But is real happiness something we can have alone? Can anyone really be happy knowing millions of children do not have a home, a shower, a meal, or a clean towel?

That’s why I support a Living Income Guaranteed.

 

 

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Exposing Reality Changes Reality

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In 2013 the Pittsburgh-based, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights began investigating the working conditions in the “New Collections” factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The factory makes clothes for the Gap and Old Navy. Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment manufacturer in the world. Garment exports account for $26.9 billion in 2014 – 80% of the country’s entire export earnings. [1]

Global Labour found that the workers, 80% of whom are women, were required to work 14-to17 plus hour shifts, seven days a week. This amounted to 100 to 120 hours a week! At the same time the Wall Street Journal also began an investigation into what they found were “gross worker rights violations” in the same factory. Because of their work, dramatic improvements will now benefit over 10,000 workers in Bangladesh.

Factory workers at “New Collections” used to be paid just 20 to 24 cents an hour. They were sometimes beaten and robbed of overtime pay. Now, ten of the abusive and corrupt senior managers at Next Collections have been fired and for the first time women workers are receiving their maternity leave and full benefits. After four years of being cheated workers now are paid in full and on time, including all overtime and back wages according to the law. No more 17- to 20-hour shifts, seven days a week, earning just 20 to 24 cents an hour. Workers are no longer threatened, physically abused and fired for demanding their rights.All overtime is strictly voluntary, and cannot exceed two hours a day, six days a week, for a regular 48-hour workweek with 12 hours of overtime.

This report shows how organizations like the Global Labour and Human Rights Institute can, through their investigation and publicity, create real and meaningful changes for people who are not able to organize, who cannot form a union, who do not make a living wage. Become an advocate for a Living Income Guaranteed and help those who need help.

How You Tell the News

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I tried to place myself in the position of the parents of the missing teachers/children who were most likely murdered September 26 in Mexico. Four mass graves were discovered in the Mexican state of Guerrero on October 10th. The parents have still not learned what happened to their children. [1]

Yesterday 46 students were killed for going to school in Nigeria. “It [Boko Haram] is waging a sustained campaign to prevent children from going to school. It believes girls should not attend school and boys should only receive an Islamic education.” [2]

A headline in today’s Guardian reads, “Mexican police injured in Acapulco during protests over student massacre” – not  – “Parents of 43 students in Desperate Clash with Police because they’ve been waiting since September to find out what happened to their children” … but wait … on the same page I am reading about how, “Lana Del Ray is just the latest woman to be attacked by Eminem…” Was she verbally attacked or ‘killed for going to school’ attacked?

The “news” is a powerful leveler causing a numbing down that an extra large font can’t shout over.  Will our collective tombstone say, “they could get used to anything?”

We could argue about the reasons the world is such hell for so many but the cause is nearly always rooted in money. We need stability in this world.  A living income guaranteed will mitigate the extremes. This is the best thing we can do right now.

[1] According to official data, since December 2012, an additional 1,000 people die every month in violence linked to drug cartels.

[2] BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29985252

Marketing Peace

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A primary business of international neuroscientists, marketers and behaviorists is to perfect the understanding of how feelings and emotions can be used to create behavior. Words and images are the gametes in the incubators that birth public opinion in order to create intentional outcomes.

The ‘intentional outcomes” business is flourishing. Armies of self-interest are paid to produce the research that produces the techniques that produce the movies, the books, the media for the skillful direction of feelings and emotions. It is an old art, as in ancient Greece, “attendance at the theatrical performances in the City Dionysia was considered a civic duty.”[1] …in other words, mandatory attendance if you want to get ahead…

Such theatrics serve the primary requirement within creating intentional outcomes: the emotional experience. Words and images can create fear, complacency, hatred, apathy, dissipation, etc. and as emotions are open through catharsis a physical reaction coupled with emotion provides the optimum state of human vulnerability . This receptive state is when we are introduced to beliefs and concepts we might otherwise never consider as real or valid – like the belief in the inherent nature of competition, or ideas like, “the poor will always be with us” or that the system is too monolithic to challenge.

This outcome is achieved by appealing to our self-interest. Instead of considering what is best for all life in every decision we make, our emotions and feelings direct us to choose that which is best for ourselves – encouraging us to see ourselves in isolation. This is just where the behind-the-scene-sters and marketers want us to be.

Words like “peace” and “hope” are  spiritualized, abstracted and linked to passivity and consumption. While “peace” appeals to our natural humanitarian instincts – we rarely ask how to build peace; how to create physical peace.

How do we step out of despondency and redefine peace so it becomes the creation of a world that honors all life?

First: acknowledge we have a natural resistance to change – we like our passivity, otherwise it wouldn’t be such a problem.
Second, because of resistance we have created a limited version of ourselves – we have trouble imagining our potential.
Third: failure to see that our acceptance of the world the way it is perpetuates the world the way it is.

It is up to each of us to stop the automated selves that we have become and to challenge the emotional and feeling states that serve to create a want, a need, or a desire – to see these shackles and remove them one by one, and pronto … because no one is free until we are all free.

 

[1] Barbara F. McManus. Professor of Classics at the College of New Rochelle

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