Are we overlooking signs that point to how "THIRD WORLD" a nation we have become?
Take THIS VIEW from a reporter from East Berlin, who brought her family on long-term assignment to Hollywood.
She found that life here isn't celebrated. No enjoyment. No delightful outdoor cafés (despite California's celebrated sunshine). Nobody takes vacations! (Do you?)
She pinpointed a curious and bewildering 2-hour maximum limit on kids birthday parties. (What's with that? The author projected that parents all had to get back to the grind after so many minutes off; potentially all afraid that they might have missed that magic phone call?)
Worse, she found that folks tended to celebrate the significant moments in their lives with their most transient, recent of acquaintances, in fact each year, celebrating with a new crowd; something she called an addictive poison, as if the only person who ever really matters is oneself.
She found so many here who are poverty stricken: Unemployment, homelessness, and the desperation that goes with that are beyond anyone's wild imagination here; certainly well beyond what has been reported.
She was baffled that rented items are not respected, such as furniture in furnished apartments; is it out of desperation that we have become a throw-away culture?
She found that, in order to have a good credit rating here, you had to be in debt. Since her family was up to date on all of their bills --as is typically German-- they needed to pay a rental premium each month for high-risk renters, in the sum of $100/month.
She found that we use archaic --third-world-- banking procedures. Rather than bank transfers, her family had to pay in person for rent and utilities, and by check -- which they had to buy after withdrawing funds over a series of days in amounts reaching daily maximum limits; then stand in line to hand these funds in.
She found that we've become a land of tattoos, jeans, and other icons of old, perhaps in an attempt to hold onto, or to keep alive, images of who we once were, such as the now all but abandoned Hollywood Walk of Stars. (Are there still any film studios operating in Hollywood? Well, yes: one is still there.)
She found broken concrete sidewalks and unsightly overhead electric wires everywhere. She was surprised why the unsightliness doesn't bother us, and why we don't insist on upgrades. Is our nation truly broke?
She found people who acknowledged how much of their innocence they'd recently lost, due to outcomes of recent wars, to 9-11, to various shooting incidents in even the smallest, safest communities.
She found that, while work-places may be multi-cultural, each individual returns home each night to their own culturally exclusive neighborhood: The Melting Pot concept is an absolute myth.
She found non-educated dreamers, who pinned their hopes on a call-back or a lucky lottery number, including one, who could not comprehend that she, as a German, grew up speaking another language, called German, on another continent, in a country called Germany.
-->Horrors! How many of these types are there amongst us?! How much of this do we want published in the Sunday Newspapers around the world?
What can we do ?!
Please include your own suggestions!
Meanwhile, here are a few of mine:
1. Let's all take our education seriously! Let's be desperately involved and interested in LEARNING!
2. Let's be efficient and ambitious, so that we can legitimately ENJOY the time that we "take off," by planning great (not just mindless) things to do with those precious minutes.
3. Well, let's make those minutes add up to hours/days/weeks, so that we too can go on enlightening vacation (where we too will find that we do some of our most creative thinking while on holiday).
4. Let's realize that politics matters, and that ignorance isn't bliss.
In fact, one of the comments that this article garnered was reference to this song "Little Emma", from Hannes Wader, about folks who continue to reelect politicians who choose to turn their backs on their needs. -- Do you understand the lyrics (particularly those in bold -- the refrain)? A small storefront in Germany is often called a "Tante Emma Laden," and these have all but disappeared in recent years.
"Das erinnert mich an das Lied "Emma Klein" von Hannes Wader.
(Vielleicht sollte man es mal ins englische übersetzen: :lol:)..."
Nun hat die Bank schon zugeschlagen
und ganz schnell, fast über Nacht
das Haus samt Laden abgerissen
und `nen Parkplatz draus gemacht.
Der gehört dem Superkaufhaus
und das wiederum der Bank.
Doch das schärfste ist, dass Emma Klein
vor Kummer sterbenskrank
und bettelarm, sich noch immer
zu den Unternehmern zählt,
am Wahltag die Partei
der eignen Unterdrückung wählt.
Will nur mal fragen
sagt warum schlagen
so viele Leute
gestern wie heute
den eignen Interessen
voll ins Gesicht
und merken es nicht?
"Na ja, immerhin wachen jetzt einige auf. :daumen: Viele Grüße, Petra"