Here’s what had me up much of the night, noodling around in my rather messed-up noggin:
Behind the curtain of every cause we’ve come up with for why tragedies like the Newtown school murders happen, there are people whose job it is to keep the status quo going – to keep us afraid, insecure, and wanting some kind of product to drug us out of our despair. People whose mandate it is to maximize shareholder profits over all other considerations. Media companies turning journalism into riveting entertainment so we’ll watch them instead of the other channel. Health insurance company lobbyists keeping comprehensive and authentic mental health care reforms from happening because they’ll drain company income. Gun manufacturers working hard to keep certain American myths about independence, frontier spirit and self-protection alive and well in order to sell more weapons. It seems like the love of money really is the root of all evil after all.
On the other hand, here we are, desperate to be entertained. Desperate to keep pretending that mental health problems are things that happen to OTHER people who are not as tough as we are because otherwise they’d pull themselves up by their own brain-bootstraps. Desperate to secure ourselves in little safety bubbles so that the scary-crazy Other can’t get to us. Desperate to get to keep playing Cowboys and Indians long after we’ve supposedly grown up. Desperate enough that we will in fact pay any amount to try to meet those needs even as we never seem to be able to quite meet them. Desperate to put the blame for all the things that make us insecure on anyone or anything as long as it isn’t us.
So maybe the OTHER root of all evil – the twin-sister and eternal dance partner of the love of Money – is our desperate need to avoid losing our Privilege.