POV

The Year of the Revolutions

Some still call it democracy, but when the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, it’s no democracy.

Story and Photos by Icarus Blake- icarus@citizenbrooklyn.com
Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

All we cared about was the economic recovery. It’s inevitable when you live in a country obsessed with material possessions, otherwise called consumerism or capitalism. Some still call it democracy, but when the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, it’s no democracy. It’s flirting with social catastrophe.

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

This was also the year that we tried to fix the most screwed up healthcare system in the world; it’s not going too well. We also found out that our inspired president was, after all, another weak politician. He did not stand firm in his beliefs; he withered and bent, compromised and made a mess in areas where we needed a hero, a statesman with a clear vision. He was not  to be what he had promised.

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

This year we also realized that the opposition party is only about politics and cares very little about the people. To the point of damaging the country beyond repair. We have never had a political class so very detached from reality, so careless about the consequences of its actions in normal people’s lives. We have uncovered corruption and greed at the highest levels of leadership, in business and politics.

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

This year we have seen a generation of young people getting into the work place and finding no work. That has put an indelible dent in the future of the country. We have also seen sparks of revolutions in many countries. Much innocent blood spilled in the name of an ephemeral freedom from tyranny. The world mostly stood by and intervened only where the control over oil was at stake, even then, it did it without conviction. We watched thousands of Syrian civilians being slaughtered and more escaping their country to be badly managed as refugees in what looked a lot more like prison camps than safe heavens. We huffed and puffed, but did not really get involved: there was no economic gain in Syria, or oil to be had. We watched the United Nations struggling to cope and caring more about its obsolete autocracy than the emergencies at hand.

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

This year we have seen the undeniable damage of climate change to our own lives. After over two decades of governments ignoring red flags… They are now telling us that the solution is for humans to adapt to it. We are relocating entire communities, evacuating islands that are about to disappear under water… Building walls and levees, moving to higher grounds, walking around cities wearing protective masks. Drink bottled water, spend insane amounts for basic foods…

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

Somewhere in the back of our minds we worry about this, but the business at hand is to be able to pay rent and keep our jobs. We have little time left to engage with real politics, to be heard as communities, to be a voice of opposition, to question power, and the very poor job it has done to care for us.

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

This year we have seen the end of the free web. The behemoths of social media go public and turn our friendly social networks into money machines. We have seen the dangerous growth of search engines as omnipresent probes into our privacy. We expected our government to protect us and, instead, we found out that it is also spying on us. We are surrounded by abuse, bad management and bad governance. And yet, our most urgent worry is to scrap enough money to buy presents in some store running a fake sale. They’re turning us into digital slaves, addicted shoppers of short lived merchandise. We’ve become a string of code of the evil algorithms of Silicon Valley. We need an American Spring.

 

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

Photo © Icarus Blake

2 Responses to “The Year of the Revolutions”

  1. gaya says:

    Word.

  2. Ebru says:

    The world in a spin and this made me make a mental list of all that has happened on this side of the world and i guess we are in deep sharp need of a summer as no spring could save us. Yet New Year kind of brings a virtual not profound hope so that we still look forward. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight.