From 1969–2018: Reflections on a Culture in Full Meltdown Mode

And the Power in Our Hands to Change Our World Once And For All

Dr. Lisa Galarneau
Aug 16, 2018 · 7 min read
MLK is such an inspiration for our non-violent Resistance movement.

It’s my 49th birthday today. I was born in 1969, into a world that was being shattered by the Vietnam War and other global conflicts. Nixon was president at that time, and it wouldn’t be long before he and his cronies were finally held accountable for their criminal acts.

It was also a time of great optimism and opportunity for many. We had just gone to the moon. The Internet had just been born. But at the core of our culture were enormous injustices that had been swept under the rug for centuries. My Native ancestors were subjected to horrendous abuses, theft of ancestral lands, and a raping and pillaging of ancient and beautiful indigenous cultures. Women, minorities, lgbt persons, disabled, and poor people have long been subjected to abuse, neglect, and murder at the hands of a culture that likes to use up and throw away. All of this still goes on today. They are problems that never seem to go away.

I find it striking that the world hasn’t changed all that much in the nearly half a century I have now been alive. In so many ways, our present is still echoes of the past — a past that was extremely unjust and designed to benefit wealthy and privileged individuals who were frankly, willing to out-exploit everyone they could. And now, our democratically-elected first female president has been subjected to a heinous attack that’s been in the making for decades.

Also now, the progress we have made in human and civil rights over many decades is being eroded away at lightening speed. In reflecting upon this last year, I must confess it has felt like a hard slog through a culture that in so many ways seems sterile and dead. An article circulated a while back with a title something like ‘I don’t know how to tell you that you need to care about other people’. I feel like we have lost our ability to function collectively in the way any thriving culture requires. People watch TED Talks on topics like ‘not giving a fuck’ in life. How did this breakdown occur? Simple. It’s the politics of division, racism, and discord. It sows apathy and hatred towards other citizens, which is the whole point, because it means that most of us do little to assist with the problems around us:

Most of us choose to do nothing but squeeze our eyes even more tightly closed. I used to do this, too. I’m an idealist. It is too painful. We feel powerless. It is simply too depressing to contemplate. It’s all happening in far away places. It’s someone else’s job to deal with these intractable problems. So we compensate with our beliefs about who needs our attention and help and who does not, as well as what change our tiny efforts can possibly bring. These are myths that we tell ourselves.

Simultaneously there are breath-taking examples of people helping to tackle these problems head on. The #YouthQuake alone is simply mesmerizing as we see our younger generations, who have grown up in a new paradigm called ‘growing up digital’, are escalating issues, solving and transcending intractable problems, organizing in incredibly effective ways, and leading the charge towards a brighter tomorrow. It’s their future the adults are continuing to decimate, after all. We owe it to these kids to be the guardians of the future we need to all deeply commit to.

It’s been extremely difficult to be the lifelong progressive I am these last couple of years. So I, like so many others, joined The Resistance movement, which was called for by Democratic leadership. I feel a responsibility as a former service member, as a parent, as the descendant of a long-line of struggling pioneer types, as a woman and mixed race person in our culture. So, on the day Donald Trump and his criminal allies illegitimately stole our democracy, I made a vow to not stop resisting until this job is done.

The job has been a tough one for all resisters as we are in all-out information war mode against foreign interests, the global organized crime contingents, and our own brainwashed fellow citizens. It’s been heart-wrenching to both watch and participate in, does not bring in any cash (which so many resisters need), and requires (for me anyway) having to move way outside my comfort zone. I don’t like bothering people with uncomfortable topics. Many people seem to hate with a passion my ‘libtard’ or ‘snowflake’ perspectives. And yet, I must resist tyranny and fascism that are systematically destroying the lives of people everywhere, but also people I love and care about, as well as the impact on my own life.

Thankfully we have the tools, know-how, and commitment to battle these scourges. Our ability to connect, organize, educate, inform, and protest has never been stronger. The light at the end of this long dark tunnel is that we know it’s working. We see the people stepping up and signing up, to run for office, or to support those who do, or to get out the vote, and rally people to tangibly support change. It’s been amazing to see. We’ve needed a revolution of heart and mind, and that’s what’s now in progress. What made this possible? Information devices in the hands of half the world’s global population, loaded with social media apps that allow us to connect, reveal, document, and amplify important messages the entire world needs to know about.

Social media has enabled an epic transparency that makes us more aware of tragedies, travesties, and controversies in our world. We mourn together, because we have become one global consciousness. Or perhaps we always were, although lacking the communication options that now make these interactions so easy and simultaneous. Movements of all sorts — from the Arab Spring to #MeToo and #TimesUp— have been organized and amplified using social media. Activist communities like Anonymous, NoDAPL, Black Lives Matter, and Occupy could only exist because of social media. I sometimes think, how would Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, or Caesar Chavez have reacted to social media on smartphones in the hands of citizens world-wide?

I have never considered myself to be much of a politics type. I still don’t, in fact. But we have now arrived at a time in our culture where information overload, societal and cultural complexities, narcissism and navel-gazing, apathy, and sheer overwhelming deer-in-the-headlights syndrome have decimated our ability to function adequately as the massive system we call culture. This becomes a problem for everyone, as we as individual cannot be disassociated from our broader cultural context:

Culture is sort of the tail wagging the dog. Collectively we all hope for a better world, but systems and deeply entrenched interests tend to prevail. Cultural change is about changing minds, but even more importantly, it’s about changing hearts and igniting the fire for change within us. We are, quite simply, the guardians of the future.

I strongly adhere to the credo, first coined by computer science pioneer Alan Kay, that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. First we need to surpass seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We need to come together as a people more than we ever have before, with a clarity of purpose and determination to once and for all change our world into the lands of opportunity and abundance all of our world’s citizens deserve.

When we accept that our blessings in this world come with a responsibility to also lift others up — as we ourselves were lifted up in life by those who loved and cared for us — it becomes very clear that we have a responsibility not to ignore those who suffer and struggle in our world.

So, on this my birthday, after nearly half a century on this world, I ask you. Will you give our cause the attention it deserves? I can’t help but feel deep sorrow, and yes, offense when my fellow citizens insist on being silent about the things that matter. We know we can create a better world, but we need all hands on deck. Can we count on you?

#TheResistance #GeeksResist #VeteransResist #MomsDemandAction #BlueWave #LoveArmy #Anonymous #Indivisible #DemWave

About Me: I am an anthropologist, futurist, veteran, and Mom to a transgender teen. I am also disabled and now must rely on donations to fund my work. You can support me with a small donation via PayPal or you can donate on a monthly basis via Patreon. Thank you!

Here is a reading list:

Planetary Liberation Force - The Resistance — The People’s New Deal

Planetary Liberation via a Revolution of Mind and Heart

Dr. Lisa Galarneau

Written by

Anthropologist, Futurist, Design/UX Researcher, Veteran, Lightworker, Democrat, and #TheResistance Activist

Planetary Liberation Force - The Resistance — The People’s New Deal

Planetary Liberation via a Revolution of Mind and Heart

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