“Grasping for Rings”


Benjamin Brock


We can think of the world as spinning like a carousel and society can be thought of as riding up and down on wooden horse. Merrily society rides around and reaches out to try and grab the brass rings. What are those brass rings? Nothing more than peace and equality. Trying as hard as it may society just can’t grasp hold of those rings.

            Oh sure, you can bet that society wants to have peace and equality but there are invisible forces holding it back. Discrimination makes it sluggish; intolerance renders it lethargic, and failed attempts to accept diversity stops society’s pursuit for peace.

            Prejudice and hate are among the specters clinging to the backs of Americans preventing them from generating rational thoughts. We can think of things such as sexism, homophobia, and racism as a disease infecting the nation – from urban areas to country hills, from west coast to east coast. Right in the middle of it all is the quite contagious mainstream media, spreading the disease further than the day before. Television shows, magazine articles, and films are all promoting this sickness along with stereotypes from home to home. An Orwellian state of censorship among television networks and printing companies is unthinkable. All that is needed is some common sense and social responsibility.

            The solution or at least the beginnings of a solution begin with the individual – you, and me. Originally from West Virginia, where diversity is at a minimum I have learned to be open-minded about cultural differences in the Niagara Region. After living on my own on the West Side of Buffalo I’ve really had a chance to see what exactly is out in the world and to meet some wonderful people. As an individual I can promote understanding and acceptance to fellow co-workers, friends, and family. Cedric Bixler-Zavala wrote, “A single spark will start a spectral fire”. By sparking the interest or at the very least a sense of tolerance of cultural diversity within my own circle of friends and family it will spark a fire that will spread through one network of friends to another and hopefully over time and improved environment in communities will arise.

            Something vanishing from the ranks of urban communities across the nation is opportunities to succeed – or hell, opportunities period. Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” needs to be resurrected and put to use. Some sort of tax rewards for companies that remain or expand in the United States would entice conglomerates from moving a factory to India or China. Government sponsored civil jobs would bring about a wonderfully serene injection of new life into rundown communities. These two simple actions would have the potential to lift America’s millions of people below the poverty level to a healthier and happier status than living on near subsistence.

            Social responsibility to America should be a legitimate concern to executives in the media – and more than likely it’s on the back of their minds. Sex sells and what makes the world go ‘round –and also fills the pockets of anyone who puts a hand into the process of desensitizing America. Ancient Greeks crafted wonderful poems and created amazing art, while the Egyptians built immense pyramids, and even more impressive the Romans have roads and structures that are older than one thousand years old. America is being reduced to being known for fake boobs and reality shows. The lower cut the shirt, the tighter the pants, and the bigger the breasts are all part of the machine that is making our culture nothing more than a cultural waste dump.

            The government needs to step in, take a more socialistic approach, and get some issues sorted out if it wants to continue being the world’s only superpower. “Equality” is begging for help as racists and homophobes commit hate crimes. The economy and America’s blue-collar force are being pressured until workers will unite to bring down the aristocratic order of corporate powerhouses. Our culture will shed more tears until the nation can drop the fixed gaze on the television. And our society will continue to grasp for the rings while the specters fall upon the nation dragging everyone into the dirt and despair.