(I recently found this in my drafts section. I guess I never hit the publish button last year.)
As I consumed more and more audio books on personal development, philosophy, self help, spirituality, and self actualization I believed less and less in conspiracy theories. As I aged I met more and more people who, as fictional character Don Draper said in the first season on Mad Men, are so desperate to be led, that they’ll follow anybody. The desperate need some people have, to believe that somebody is in control of everything. People cloak themselves in cynicism and sarcasm to mask their fear of mortality and of being too big a coward to even attempt to make a difference in the world. They justify their inaction to themselves by looking for and finding circumstantial evidence that there is a higher power, new world order, shadow government, etc pulling all the strings, in control of all things important. Therefore, why try? why protest? why write letters? why call congressmen? why not do anything other than work a job they hate so they can numb themselves with personal entertainment when “not on the clock”.
As I studied history however, I couldn’t shake the thought that there was a ruling class of wealthy land and resource owners that have continuously taken action in secret to maintain control of money, land, and resources. Learning about someone like Edward Bernays and the invention of the American middle class consumer by the economic ruling class at the turn of the 20th century, did not dissipate my said thought. Old money with a scarcity mentality fueled by paranoia and greed is one thing, the Military Industrial Complex along with the World Bank/IMF working in the shadows to rule the world Pinky and the Brain style just seemed too derived from a bunch of immature, overweight, uneducated men who don’t get laid enough if at all.
Edward Snowden was the Rosetta Stone for legitimacy to those who are paranoid of governmental overreach and privacy invasion. Glenn Greenwald, reporter for The Guardian newspaper has been Snowden‘s contact to the outside world. Information has continued to trickle out for over two months, each leak, has been an ocean of concern of shock, awe, concern, and outrage for anyone who values privacy, freedom (personal and/or of information), governmental transparency, and power. If you are reading this and unaware of who either Snowden or Greenwald are, please click the hyperlinks in this blog to educate yourself on who they are. Simply knowing their names is not enough. Knowledge itself is not power, it is merely the material to create power, or the vehicle to get you to power. You must use the material to formulate the power you wish to have, you must operate the vehicle to arrive at the power destination.
Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald’s bravery and journalistic heroism gets my blood pumping in a way that up until this point in my life, only professional wrestling could. That may read as lame as shit, but professional wrestling has been my biggest personal passion in life, for my entire life. When friends, family, teachers, lovers, and strangers would tell me to be realistic about what I wanted to do in my life, I turned to writing, I turned to journalism, I turned to media communications as a secondary career option. Snowden and Greenwald have given me as great a gift as I could possibly ask for. The consistent flow of positive emotions that lets me know that writing and journalism can give me a lifetime of fulfillment. That if I could never be a professional wrestler or more importantly, a successful one, that I could spend the rest of my life in journalistic pursuits, shining light on information kept from the public in the dark, and die a happy man.
I have spent so many years stagnant. Afraid to take action not only out of fear of failure, but out of the fear of taking the wrong path. Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden removed that fear from me. Ironically, by releasing some of the scariest nonfiction information I have ever seen, read, or heard of in my entire life. What the Obama administration is doing to whistleblowers is disgusting. What the NSA is doing is despicable. The surveillance state that the Patriot Act has allowed to formulate is un American. I have found my second passion in life. I have never cared about being rich, I have cared about being happy. I have read enough books from enough credible figures to know that happiness and wealth are not correlated. Beyond having food, shelter, cleanliness, and safety I don’t care for my destiny to be that of a mindless consumer.
I now know that I can be happy being a writer for the rest of my life. I know I can be happy being a journalist, a broadcaster, a radio dj, a talk show host, a producer, a managing editor, a columnist, an author, a staff writer, and any other position my college degree and my natural abilities make me qualified for because I now have the passion and desire to go with my BA and abilities. Edward Snowden’s leaks may have scared the hell out of me, but sometimes we need to be scared to wake the fuck up. I have been woken up. Glenn Greenwald‘s unapologetic journalistic integrity inspires me to the point of goose bumps literally every time I think of his interviews since the Snowden story broke. That is what it takes to get me moving in the direction of my dreams. Thanks to Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden not only am I moving, I want to, and feel obligated to keep moving.