We Lie to Ourselves to Survive the Dystopian American Life
There’s a brick wall around my high school. It wasn’t there in the 90s, but school shootings weren’t as prevalent then. I wonder if anyone realizes walls keep people in and out, and they won’t protect us from a broken society because we are the cracks within the foundation, but I already know the answer. Everyone knows our quality of life has decreased over the last thirty years, but not everyone accepts it.
My brother’s neighbor chose to end his life rather than face $20,000 in back-rent, and that’s only one of many Covid induced debt suicides. Oxycontin victims and mental health survivors scream at the godless streets, and Los Angeles County provides porta-potties for the families living in trailers hitched to SUVs. Meanwhile, women in their fifties walking their dogs and belongings search for a place to sleep along the crowded sidewalks.
Homeless camps decorate the streets as far as the eye can see, but there isn’t a housing shortage. Los Angeles’ sprawl expands to the hills occupied by coyotes, foxes, and mountain lions. The lack of habitat forces the displaced animals to roam the city’s streets, but the construction of the overly priced, fire and mudslide-prone dwellings persist. So, pets disappear nightly while dog walkers battle early morning attacks, and somehow, the coyotes are the problem — not humanity.
LA mayor candidates care about the homeless because the unsightly encampments and crime impact small businesses and homeowners, but everyone knows poverty will continue to worsen. More Americans become impoverished every year, and instead of evaluating our economic structure, we briefly discuss taxing the rich — as if that’ll happen. Pursuing wealth is our national identity; our culture worships money and capital more than people.
Consumerism isn’t a substitute for deteriorated living standards, yet countless Amazon vans deliver goods to the watchful porch cameras. The short-term euphoric fix distracts us from the inevitable cyclical financial crash, but the newness excitement doesn’t last long, and another crisis is around the corner. We might as well feel “rich” while we can because there’s…