Erik Rittenberry: You’re Painfully Alive in a Drugged and Dying Culture

“It’s a disease. Nobody thinks or feels or cares anymore; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.”
— Richard Yates (Photo: Kavan Cardoza)

by Erik Rittenberry at Poetic Outlaws: It’s quiet here in the early morning and no one’s around—just the way I like it. I’m sitting on a bench, sipping black coffee on an old dock, looking out over the ancient lake. I watch with an incredible sense of serenity as the fog dies out with the rising sun. There’s a peculiar stillness here in these early hours.

The sky grows lighter and lighter. A subtle breeze makes small ripples in the water. The fish jump and splash, the birds chirp and flutter, and everything seems joyful and harmonious. The great hum of life.

Behind me, the world is not so joyous and harmonious.

Behind me is a society I, too, belong to—a society teetering on the edge of all-out madness. We, the people, seem to be half-asleep at the wheel and completely entangled in a web of false narratives and social delusions. Our semiconscious society of disenfranchised people is at war with each other over manufactured illusions and irrational beliefs. We are completely alienated from each other, our deeper selves, and the soil that sustains us.

“Every realm of society is permeated with falsity and falsification,” the great Henry Miller reminded us so many years ago. He’s still right—probably more so today.

More here.

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