Suzanna. In love with a schnauzer named Mimzy. Instagram
nationalgeographicdaily:

Hawaiian Green Turtle, Maui
Photograph by Jose Cardona
At a Maui aquarium a Hawaiian green turtle makes a guest appearance.  Members of this threatened species are unique among sea turtles for their herbivorous diet, thought to imbue their fat with a greenish blue.

nationalgeographicdaily:

Hawaiian Green Turtle, Maui

Photograph by Jose Cardona

At a Maui aquarium a Hawaiian green turtle makes a guest appearance.  Members of this threatened species are unique among sea turtles for their herbivorous diet, thought to imbue their fat with a greenish blue.

(Source: )

astound-thy-heart:

I motherduckin’ love Bill Nye. 

astound-thy-heart:

I motherduckin’ love Bill Nye. 

(Source: immeasurablygreat, via joshbregy)

#bill nye   #science  
There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who wants to make the world a better place.
Banksy (via ssshhhhhhhh)

(Source: claytoncubitt, via beautefantasy)

#quote   #banksy  
thedailywhat:

Adorable Animals Being Adorable of the Day: A seven-day-old duckling was rescued from a gull mauling by an RSPCA inspector and taken to the Devon Wildlife Visitor Centre, but being away from its siblings led to separation anxiety, which kept it from eating.
The baby duck’s handlers came up with the notion to put a mirror in its enclosure to keep it company.
“The duckling regularly wanders up to the mirror and pecks at it, licks it and is constantly happily chirruping away,” says Centre spokeswoman Liz Dyas. “It is very common for ducklings to die once separated from the flock and we’re amazed at the change in condition.”
The duckling — named Alice for its Looking Glass fixation — is reportedly eating again, and is expected to make a full recovery in matter of months.
[swns / arbroath.]

thedailywhat:

Adorable Animals Being Adorable of the Day: A seven-day-old duckling was rescued from a gull mauling by an RSPCA inspector and taken to the Devon Wildlife Visitor Centre, but being away from its siblings led to separation anxiety, which kept it from eating.

The baby duck’s handlers came up with the notion to put a mirror in its enclosure to keep it company.

“The duckling regularly wanders up to the mirror and pecks at it, licks it and is constantly happily chirruping away,” says Centre spokeswoman Liz Dyas. “It is very common for ducklings to die once separated from the flock and we’re amazed at the change in condition.”

The duckling — named Alice for its Looking Glass fixation — is reportedly eating again, and is expected to make a full recovery in matter of months.

[swns / arbroath.]

(Source: thedailywhat, via beautefantasy)

#duck   #bird   #animals  
fyearth:

Photograph by Stephen Frink Collection

fyearth:

Photograph by Stephen Frink Collection

#animal   #ocean   #shark   #shark week   #fish  
veganatalie:

ugh mai nose

veganatalie:

ugh mai nose

#rats   #animals   #pets  
voiceoftheocean:

 The Seal Protection Act of 1973 considers it a criminal offense to shoot a seal, but since the law came into effect no one has ever been convicted or arrested. No one reports it when it happens and it is commonly known that out of 30,000 active fisherman, all have killed seals with firearms. Fisherman are allowed to carry weapons and explosives on their fishing trips to protect themselves from pirates, but it is believe that it’s a cover for them to kill seals which they believe are “taking their fish.”

voiceoftheocean:

 The Seal Protection Act of 1973 considers it a criminal offense to shoot a seal, but since the law came into effect no one has ever been convicted or arrested. No one reports it when it happens and it is commonly known that out of 30,000 active fisherman, all have killed seals with firearms.
Fisherman are allowed to carry weapons and explosives on their fishing trips to protect themselves from pirates, but it is believe that it’s a cover for them to kill seals which they believe are “taking their fish.”

(via fuckyeah-animalrights)

#seal   #seal hunting   #seal hunt   #animals   #fur  
njwight:

Oopsie! A somewhat spastic looking green heron gets his bearings right after the branch he was perched on snaps off.

njwight:

Oopsie! A somewhat spastic looking green heron gets his bearings right after the branch he was perched on snaps off.

#bird   #flight   #green heron   #nature   #wildlife   #animals  
#reading   #cool   #books   #draw  
lunch delivered

lunch delivered

(Source: dimmitutto, via theanimalblog)

#tiger   #pigs   #animals  
canisfamiliaris:

How big is our plastic problem? 
Of the 30 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. in 2009, only 7% was recovered for recycling. 
This plastic waste (mostly petroleum-based) ends up in landfills, beaches, rivers and oceans and contributes to such devastating problems as the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch.
16 simple ways to reduce plastic waste
(I’d like to know why our government allows plastics to be made that cannot EASILY be recycled!?! Or any packaging, for that matter.)

canisfamiliaris:

How big is our plastic problem?

Of the 30 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. in 2009, only 7% was recovered for recycling.

This plastic waste (mostly petroleum-based) ends up in landfills, beaches, rivers and oceans and contributes to such devastating problems as the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch.

16 simple ways to reduce plastic waste

(I’d like to know why our government allows plastics to be made that cannot EASILY be recycled!?! Or any packaging, for that matter.)

(Source: mothernaturenetwork)

#plastic   #waste   #pollution   #environment   #sustainability  
ruineshumaines:

Baby turtles Lankayan Island (by arjandijksma)

ruineshumaines:

Baby turtles Lankayan Island (by arjandijksma)

(via theanimalblog)

#sea turtles   #turtles   #reptiles   #animals   #wildlife   #baby animals  
willthethird:

fuckyoumishacollins:

#i don’t even care that im turned on every time i see him covered in blood

SPONGEBOB BAND-AID *cough* /composure
Seriously though. MCH+blood forever

I have to wait until October?! NO!

willthethird:

fuckyoumishacollins:

#i don’t even care that im turned on every time i see him covered in blood

SPONGEBOB BAND-AID *cough* /composure

Seriously though. MCH+blood forever

I have to wait until October?! NO!

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (via writingsinthestars)

(Source: kaleidoscopedreams, via beautefantasy)

#quote   #jack kerouac  
bunnyfood:

i has a banana

bunnyfood:

i has a banana

(via gisellley)

#raccoon   #animals   #banana   #thief  
“Lack of motivation” is a generally misunderstood symptom of depression. It does not mean that I sit around thinking, “Oh, I’m so depressed; why bother to do shit I don’t want to do anyway.” It means not that I lack discipline, but that there is a mental disconnect between my conscious mind, which says I want or need to do X, and the part of my brain which actually initiates activity. It prevents me from doing things I would very much like to do, as well as things I need to do, rather than indicating simply a lack of interest in doing things which are not immediately rewarding.

If you want or need to go somewhere, whether somewhere you’re eagerly looking forward to going, or somewhere routine, or to the dentist for a root canal which you may be much averse to but have nevertheless decided will leave you better off in the long run, and you get in your car, turn the key in the ignition repeatedly, yet the engine sputters but does not engage, this is not an indication that you don’t really want to go anywhere. It’s an indication that something is wrong with the equipment you need to transport you there.

I am fully capable of sitting for hours, thinking periodically, “I need to pee,” then, “I really need to pee,” and eventually, “Damn, I need to pee,” before being able to jump start the part of my brain which engages with the task of getting up and walking the ten feet to the bathroom, and initiates the movement which allows me to do that.

The more complex the task, the harder it can be, because a more complex sequence of actions must be, in some sense, imagined and targeted before the actions necessary to bring them about can be initiated. Most people are unaware that this process even takes place, because in a healthy brain, it occurs swiftly and automatically. In my brain, it does not.

Maud, There’s Good News and Bad News. And Fat News. (Shakesville)

Probably the best description of that particular aspect of depression that I’ve ever read. At least, that’s how it is for me.

(via kiriamaya)

I think more people need to read this, especially those who don’t have depression, so that they may gain some understanding for what others who suffer go through. So that they won’t be so quick to judge…

(via venetian-blinded-rage)

(via cuntofdoom)

OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS.

(via theoceanandthesky)

I feel like I would like to have this printed on a t-shirt, or tattooed to my forehead, or handed out as a flier to everyone I come into contact with. Something to let the world know, for all of those who don’t have this illness and don’t understand, that I am trying really fucking hard, all of the time.

That load of laundry I put on this morning, I have been trying to do that for five weeks now. I think about it every day and work at convincing my legs to move me down the stairs. The fact that I actually managed that this morning was a really huge achievement for me. I feel like all that the rest of the world can see is that I didn’t feed myself breakfast.

(via consexy)

I would be crying if it wasn’t for the fact that my sister’s in-laws are over and I hate them too much to show any sort of emotions besides fury when they’re in my presence.

(via mcgoats)

Hi, can we all just take a moment to read and fucking appreciate this post? 

(via ctchphrse)

(via beautefantasy)

nationalgeographicmagazine:

Eastern Gray Kangaroos, Australia Photograph by Emilien Anglada, Your ShotThese are wild eastern gray kangaroos shot on the west coast of Australia. I was going for a walk in the bush and unfortunately scared them off. They fled away in a hurry toward the native forest. These are part of Roxie’s crew, a kangaroo that was once like a domestic pet at Dellis’s bush stay in Soulhaven.
Download Wallpaper (1600 x 1200 pixels)

nationalgeographicmagazine:

Eastern Gray Kangaroos, Australia
Photograph by Emilien Anglada, Your Shot
These are wild eastern gray kangaroos shot on the west coast of Australia. I was going for a walk in the bush and unfortunately scared them off. They fled away in a hurry toward the native forest. These are part of Roxie’s crew, a kangaroo that was once like a domestic pet at Dellis’s bush stay in Soulhaven.

Download Wallpaper (1600 x 1200 pixels)

#animal   #australia   #kangaroo  
allthingseurope:

Trevi Fountain, Rome (by Al Ianni)

allthingseurope:

Trevi Fountain, Rome (by Al Ianni)

(via galdikas-deactivated20121116)

#trevi fountain   #rome   #fountain   #history   #travel   #italy   #europe  
joshishollywood:

FREEMASONS RUN THE COUNTRY

germs are everywhere

joshishollywood:

FREEMASONS RUN THE COUNTRY

germs are everywhere

(via )

crookedindifference:

anoceanactivist:

World’s largest orca tank (Marineland - Antibes, France) or the ocean…
Which one would you choose?

I would consider the ocean the “world’s largest orca tank.” 
Marineland, and all its variations on marine mammal parks (Sea World, Marine World, Sea Life Park, etc.) and Dolphinariums are well-documented, for-profit forms of animal abuse that serve no scientific purpose. Confining these animals to these undersized spaces causes a clear danger to both people and the animals (PDF). If the animals are born in captivity, it does not make a difference. If you have not yet seen The Cove, I suggest you change that to learn more about the supply chain for these parks.
Go here to learn how you can help.

crookedindifference:

anoceanactivist:

World’s largest orca tank (Marineland - Antibes, France) or the ocean…

Which one would you choose?

I would consider the ocean the “world’s largest orca tank.”

Marineland, and all its variations on marine mammal parks (Sea World, Marine World, Sea Life Park, etc.) and Dolphinariums are well-documented, for-profit forms of animal abuse that serve no scientific purpose. Confining these animals to these undersized spaces causes a clear danger to both people and the animals (PDF). If the animals are born in captivity, it does not make a difference. If you have not yet seen The Cove, I suggest you change that to learn more about the supply chain for these parks.

Go here to learn how you can help.

(via crookedindifference)

#orca   #animals   #aquarium   #ocean   #france  
It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.
Carl Sagan (via crookedindifference)

(Source: crookedindifference)

#quote   #carl sagan  
jtotheizzoe:

suzannecatty:

Evolution in your back yard:  Thousands of members of the public across Europe have taken part in one  of the largest evolutionary studies ever, by observing banded snails in  their gardens and open public spaces.
The expectation was that snail shells would have become lighter, as  protection from overheating in sunlight. This was only found to be the  case for snails sampled in sand dune habitat, where it is harder for the  snails to seek shelter from the heat of the sun. The evolutionary  change that was seen everywhere, however, was an unexpected increase in  the percentage of snails with a single dark spiral band around the  shell.

Citizen science!
Unfortunately, France was disqualified for continually eating their research materials with warm butter.

jtotheizzoe:

suzannecatty:

Evolution in your back yard:  Thousands of members of the public across Europe have taken part in one of the largest evolutionary studies ever, by observing banded snails in their gardens and open public spaces.

The expectation was that snail shells would have become lighter, as protection from overheating in sunlight. This was only found to be the case for snails sampled in sand dune habitat, where it is harder for the snails to seek shelter from the heat of the sun. The evolutionary change that was seen everywhere, however, was an unexpected increase in the percentage of snails with a single dark spiral band around the shell.

Citizen science!

Unfortunately, France was disqualified for continually eating their research materials with warm butter.

(via jtotheizzoe)

#animals   #environment   #everything   #evolution   #nature   #science   #snails  

canisfamiliaris:

50 Renowned Academics Speak About ‘God’:

(in order of appearance)

1. Lawrence Krauss, Physicist

2. Robert Coleman Richardson, Nobel Laureate in Physics

3. Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate in Physics

4. Simon Blackburn, Cambridge Professor of Philosophy

5. Colin Blakemore, Oxford Professor of Neuroscience

6. Steven Pinker, Harvard Professor of Psychology

7. Alan Guth, MIT Professor of Physics

8. Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor of Linguistics

9. Nicolaas Bloembergen, Nobel Laureate in Physics

10. Peter Atkins, Oxford Professor of Chemistry

11. Oliver Sacks, Neurologist, Columbia University

12. Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

13. Sir John Gurdon, Pioneering Developmental Biologist, Cambridge

14. Sir Bertrand Russell, Philosopher, Nobel Laureate

15. Stephen Hawking, Cambridge Theoretical Physicist

16. Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Laureate in Physics

17. Ned Block, NYU Professor of Philosophy

18. Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics

19. Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford Professor of Mathematics

20. James Watson, Co-discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate

21. Colin McGinn, Professor of Philosophy, Miami University

22. Sir Patrick Bateson, Cambridge Professor of Ethology

23. Sir David Attenborough, Broadcaster and Naturalist

24. Martinus Veltman, Nobel Laureate in Physics

25. Pascal Boyer, Professor of Anthropology

26. Partha Dasgupta, Cambridge Professor of Economics

27. AC Grayling, Birkbeck Professor of Philosophy

28. Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in Physics

29. John Searle, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy

30. Brian Cox, Particle Physicist (Large Hadron Collider, CERN)

31. Herbert Kroemer, Nobel Laureate in Physics

32. Rebecca Goldstein, Professor of Philosophy

33. Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, Colorado

34. Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

35. Leonard Susskind, Stanford Professor of Theoretical Physics

36. Quentin Skinner, Professor of History (Cambridge)

37. Theodor W. Hänsch, Nobel Laureate in Physics

38. Mark Balaguer, CSU Professor of Philosophy

39. Richard Ernst, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

40. Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge Professor of Anthropology

41. Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, Princeton Research Scientist

42. Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate in Physics

43. Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy

44. Lord Colin Renfrew, Archaeologist, Cambridge

45. Carl Sagan, Astronomer

46. Peter Singer, Bioethicist, Princeton

47. Rudolph Marcus, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

48. Robert Foley, Cambridge Professor of Human Evolution

49. Daniel Dennett, Tufts Professor of Philosophy

50. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics

#science   #god   #religion   #scientists  
When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say, ‘Because they’re unhealthy, and they’re the product of a violent and inhumane industry. Chickens, cows, and pigs in factory farms spend their whole lives in filthy, cramped conditions—only to die a prolonged and painful death. Their bodies are then turned into food products proven to contribute to heart disease and cancer. To eat that is to eat poison.’
Casey Affleck (via pandacake)
#quote   #casey affleck  

but I don’t really want it.

just want the moneez.

Text Post
Humans evolved to depend on a rich diet of 800 plant foods. Today, most people eat three, and those are often french fries, ketchup and iceberg lettuce.
David Heber, director of the University of California Los Angeles Center for Human Nutrition (via pandacake)
#quote   #david heber  
jtotheizzoe:

July Arctic sea ice hits record low.
(via Open Mind)

jtotheizzoe:

July Arctic sea ice hits record low.

(via Open Mind)

(via jtotheizzoe)

#climate change   #environment   #ice   #nature   #news   #science   #arctic ice  

Text Post
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
Mark Twain (via kari-shma)

(Source: kari-shma, via quote-book)

#quote   #mark twain  

Text Post

lhommeabsurde replied to your post: I want to claw my face out.
please don’t. i like it.

but it huuuuuuuuuurts

Text Post
ianbrooks:

Voyager 1 by Mike Gottschalk
Having outlasted all previous objectives, Voyager’s eternal mission at this point is just to fly off into interstellar space indefinitely. This piece sent me on a massive Wikipedia timewarp last night, in which I learned that Voyager is expected to keep flying until at least 2025, which will be a mind-numbing 48 years after its launch from this humble little ball of dirt. You’re a good ol’ girl, Voyager. Saganspeed!
Artist: flickr / behance / twitter

ianbrooks:

Voyager 1 by Mike Gottschalk

Having outlasted all previous objectives, Voyager’s eternal mission at this point is just to fly off into interstellar space indefinitely. This piece sent me on a massive Wikipedia timewarp last night, in which I learned that Voyager is expected to keep flying until at least 2025, which will be a mind-numbing 48 years after its launch from this humble little ball of dirt. You’re a good ol’ girl, Voyager. Saganspeed!

Artist: flickr / behance / twitter

#nasa   #space   #voyager   #voyager 1   #space probe  
lhommeabsurde replied to your post: lhommeabsurde replied to your post: I want to claw…
please, oh please, oh please, oh please!

now it sounds like you want me to tear my face out

and I will gladly oblige because it hurts soooooooo much

Text Post
roberto:

Wood duck

Mandarin duck

roberto:

Wood duck

Mandarin duck

(via theanimalblog)

#duck   #bird   #animals   #mandarin duck  

I might as well just do some blow with all the saline and steroids and decongestants I’m snorting up my nose.

It can’t hurt, right? I mean, hurt any more than it does now…

Text Post

titusandtheraindrops:

AlterNet

8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance

By Bruce E. Levine, AlterNet
Posted on July 31, 2011, Printed on August 1, 2011
http://www.alternet.org/story/151850/8_reasons_young_americans_don%27t_fight_back%3A_how_the_us_crushed_youth_resistance

Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination.  

Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it. A 2010 Gallup poll asked Americans “Do you think the Social Security system will be able to pay you a benefit when you retire?” Among 18- to 34-years-olds, 76 percent of them said no. Yet despite their lack of confidence in the availability of Social Security for them, few have demanded it be shored up by more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy; most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, even though they don’t believe it will be around to benefit them.  

How exactly has American society subdued young Americans? 

1. Student-Loan Debt. Large debt—and the fear it creates—is a pacifying force. There was no tuition at the City University of New York when I attended one of its colleges in the 1970s, a time when tuition at many U.S. public universities was so affordable that it was easy to get a B.A. and even a graduate degree without accruing any student-loan debt. While those days are gone in the United States, public universities continue to be free in the Arab world and are either free or with very low fees in many countries throughout the world. The millions of young Iranians who risked getting shot to protest their disputed 2009 presidential election, the millions of young Egyptians who risked their lives earlier this year to eliminate Mubarak, and the millions of young Americans who demonstrated against the Vietnam War all had in common the absence of pacifying huge student-loan debt.

Today in the United States, two-thirds of graduating seniors at four-year colleges have student-loan debt, including over 62 percent of public university graduates. While average undergraduate debt is close to $25,000, I increasingly talk to college graduates with closer to $100,000 in student-loan debt. During the time in one’s life when it should be easiest to resist authority because one does not yet have family responsibilities, many young people worry about the cost of bucking authority, losing their job, and being unable to pay an ever-increasing debt. In a vicious cycle, student debt has a subduing effect on activism, and political passivity makes it more likely that students will accept such debt as a natural part of life. 

2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance. In 1955, Erich Fromm, the then widely respected anti-authoritarian leftist psychoanalyst, wrote, “Today the function of psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis threatens to become the tool in the manipulation of man.” Fromm died in 1980, the same year that an increasingly authoritarian America elected Ronald Reagan president, and an increasingly authoritarian American Psychiatric Association added to their diagnostic bible (then the DSM-III) disruptive mental disorders for children and teenagers such as the increasingly popular “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules,” “often argues with adults,” and “often deliberately does things to annoy other people.”

Many of America’s greatest activists including Saul Alinsky (1909–1972), the legendary organizer and author of Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals, would today certainly be diagnosed with ODD and other disruptive disorders. Recalling his childhood, Alinsky said, “I never thought of walking on the grass until I saw a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass.’ Then I would stomp all over it.” Heavily tranquilizing antipsychotic drugs (e.g. Zyprexa and Risperdal) are now the highest grossing class of medication in the United States ($16 billion in 2010); a major reason for this, according to theJournal of the American Medical Association in 2010, is that many children receiving antipsychotic drugs have nonpsychotic diagnoses such as ODD or some other disruptive disorder (this especially true of Medicaid-covered pediatric patients). 

3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy. Upon accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990, John Taylor Gatto upset many in attendance by stating: “The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions.” A generation ago, the problem of compulsory schooling as a vehicle for an authoritarian society was widely discussed, but as this problem has gotten worse, it is seldom discussed.

The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation. A teacher can lecture about democracy, but schools are essentially undemocratic places, and so democracy is not what is instilled in students. Jonathan Kozol in The Night Is Dark and I Am Far from Home focused on how school breaks us from courageous actions. Kozol explains how our schools teach us a kind of “inert concern” in which “caring”—in and of itself and without risking the consequences of actual action—is considered “ethical.” School teaches us that we are “moral and mature” if we politely assert our concerns, but the essence of school—its demand for compliance—teaches us not to act in a friction-causing manner.  

4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” The corporatocracy has figured out a way to make our already authoritarian schools even more authoritarian. Democrat-Republican bipartisanship has resulted in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, NAFTA, the PATRIOT Act, the War on Drugs, the Wall Street bailout, and educational policies such as “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” These policies are essentially standardized-testing tyranny that creates fear, which is antithetical to education for a democratic society. Fear forces students and teachers to constantly focus on the demands of test creators; it crushes curiosity, critical thinking, questioning authority, and challenging and resisting illegitimate authority. In a more democratic and less authoritarian society, one would evaluate the effectiveness of a teacher not by corporatocracy-sanctioned standardized tests but by asking students, parents, and a community if a teacher is inspiring students to be more curious, to read more, to learn independently, to enjoy thinking critically, to question authorities, and to challenge illegitimate authorities. 

5. Shaming Young People Who Take EducationBut Not Their SchoolingSeriously. In a 2006 survey in the United States, it was found that 40 percent of children between first and third grade read every day, but by fourth grade, that rate declined to 29 percent. Despite the anti-educational impact of standard schools, children and their parents are increasingly propagandized to believe that disliking school means disliking learning. That was not always the case in the United States. Mark Twain famously said, “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” Toward the end of Twain’s life in 1900, only 6 percent of Americans graduated high school. Today, approximately 85 percent of Americans graduate high school, but this is good enough for Barack Obama who told us in 2009, “And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country.”

The more schooling Americans get, however, the more politically ignorant they are of America’s ongoing class war, and the more incapable they are of challenging the ruling class. In the 1880s and 1890s, American farmers with little or no schooling created a Populist movement that organized America’s largest-scale working people’s cooperative, formed a People’s Party that received 8 percent of the vote in 1892 presidential election, designed a “subtreasury” plan (that had it been implemented would have allowed easier credit for farmers and broke the power of large banks) and sent 40,000 lecturers across America to articulate it, and evidenced all kinds of sophisticated political ideas, strategies and tactics absent today from America’s well-schooled population. Today, Americans who lack college degrees are increasingly shamed as “losers”; however, Gore Vidal and George Carlin, two of America’s most astute and articulate critics of the corporatocracy, never went to college, and Carlin dropped out of school in the ninth grade. 

6. The Normalization of Surveillance. The fear of being surveilled makes a population easier to control. While the National Security Agency (NSA) has received publicity for monitoring American citizen’s email and phone conversations, and while employer surveillance has become increasingly common in the United States, young Americans have become increasingly acquiescent to corporatocracy surveillance because, beginning at a young age, surveillance is routine in their lives. Parents routinely check Web sites for their kid’s latest test grades and completed assignments, and just like employers, are monitoring their children’s computers and Facebook pages. Some parents use the GPS in their children’s cell phones to track their whereabouts, and other parents have video cameras in their homes. Increasingly, I talk with young people who lack the confidence that they can even pull off a party when their parents are out of town, and so how much confidence are they going to have about pulling off a democratic movement below the radar of authorities? 

7. Television. In 2009, the Nielsen Company reported that TV viewing in the United States is at an all-time high if one includes the following “three screens”: a television set, a laptop/personal computer, and a cell phone. American children average eight hours a day on TV, video games, movies, the Internet, cell phones, iPods, and other technologies (not including school-related use). Many progressives are concerned about the concentrated control of content by the corporate media, but the mere act of watching TV—regardless of the programming—is the primary pacifying agent (private-enterprise prisons have recognized that providing inmates with cable television can be a more economical method to keep them quiet and subdued than it would be to hire more guards).

Television is a dream come true for an authoritarian society: those with the most money own most of what people see; fear-based television programming makes people more afraid and distrustful of one another, which is good for the ruling elite who depend on a “divide and conquer” strategy; TV isolates people so they are not joining together to create resistance to authorities; and regardless of the programming, TV viewers’ brainwaves slow down, transforming them closer to a hypnotic state that makes it difficult to think critically. While playing a video games is not as zombifying as passively viewing TV, such games have become for many boys and young men their only experience of potency, and this “virtual potency” is certainly no threat to the ruling elite. 

8. Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism. American culture offers young Americans the “choices” of fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist consumerism. All varieties of fundamentalism narrow one’s focus and inhibit critical thinking. While some progressives are fond of calling fundamentalist religion the “opiate of the masses,” they too often neglect the pacifying nature of America’s other major fundamentalism. Fundamentalist consumerism pacifies young Americans in a variety of ways. Fundamentalist consumerism destroys self-reliance, creating people who feel completely dependent on others and who are thus more likely to turn over decision-making power to authorities, the precise mind-set that the ruling elite loves to see. A fundamentalist consumer culture legitimizes advertising, propaganda, and all kinds of manipulations, including lies; and when a society gives legitimacy to lies and manipulativeness, it destroys the capacity of people to trust one another and form democratic movements. Fundamentalist consumerism also promotes self-absorption, which makes it difficult for the solidarity necessary for democratic movements.  

These are not the only aspects of our culture that are subduing young Americans and crushing their resistance to domination. The food-industrial complex has helped create an epidemic of childhood obesity, depression, and passivity. The prison-industrial complex keeps young anti-authoritarians “in line” (now by the fear that they may come before judges such as the two Pennsylvania ones who took $2.6 million from private-industry prisons to ensure that juveniles were incarcerated). As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed: “All our things are right and wrong together. The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike.”

Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite  (Chelsea Green, 2011). His Web site is www.brucelevine.net

© 2011 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/151850/

- Apologies to HighSee. I just thought this was important enough to print in its entirety.

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