We live in a society where the right to own a firearm is considered more important than the right not to be searched without a reason, the right to a fair and public trial, the right to be secure from random wiretaps, the right to freely speaking about unpopular positions and ideas, the right to disagree with the body politic. Excuses are always made for how we need to combat vague, undefined enemies like "terrorists", and people who openly speak out against the current courses of action are derided as "unpatriotic". But the moment someone suggests that some restrictions or regulations be placed on gun ownership, out comes the rabid frothing rage at the audacity of suggesting that the Second Amendment might not mean any slob should be able to waltz down to Wal Mart and pick up a shotgun.
As a culture we value our precious money, which most of us "earn" by performing mostly-useless middleman tasks, more than helping anyone who hasn't "earned" it. We bristle at the notion of giving NASA a couple of billion dollars over several years, but shrug off three hundred billion being put towards an endless war. We place a higher importance on the pursuit of profit than on ecological sustainability, and we stubbornly cling to failed idealism about the private sector and open markets when other countries have shown that pure capitalism is not the ultimate solution to everything.
We value this economic model to the point where we grant human rights to intangible corporations, giving them more lobbying power and political wherewithal than we allow actual individuals. We let the minimum wage stagnate since 1996 such that someone who now works a full 40 hours still cannot afford basic housing and food, but look the other way when Congress grants itself eight "cost of living" pay raises in that same time period.
We allow ourselves to be controlled by small, loudmouthed groups of fundamentalists who love science when it provides them with microwaves, cellphones, computers, cars, and high-tech weapons to fight "terror", but think science is a grand conspiracy to hold them back when science tells them that maybe the Earth isn't six thousand years old and God did not create us with the snap of an ethereal finger.
We have people wringing their hands about possible sexual content in TV and video games, and bat not an eye at the constant barrage of violence, blood, and mayhem on those same mediums. We cry "think of the children" to enact laws used to prosecute seventeen year olds, and "remember 9/11" to silence people into submission when the next wave of civil-liberty-stripping laws are put into place.
We are a nation of greedy, self-centered, short-sighted cretins who laud ourselves for our success at becoming mortgage brokers and "financial advisors", sneering at anyone who brings home less income, while nearly half of those doing the sneering are unable to read above an eight-grade level, a quarter unable to read at all, and most still think it's okay to know absolutely nothing about computers, pieces of machinery that have been around for twenty years and are as commonplace as copiers and fax machines in the modern workplace.
We are a culture more content to watch spirit-crushing "reality" shows and obsess over who got voted off which island in the pre-planned corporate fodder that passes for entertainment. We allow ourselves to be assuaged by the bread and circuses of bland, uninspired hacks, and the media circus surrounding pop celebrities' possible dalliances, scoffing at anyone who prefers to keep up with literature and art instead.
Our generation's drive to get involved in the political process gets steamrolled year after year by watching our votes get dismissed and our issues get mocked by the fearmongering twits that call themselves conservative commentators. The previous generation brought us protests, dissension, and Woodstock, then grew up to make "Everybody Loves Raymond" a hit and lecture us on the importance of a diverse stock portfolio.
We live in a truly sick society.