I tell this story, which is so much a part of me, because of what it has taught me about life and about where humanity stands today. I write to share what I learned, and also to invite you to share what you may learn. It feels risky and vulnerable to share such a personal story so publicly. If I did not feel it was so relevant to our world today, I might not share it in this way.
Society needs to realize growth does not equal prosperity
Make no mistake: the solution is complex and must dealt with from a wide range of issues including gun control, mental health, socio-economic and cultural issues, government, movies and video violence, and other contributing factors. There can be no doubt that this is a problem with men.
The only recognizable basis for moral and political authority, in the eyes of the elite, is the attainment of material success and power. It does not matter how it is gotten. The role of education, the elites believe, is to train us vocationally for our allotted positions and assure proper deference to the wealthy. Disciplines that prod us to think are—and the sneering elites are not wrong about this—“political,” “leftist,” “liberal” or “subversive.” And schools and universities across the country are effectively stomping out these disciplines. The elites know, as Canetti wrote, that once we stop thinking we become a herd. We react to every new stimulus as if we were rats crammed into a cage. When the elites push the button, we jump. It is collective sadomasochism. And we will get a good look at it on Election Day.
When it comes to our understanding of the unfolding global crisis, each of us seems to fit somewhere along a continuum of awareness that can be roughly divided into five stages:
If you feel that the distinction between denial and delusion is just a minor, innocuous terminological difference—a gratuitous splitting of hairs on my part—then pardon me while I whip out my Sigmund Freud: in The Loss of Reality in Neurosis and Psychosis  he wrote the following: “Neurosis does not disavow the reality, it ignores it; psychosis disavows it and tries to replace it.” [p. 185] What psychosis replaces reality with is delusion.
Americans make more money and are slightly more satisfied with their lives, on average, than people in other countries, but here’s the catch: We live slightly shorter lives.
Poets of previous generations warned that one’s soul could be lost in blind pursuit of vaults of riches and limitless knowledge. It is difficult not to laugh in derision or weep in anguish for a people who sell their soul for access to the contents of a convenience store. Addiction to fattening food speaks of our inner emptiness; so called Reality Television relates to our hunger for social engagement and communion; the images that haunt the corporate state media hologram attract us because we long for the images that rise from the soul.
In fact, as we face individual and national bankruptcy, the malls have become for many Americans more a place to merely wander and lust than to actually buy. Large segments of the population have lost their jobs, health insurance and homes, and are so deeply in debt that when they surrender to the advertising-bred consumerist urge, they can only window shop, their credit cards rejected if they attempt to buy much of the stuff on display.
It could happen. Michele Bachmann has found the flaw in the American Death Star. She is a television camera’s dream, a threat to do or say something insane at any time, the ultimate reality-show protagonist. She has brilliantly piloted a media system that is incapable of averting its eyes from a story, riding that attention to an easy conquest of an overeducated cultural elite from both parties that is far too full of itself to understand the price of its contemptuous laughter. All of those people out there aren’t voting for Michele Bachmann. They’re voting against us. And to them, it turns out, we suck enough to make anyone a contender.