A Ben Cohen Ink Comic


By Ben Cohen a “legendary master of the left field.” -BRP!

“Unintentionally misunderstood since 1975.” –Anonymous

“A big f@#k you, to the audience.” -B. Pendarvis

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blabber: Pop Consumerist Middle Class...to SAVE WORLD.

Vali Nasr and John Stewart were discussing on the Daily Show the rise of the Middle East’s Middle Class. In doing so they focused on the role the middle classes have on stability and sustainability of communities. Nasr alluded to the formation of a middle class being the foundational element in creation of the United States. Stewart questioned that if we had helped bolster the middle class and then introduce democracy would we have had better results . This idea of the stabilizing powers of the middle class are not new or elite. An issue finds it legs when it is agreed upon by the middle class. Plans are broadly implemented once it is affordable to the middle class. Social contracts are enacted into law when the middle class embraces it.

It has always been difficult for me to embrace extremes. I have had an uneasy feeling about some of the rhetoric I grew up with in a liberal culture. I realized I had taken for granite much in my upbringing when I moved to a more conservative community and certain sentiments made me bristle. Clearly, efforts on the fringe can pull a culture in alignment. As an growing minority (Atheist) I am pulling for liberal extremes. As fiscal conservatives, I hart blue dogs. But in truth I live in an increasingly middle class reality and I hope to keep it that way.

The further the American middle classes embraces the ideals of a greener social and economic model and the more we expect affordable, efficient, caring healthcare, the more our chances of destroying our planet or suffer while trying will diminish. As China has cultivated a middle class, they have been confronted with facing their human rights and environmental responsibilities. The USSR’s fabricated equality fell like a house of cards and without a stable middle class the vacuum was filled with corruption, but perhaps over time a stable middle class will emerge. India’s class system is the only thing standing in the way of progress lead by their middle class. Pakistan’s stability relies in the expectations of its middle class. We will never be successful in Afghanistan until their poverty is changed to a middle class upbringing. Hope in Iraq and Iran lies in the hands of its growing middle class. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE all struggle with understanding how to transition to a middle class, but know it must be done. With the voices and success of the middle class in Palestine and Israel so goes the region. In Africa, stability only exists in nations that have a middle class. As the middle class grows in many East Asian nations, the tragedies will diminish. In Europe the middle class has created new levels of stability in just decades, despite the issues in the Baltic States and the social intolerance in Italy. The failure in Iceland after the financial collapse has had an upswing in social issues in the small Island nation. World wide and through history we know success exists in the hands of the Middle Class.

Our modern success was built on pre WWII plans, WWII actions and post WWII transitions centered on the growth of the middle class. Despite the efforts of McCarthyism to embed extremist perspective into our middle class envisions established, success was driven by less ideological realities. McCarthyism only bread extremes embedded in the anti-was and social justice movements. The practical elements of both measures, patriotism and equality have held on, but are there less colorful elements that helped keep the middle class going through daunting times and still help us today?

While my family has a long tradition of secular Jewish culture, I do not believe the Jewish rise in the middle class would have been so rapid without the role my people played in American pop culture. I also come from a Christian family and I do not believe their shedding of Christian traditions would have come without the rise of the middle class and the consumptions that were driven by the rise of the golden era of American advertisements and McCarthy Era iconic imagery of a middle class life and home.

Could our guilt of pop culture and consumerism be misguided? Could it be that not just public education, freedom of speech, a judicial/legislative/execu

tive system, patriotism, the pioneer spirit, civil rights, the separation of church and state, walking softly and carrying a big stick have lead to our middle class and our stability (as fragile as it seems at this moment, that seems far to similar the end of the Roman Empire and speaks to accurately to the prognostications of the end of days)? What is it that seems to accompany modern developments of middle class? Could it be that addictive consumerism and delusions of traditions enabled by appetite for media arts have helped sustain and develop the middle class?

As a graduate from a Media Arts School, I do wonder if my interests are not misguided after all. Now if only we could get our businesses and politicians to take a more moderate perspective and our environment, health, and bank accounts into serious consideration, perhaps we could be Regan’s shining city on a hill and inspire stability and not just jealousy and sometimes-righteous mistrust.

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