Friday, July 20, 2012

Life and death in a nation of fear. (a shamefully self-centered post in the wake of a tragedy)

There was a shooting at a theater, two thousand miles from my home but showing the same movie I wanted to go see with a cousin.

I don't want to go see the movie now.  I do not think I'm scared (consciously, at least), just kind of frustrated and sad.  I spend so much time reading about violence and death- drone strikes in Yemen, disappeared labor organizers in South America, Black kids beaten by the NYPD etc.

That's in addition to the 'normal' things that we're confronted with every day.  Turn on the TV and see another mutilated corpse on one of the hundreds of 'cop' shows.  I play video-games and get points for killing my friends.  Go to a book store and there are rows and rows of carnage (why are all the "fantasy" books about killing things?), go to the mall and there are Army recruiters.  Walk down the street and see Christians screaming about abortions and hellfire.  Try talking about politics with anyone (and with the billions being spent on political advertising it is impossible for it not to come up in conversation every day) and it is always in apocalyptic terminology about "financial meltdown", "Public Sector Parasites", "regulatory tyranny", "police state", "War on Drugs", "War on Terrorism", "11 million Illegal Aliens".

"They Hate Us For Our Freedoms!"

The new Batman movies are all about shadowy entities that want to use violence to destroy our civilization, who can only be countered by the vigilante brutality of an elite few.  For the fascists in Greece and the border militias in the US it means going out and thrashing the migrant workers and the refugees. To Obama that means raining death down on family gatherings in the desert because there might be A TERRORISTtm there.  I'm sure the shit-head in Colorado felt like he had a perfectly justified reason too.

"Stay at home."  "Be afraid."  "They are out there, among us."  "Load your weapons and be ready Stand Your Ground."

"Land of Free and home of the Brave." - It makes me want to vomit.

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