a writer's journal - politics, music, american culture, esoteric aspects of life, and stories

Tuesday

Newsblogging... or, talking to myself

Don't think too hard about this article. Don't ask how partisan HRW is; don't ask who they want to win the election, whether they love or hate America, whether they work day and night to bring liberals to power and stifle the actions of our military and state departments. Don't think about how it happened, how it can be happening in our enlightened nation as we speak; don't try to reconstruct in your mind the actual events, how denigration became abuse, how torture was justified in the prevention of further attacks or further arrests, how far up the chain of command responsibility for this lies. Don't think about what it says regarding the brute power of certain elements in our government - don't wonder what else is happening inside the prison walls that you don't know about, can't know about for your own good.

Don't feel sorrow for the victims, don't feel sorrow for the routine prison employees who are manipulated into taking part in such misdeeds, don't feel sorrow for yourself in having such things done in your name, done through the power you grant your government, done on your watch.

Just go numb

Numb

Here we are,
We are Americans,
We are children of genocide, slavery, religion, capitalism, freedom, pleasure.
Do you deserve what you have, while 95% of the world makes do on dollars or pennies a day? That is your pleasure.
Do you make the most of your opportunities, to read what you like, move and dress how you like, find almost anything you need? While most of the world has such circumscribed options...
That is your freedom.
Is your wage appropriate to the suffering your work imposes on you? On your time, your body, your talents? And do you get sufficient value for the money you make?
That is your capitalism at work.
Do you live by your beliefs? Or should I say, look at how you live, look at how your existence affects the earth and the people around you. From that looking, try and reconstruct what your true beliefs are.
That is your religion.
Do you know how you benefit from the slave wages paid to the laborers who make your shoes, your food, your plastic toys?
Oh! you can reply. That's not real slavery. I've read about real slavery, we don't do that anymore. And you don't understand my religious beliefs, you don't understand how hard I work every damn day, what price my ancestors paid for my freedoms, and what I really live for.

And the policy of the United States towards Islamic peoples isn't anything at all like genocide, you'll add, pre-emptively. You can't compare such things, it's despicable to talk that way.

But it's true, I'll mutter, numbly: we ARE children of genocide, and people don't change much. The day is rapidly approaching when U.S. policies in the middle east will exactly replicate Israeli policies, on a much grander scale.

No. Stop thinking about it all. Worried, worried. Fears and facts swirling in my head, getting jumbled, the machine grinds to a halt, cools, goes numb.

Our government kidnaps Muslims, tortures them, kills them, denies everything, covers it up. As far as I'm concerned, we can forget about worrying about the Patriot Act - that's peanuts, a propaganda stunt, mostly intended to win votes by creating the illusion of decisive action and steely resolve. Don't complain about the Patriot Act anymore; complain about our government disappearing its prisoners.

Ok, I'm back to normal, now. I can function again, I'm no longer numb, that was just a brief moment of shock, like a piece of a mourning process.
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