29 November 2008

Our Superpatriots Will Beat Your Terrorists

Time for another rant. I cannot hold this in any longer. By now you probably have heard or seen reports on the following: http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/29/india.attacks/index.html
I used to think that committing violence against others based on religious/political convictions was the most reprehensible thing we as human beings could do to one another. Then along comes something like this:http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/11/28/black.friday.violence/index.html

WHAT THE F**K IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

How could this happen? Are people really that ‘effing stupid? Wait, I already know the answer to THAT question. I cannot help but see this as an awful analogy of life in these post 9/11 United States. Self centered, blindered consumerism on a rampage for the sake of a dollar, trying to heed the exhortations of “The terrorists win if we don’t get out and act normal”. Normal in this case a thinly veiled reference to consumption. I remember being appalled anew in the days following the 9/11 attacks when the Current Occupant and associated cronies seemed to be telling us we needed to resume our normal lives for the sake of the economy. Gotta buy, gotta spend, get out and get some big ticket electronics/TV/car/clothes, whatever, because consumers are good citizens. Appalling and sickening.

I was just as appalled watching the events in India unfold. Great, just great, another group of fanatics trying to make a statement by mass murder and destruction. That they seemed to be targeting Americans and Britons was definitely no accident. America’s profile as an exemplar of the “Satanic godless West” (and the UK by extension) has set us up as the punching bag for every nutjob politico-religious group in the world. This is a situation only worsened by the disastrous approach to foreign policy the current administration had inflicted on the world in the past eight years.* Watching the India footage of a hotel in flames with the ticker crawl headlining the Wal-Mart tragedy, I was overwhelmed by a disturbing realization: comparing the two, violence in the name of religion was becoming comprehensible. Not excusable, not understandable, not justifiable, but comprehensible. Religion by its nature is irrational*, so it isn’t surprising that people deluded by belief into thinking they should perpetrate such awful violence, would indeed do such a thing. As uncomfortable as it made me feel, I could see the twisted logic chain that could bring the attackers (Deccan Mujahideen, Al-Qaeda, pick a lunatic organization) to do what they did. They were choosing to be irrational in hopes of being closer to God.

But what about idiots trampling someone to death, or starting a gunfight over a toy? Were they so caught up in this culture of consumerism that they saw virtue in being the “first through the doors or the first to have the toy”? Reports from the Wal-Mart state that some idiots (I won’t dignify them with the term ‘shoppers’) were angry when told the store was closing, because they had “been in line since Thursday.” Oh, there is so much wrong with that! First, they are stupid enough to get in line a day in advance for the privilege of getting a bargain at Wal-Mart. Second, a person gets trampled to death and they want to keep shopping. Third, they have the gall to get pissed off because they won’t be able to save a few bucks. Yeah, and the poor worker was just an inconvenience to your out-of-control greed. If spending and consuming are supposed to be traits of a good citizen, I suppose those people could call themselves ‘superpatriots’.

Nothing will ever adequately explain, excuse or otherwise justify what any of these screwed-up SOB’s has done here or elsewhere in the world. Never, never, never. However, I can see part of the reason why extremists of all stripes are so afraid of America. Any group of people who would trample an innocent person to death in the name of consumer spending is a group to be feared. Maybe someday, we can say ‘The terrorists have not won’. My hope is that will be because America truly does represent the best of human nature, not because we are a nation of crazies in search of a bargain.

Happy holidays, you assholes, if you can get the blood off your hands.

*(Before any one gets their hackles up, know this: for the record, I think our actions in Afghanistan were and are fully justified; Iraq, not so much. Regarding religion, please note I did not say people should not be religious, or that irrationality was necessarily a bad thing; unfortunately, it can too often lead to people doing bad things. Finally, while it has not been confirmed that the attackers were definitely a ‘religious’ group, you can bet that they were at least cynically exploiting religion for their own horrendous purposes.)

4 comments:

  1. I was sick to my stomach after reading about the Walmart death. What a horrible bunch of freaks. The whole thing just makes me ill.

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  2. Ladies, thanks for the shout out. I am still shaking over this one.

    Ooof!

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  3. ks for telling it like it is.

    you have my vote

    ReplyDelete

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