Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Rant time! (Desecrated corpse edition)

Digby has yet another provocative post about the deep meaning of nowthatsfuckedup.com, the Web site that involves, among other things, soldiers trading pictures of mutilated Iraqis for home-grown porn. Rude Pundit discusses it too, and for Billmon it seemed to cause a significant change of heart in how he views the desirablility of us staying in Iraq.

Part of what's so interesting about our horror, or assumed horror, at the photos in question, is that it is palatable -- the fact is that we can handle the images, as grotesque as they are, even if they do serve to warp us a little bit more each time we seek them out. Sure, it's fine to point out the blatant hypocrisy of our culture which feigns horror at Janet Jackson's nipple ornament in direct proportion to the number of times we demand to watch it again; the same culture that pretends to give a shit about Laci Peterson when all we really want is a good psychocourtroom drama.

But it's not like it's a real secret that the reason Bush won in November 2004, the reason that Abu Ghraib didn't lead to impeachment, is because a significant portion of this country wants us to be in the shit, wants to see plenty of blood spilled (both ours and theirs) in our neverending quest for sanctification and revenge and meaning. We want to see Faces of Death, we want to see hardcore porn, we want to see Grand Theft Auto and Saving Private Ryan and John Waters' early films and NASCAR crashes and worst of all competitive eating contests. We try desperately to keep these impulses in check, through censorship and self-censorship and cries about our children. Because we are ashamed of these impulses, and know if they are left unchecked they will lead to complete hedonism (of the selfish variety, natch) which will distract us from our larger goals of building empire and working hard (to buy more stuff) and keeping the hordes (who usually are far better at depriving themselves of that which they inevitably too crave) away from our soil. But let us not kid ourselves. We likes the naughty and inevitably we will gets the naughty.

The point of this pointless musing is that we can go round & round talking about the moral implications of the all-American heroes who are posting fucked up photos with fucked up captions in exchange for fucked up porn, but it should not be a stand-in for what are, in my opinion, the two real moral issues of our time:

1) George W. Bush should not be president of this great nation. While he is president, we need to make it as difficult as possible for him to implement his wrong-headed agenda. In 2006 we need to see a sea change in our politics, hopefully manifested by the election of a Democratic Congress that is both serious about the business of government and that is able to fully investigate the many, many, many indiscretions and failures of this administration.

2) It is absolutely imperative that someone build a god damn flux capacitor and create a time machine so that someone can go back in time and stop the Iraq war before it started, and instead ensure the creation of a comprehensive, rational War On Terror or Worldwide Struggle Against Violent Extremism, or whatever. Failing that, we need to put together a Manhattan Project or somesuch ASAP to figure out how to get the hell out of there while ensuring the descent into civil war is halted.

It's exhausting for me to type on these themes constantly, and exhausting for you, I'm sure, dear reader, to continue to read them, but we can't wait until 2008 and hope we act rationally and that we finally get a decent -- presidential -- president in place. It's now, everyday, that we need to ACT and always to fully explain the why's and wherefore's of the woeful tale that has been the past 5 years, and not rely on random tangents to do the talking for us. The president should not be president because he is a liar, a hypocrite, a cheater, and a bad judge of character. The war is bad because it is based on partisan politics, lies, manipulations, bloodlust, and cannot effectively meet its only real significant goal (a safer America, I think). Eyes on prize, forest/trees, nose/grindstone, I say. And will continue to say until the ink from this blog-well runs dry.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?