Mar 132005
 

Wouldn’t you know it, the new AG, Abu Gonzales says he’s going to crack down on pornographers. Which reminded me of this bilge from not too long ago, “Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt,” FCC Chairman Powell said in a statement.

Tainted!! Tainted, dammit!

Isn’t this just grand, the home of free speech, liberty, tea parties, redressing of grievances, and other inalienable rights (but, as I should point out, no rights for aliens), the greatest generation, Atomic Bombing, B-52’s, and today we’re scared sh*tless of bad words and tits.

For sure this country needs protecting, but from what, “Howard Stern.” Or that other guy, whatshisname, bin Laden? Well, not even from him really. Actually we need protecting from ourselves. Our selfish, narcissistic tax dodging selves. Head in the Sand Americans, that’s what we’ve become.

There are terrorists out to get us, according to Bushco, we’ve got unresponsible corporations dumping toxics in our air and water, and seeking regulatory relief to do more, there are prisons bursting at the seams, uncared for (in the sense that bush cuts VA funding and Veteran benefits, not that we don’t care) homeless vets poised to fill our streets and parks, and what does AG Abu Gonzales do? The Attorney General of the United States of America is spending his time and resources cracking down on those damn evil porno peddlers, those dirty word talkers, that’s the ticket. Hey Abu, don’t you know, there’s a “War” on? And he’s going to have help.

An article in Rolling Stone points out, “[F]or the price of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl, you could cause the wrongful death of an elderly patient in a nursing home and still have enough money left to create dangerous mishaps at two nuclear reactors. (Actually, you might be able to afford four “nuke malfunctions”: The biggest fine levied by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last year was only $60,000.) “

What happened to the America that got all pissed off and righteous and marched off to wage a no holds barred war when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor? What happened to the America that tore herself apart in a war of Brother on Brother, then rebuilt herself as a symbol, if nothing else, of Freedom and Hope for the rest of the World?

What did we do after the attack of 9/11?

Nothing.

Hid behind Bush and Guiliani’s skirts. And with the encouragemnet of the cheerleader in chief, went out and bought stuff (well, we were supposed to anyway). Duct tape our doors and windows, forget about bin Laden, take it out on the wrong people, torture, kill, murder, rape innocent civilians, but above all, we had to be protected from Janet’s nipple and the word “Fuck.” At all costs.

We’re protected from the grisly realities of war (don’t forget, no pictures of the caskets coming home), and we’re protected from the disgusting realities of the policies of George W. Bush and Abu Ghraib Gonzales and Rum Drunk with Power Rumsfeld when that is exactly what this country desperately needs to see.

I remember reading “All Quiet on the Western Front” many years ago, and being shocked by the depths of depravity that war creates. I remember trying to imagine what it was like for the men trapped on the USS Oklahoma, or the desperate fights on and around Guadalcanal. It’s hard to imagine, but its important that we try. Or it was. Now, denial is the key, all the way to our honored dead. We should see the pictures, of our dead, of their dead, of our wrongs, the travesties and tragedies, and triumphs.

But no, we must be protected. Not just from hard realities, but from hard words, soft bodies, anything that might “disturb” us from our slumber. We’ve become so fat and lazy, so complacent, so invested in material comfort and goods that we daren’t risk any of our “stuff,” any of our precious capital on taking care of real problems or injustices.

Are we proud of the investment we’ve made to combat AIDS in Africa? Bush promised much, but so far hasn’t delivered squat except for preachy moralism against birth control. Are we proud of our torture record? How about our civil rights record?

This privatized world of personal responsibility and unseen hands of market forces leads us nowhere. All of us our own little islands, surrounded by everyone else on their own little islands, meanwhile the power brokers rake in even more and more.

This is their world, the PNACing BFEE fascists of the right, a world of fear and greed and self loathing masked as conservatism and self actualization. From bin Laden and the Taliban and Hezbollah and Sharon and machete-wielding Tutsi’s and Brown Shirted Young Republicans, this is the world they seek to perpetuate.

I hope this is the world we finally decide to reject.

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