7.05 by the clock on my microwave… (by Fatboy Roberts)
…and the sun’s light, halfway across the world, glints off a cruise missile…
And I find I don’t really care.
Peter Pan is on my television out front, my 3 year old Godson making forts and trampolines out of my couch cushions. His mom and dad are in their room, getting some after-work smokey treats in before they settle down in front of the tube with a glass of wine. They’ll probably tousle his hair a couple times, read him a story and put him to bed in about an hour or so, right around the time I finish typing this out.
Here I am, in front of my computer, posting to a hip hop message board after bouncing around the internet, checking movie news, checking sports news, looking for some music to download so I have something to bump in the morning on the new car stereo I just paid to have installed. I just posted a message about DVD’s, and read an in-depth article on the history of Superman’s origins in the comics.
Our president, a career fuck-up who has never once succeeded at ANY venture he chose to pursue, is essentially annexing an entire country, for reasons that are stated to be purely democratic–pursuing freedom, ensuring liberty. Noble, golden words and ideas, right? But when I hear things like ‘Setting fire to the oil fields will be war crime,’ when I find that Halliburton was already contracted to go over there and handle any oil problems–I start to wonder if we just picked up a 51st state or just a really big gas station.
But aside from those very typical and overplayed left wing liberal worries that have been voiced ad nauseum to the point where they almost don’t carry any weight anymore, the truth remains that our country, under the leadership of a man we didn’t elect, is putting the final stamp on his diplomatic split with most of the rest of the free world. And as a result, many tons of explosive will fall on the heads of a LOT of people I don’t know and properties I’ve never stood on in a country I’ve never seen. And right now, as the rain lightly spatters off my bedroom window, as the low light cast by my cheap 9.99 Wal-Mart lamp bounces off my 4 blank walls, the sun is just now coming up in Iraq, and it’s light is glinting off of anti aircraft weapons, off of cameras and camera crews, off field reporters and people running and ducking and talking and pointing to places on maps and drawing lines, dotted, straight, curly-q, and all of them are doing it with the same kind of passion and intensity I’m typing this post with.
Absolutely fucking none.
Seriously. I’m nonplussed. So are the reporters. I saw Wolf Blitzer on CNN as anti aircraft fire ripped behind him and Cruise missles began slamming into the ground, and I thought I saw him stifle a yawn. I went back into my bedroom and checked ESPN.com. My roomates flipped open the life section and started talking about some stupid celebrity quote. I remember coming out and telling them about the latest Shaq quote about Mike Bibby, and we all had more of a reaction to that than we did to the fact that people were going to start dying shortly.
And I’m still nonplussed. I’m still here, posting this. Why aren’t I freaked out? Why aren’t I worried? Surely the entire world is falling down around my head, right? The president the people didn’t want has told most of the rest of the free world to fuck off, has effectively told the people in the organization our own country practically CREATED that we’re above them and their mandates, and has made such a mess of this war situation that even IF a different president is put in his place in another 2 years, there’s no way to try to reverse the damage already done. Where would this guy start? How would that person even begin to TRY to attempt to fix the wrongs that have been done here? How could the UN, NATO, the other countries we’re supposed to be allies with trust us as a people when they’re busy peeking out the corner of a blackened, swole up, spit on eye? How does that man begin to build up the trust and respect Bush just shit all over? How do we repair the damage done by the logic that states “You have to comply with the UN’s resolution, but we can ignore the UN and invade your fucking country whenever we goddamn well feel like it?”
Yes, good WILL come of it. With the US occupying, Iraq will finally have the economic choke hold loosened, and it’s people will start getting the resources it needs. An egotistical dictator who put his peoples needs FAR below his own will be removed, finally. This situation is never as black and white as your right leaning war hawks and filthy exhibitionist hippies would have you believe. Getting rid of Hussein is a GOOD THING. But apparently, in order for that to happen, we had to go through some long, protracted struggle that further isolated our country from the rest of the world, and now there are people dying by this country’s hand. Right now. There is someone getting blown the fuck up. There is someone getting shot dead. In my name.
And I yawn, and I stretch, and I look for a quote or two from Ari Fleischer or Donald Rumsfeld, I hit refresh at CNN.com to look at the pretty green tinted pictures, I put my headphones on and check my bank statements online, check the balance on my credit cards, and a bullet wings through someone’s intestines, the shrapnel from an exploded missle decapitates someone, but burning an oil field is a war crime, and I’m more worried about my NCAA bracket picks.
And I think most of the world is with me as far as that goes. The Oscars are going off without a hitch. CBS is making deals to make sure we don’t miss a minute of Creighton’s first round heroics on the hardwood. The news networks have been running a morbid little deathclock ever since 2 days ago, and I half expect the sick glow in every hungry news anchors eyes to explode, the suits and ties to come off as they break into glorious war dance and smear pigs blood on their eagergrinning deaths head faces. And I just yawn and turn the channel. People have stationary cameras bolted down to probable targets just to make sure they get the footage. the Production level of this war rivals Lord of the Rings. Everything old is new again, and the Gulf war was okay, but this is Gulf War, Special Edition, with all new digitally enhanced special effects and all new footage, restored and remastered for your enjoyment.
I feel enough to know that it’s kinda bad that I’m comfortably numb. I’m 25 and I’m completely sedated. I’m worn out. I’m tired. The corrupt plutocracy that our governmental structure has become has worn me down to the slowly blinking plebe it wants me to be. What’s to fight? The structure our government sits upon is fortified too thick now. It can’t be changed. And what’s worse is most of us DON’T EXPECT it to change, either. We know what’s wrong, and the politicians know we know, but they also know that we’re poor and defeated, mostly, that we’re mostly all have-nots, and have nots don’t fund campaigns, they don’t get special interest kick-backs. The fact that I can drop the term “special interest” without even blinking an eye at the nepotistic corruption the phrase inherently implies should say something, right?
I’m defeated. I’m tired. I’m completely selfish, I’m worried about me, and the US bombing the shit out of Iraq is an abstract. It was an abstract when I was 13, but I was 13. I’m 25 now. But I grew up in a fairyland of freedom and I’m completely disconnected. That’s not to say I’m ungrateful. I’m not. I’m VERY grateful. But I’m also very very sheltered, and even after a couple planes under the command of a completely DIFFERENT madman crashed into the symbol of American Commerce and killed 3000 people, I still don’t think I can wrap my head around what’s at stake here. Because we’re all oh-so-postmodern. We’ve seen this before, in how many TV shows, in the pages of how many comic books, on the screens at how many theaters. We know the script. We know our lines. We know our cues. And we act accordingly. And when Wolf pops up on CNN and I hear the cracking of gunfire in the background like some kid let off his 4th of July string of firecrackers, I recognize the sequel. And sequels are tired. And the fall has started, I think, but I can’t tell, really. I haven’t seen enough of those movies. Not enough of those books got optioned.
So I’m glib and dismissive and flip. I join the office pool to try and win the prize for guessing when our cowboy moron pushes the button and starts laying waste to some other country. I make my freedom fries reference and my snide patriotism jokes. I dismiss the dirty hippie and commie fag jokes that get thrown back, we laugh, joke, settle back in and talk about the new Matrix movie. I’m completely disconnected, and I don’t care to be plugged in. I’ve got funny quotes to look for, joke pics to post up, gags to laugh at, movies to obsess over.
And there’s a lot of you with me.
And there’s a few of you that aren’t.
Let’s hope those few of you have enough strength to make up for the rest of us…