Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blowin' Wind

"But let's remember that there was a reason for the assault in Afghanistan, that al-Qaeda and the Taliban brought this on themselves and those who had nothing to do with the WTC terror. Frankly, as time goes on, and more I read about those fuckers, I'm glad they were taken out and disrupted, and I hope that the US armed forces whips the living hell out of them . . . Al-Qaeda is a unique, and very dangerous problem, one that the US helped to bring to life. And now, if nothing else, the US must terminate that life."

This banshee scream came from yours truly, posted at LBO-Talk, March 14, 2002. Charming, yes? And this is one of the more polite outbursts. During this period, I openly relished the thought of Muslim strangers being shredded, brains flying in all directions, intestines spilling and baking on the hot sand. I was quite insane. Since then, I've only gotten worse.

Not that I still support imperial violence in Afghanistan. I don't. But so fucking what? That human meatgrinder is accelerating, with plenty of fresh blades in stock. I can dance in public wearing a crown of daisies, blowing bubbles and singing unconditional love songs, and some poor Afghan kid is still gonna get ripped in half, if not vaporized altogether. What's in my heart here, and what's raining from the sky over there, are two distinctly different things. "Look at me -- I'm against the war!" Yippie. How long until Happy Hour?

Which is why this supposed call to "media action" fills me with rancid contempt. I mean, what is the ultimate point of this? Are there people who actually think that Twittering tranquil thoughts will slow the slaughter one iota? Or is this simply another fundraising scheme? Because when you look at this objectively, UFPJ has no power, no leverage, no groundswell of mass support. So what do they expect to achieve, other than polishing their profile?

My, Mr. Perrin -- you are one gloomy fuck. Yeah, I suppose I am. Isn't doing something better than doing nothing? Sure. As the old adage goes, if you feel it's hopeless, then you guarantee it remains hopeless. So write a polite letter to an editor, that is, if you can find a local newspaper still in business. Blog, Twitter, Digg your message of peace, at least for a day, 'cause arms are for hugging, children are our future, and my other car is a Mercedes.

When it comes to approaching radio, UFPJ offers this amusing thought: "Talk radio is a powerful and free medium with millions of listeners tuned into national and local programs everyday. Producers from programs of all political bents want to hear from people in the community, with story pitches, interviews, and call-ins."

Really? Apart from college radio and a random Pacifica outlet, just where in the American talk radio universe is all this ideological diversity? If the sunny folks connected with UFPJ wanted to seriously use radio, they would flood regional and national sports talk shows with antiwar/anti-imperial messages. Fuck NPR or what's left of Air America. Jam the jock stations. You couldn't find a better staging ground to confront pro-war thinking. I don't know how many minds would be changed, but at least you'd be kicking up dirt, provoking some reaction. Because being nice and peaceful and lovey dovey ain't gonna swing it, not in this culture.

If you're looking to get past this imperial stage, you cannot avoid confronting the millions who support it, revel in it, profit from it, pray to it. And make no mistake -- despite what poll or "conservatism is dead!" post you read, countless Americans still feel they have a stake in these wars. It remains a vital part of our twisted national character.

Then there's the imperial state itself, crumbling at the edges, bleeding money, but massive, strong, violent, committed to control and continued dominance. Twittering in the face of that is like farting at a BGM-109 Tomahawk. You may feel personal relief, but it's meaningless and short-lived. Then again, who knows? Maybe one day, farts will stop the killing. We have nothing to lose but our gas.

UPDATE: I tried cross-posting this at HuffPost, and received this in return:

Dear Dennis Perrin,

We appreciate you taking the time to submit your most recent post. Unfortunately, we are going to pass on it for publication at this time, and will look forward to your next submission.

Huffington Post blog team

Those crazy kids!