Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's not just New Orleans, it's America

We are a killing machine: Iraq (and maybe Iran pretty soon), Tennessee fired up its electric chair last night--the first time since 1960 (now THAT'S progress), our kids are killing each other and the NRA just spouts its standard "guns don't kill people" bullshit. We Americans are really good at killing one another. It'd be pretty easy to start thinking that life is just one big Gunfight at the OK Corral--with the corral moving it's way around our country and the globe.

That having been said, with all that's been said about the crime stats in New Orleans, I was perversely delighted to read one of my favorite bloggers, Mark Morford's latest column. (If you don't know about him, you should!) He makes a good point about not allowing ourselves to live in constant fear, and shows us that it's not just our city "sighing" under the weight of corpses in the streets.

Vote. Take action. Do something, but don't live in fear.

And maybe, just maybe, we should take a look at this country's penchant for killing. Death seems, lately, to be our biggest cash crop and our largest export. Why is that?

Just askin'.

EDIT: This just in, open your wallets, buy a round for the bar, we're all gonna need it, and that right soon.

H/T Zombie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like this post. When I compare your blog with that of some others I check semi-regularly, the level of individual difference in peoples' degree of interest in national problems/ national politics absolutely boggles my mind. It must have something to do with how a person is brought up(?) Some people seem to be operating on an extremely "Think globally, Act locally" approach, where the ONLY level on which you should try to achieve any change is on a direct, personal level, such as trying to grow and buy foods locally. I clearly do not mean to denigrate such a local, hands-on approach; it is actually fantastic, and is truly enlightened -- and obviously much better than doing nothing(!!!) But I can't get my mind around deciding the national/ international level of politics is NON-EXISTENT. What these folks really seem to be saying is: "Think globally, act locally, and ignore the national level entirely." In fact, I think some of them have decided that even though they are U.S. citizens, they are not officially part of the 'nation' of the U.S., and they even think something is WRONG WITH ME because I am trying to take my responsibility as a citizen seriously. Now, on the other hand, IT'S NOT THAT I FEEL NO SKEPTICISM about the value of nationalism - clearly, excessive nationalism is as pernicious as religious extremism. But, somehow I grew up feeling like I was indeed a citizen of the U.S., as WELL as the planet earth, and I couldn't just decide to completely ignore that I live here, I pay taxes here, etc. I can also see how in certain workplace settings it is easier to put politics aside -- but in one's FREE TIME, such as one is lucky enough to have leisure time, when talking privately among friends, that's where I don't understand so well why national politics must be an anathema subject. I can also see trepidation of broadcasting one's views on the internet, but I know people who seem to avoid even private discussion... I don't think we are at a point where we all have to walk around paranoid that the government is trying to tape our conversations and share our words with potential Hiring Managers at companies where we want to work, etc.
And so, it's just another slice of this ongoing sense of bafflement I've been experiencing off and on for years, while when I was younger I seemed to be SURROUNDED by quite a few friends who got wound up about national issues. Is it supposed to be all part of "growing up." --- m.