Wednesday, July 01, 2015


This is politics at its finest
--Wag the Dog (1997)

And that's what it is,
the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement,
and all you got to do to join is sing it
the next time it come's around
--Alice's Restaurant Massacree,
Arlo Guthrie

 Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive 
of all unifying agents 
--The True Believer, Eric Hoffer

In another Wag the Dog moment not to be unexploited, President Obama plied his pipes last Friday at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, SC, the site of the killings of nine black parishioners.

While the killing was surely a hate crime, against which we have legislation, it was not a massacre as the hyperbolic press is wont to label it. Massacres involve groups acting in symbolic ways. Instead, this was the deranged act of a pathetic, rootless individual.

The President performed a call and response near the end of his oratory: “Clementa Pinckney found that grace,” repeating the phrase after each victim's name. No, they did not find grace but were rather murdered in a deluded individual's vulgar and tawdry attempt at self-glorification. In a self-contradiction, Obama later said, "In the Christian tradition, grace is not earned."

Perhaps more horrifying than the actual killing is the fact that twelve years into the war on terror, none of our military or intelligence was able to predict or deter this event. This was neither an act of terrorism nor of home-grown or sleeper cells of terrorists. This was simply an act of good old-fashioned American hatred. It is a hate crime -- nothing but.

Mr. Obama may fly down in Air Force 1 and interpose himself in a show of force, but he was and is powerless to predict or stop such acts. He may order drone strikes world wide, but they do not make us any safer from terrorists, criminals, or crazy, crusading idiots.

People like the shooter give off little of a predictive nature. When they do, it is often within the confines of their little crazy worlds, often lived in the bubble of innumerable virtual chat rooms, and thought crime is not yet prosecutable. 

Hatred is the glue that holds the world together. Even for those who claim fealty to a religion, it is a hard row to hoe to "love thy neighbor" (= The Other) when your religion -- any religion -- gains its legitimacy by virtue of cleaving from every other. This is by definition, and a built-in failure of most dogma.

You are you, by virtue of not being THEM, and the "them" is an excoriated unknown, condemned by your creator to a life of everlasting torment in the hereafter, at best.

Meanwhile, when the Charleston story was claiming the spotlight, heinous and murderous violence continued apace throughout the world. Hatred and opposable thumbs (to create and carry weapons) may be the defining feature of the hominids -- not a great legacy.

To refashion the lyrics of songwriter George Gershwin, "In time the Rockies may crumble / Gibralter may tumble / There're only made of clay / But ..." hatred is here to stay. Our biracial President trying to get his groove on singing a negro spiritual will not alter the fact. 

We are a nation of hatred and violence protected by a government that holds hatred and violence near and dear. Oh, if you kill the right ones, that is. Someone else's mammas and pappas.

Then the leaders of that same government cry crocodile tears when the violence is visited on the home team. 
It is a predictable and sad story, and the "sad" is a double entendre.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of massacres, what flag flew over the "battle" of wounded knee? 20 individuals were awarded the Medal of Honor for killing women and children in that action. 20!

How do those that denigrate the Confederate battle flag (because slavery/racism) overlook what the US flag stood for in re; the Native Americans?

Not that the US is evil. It isn't. But all flags have flown over less than stellar chapters of history. To see the world in black and white (pardon the pun) is sanctimonious moral preening and nothing more.

Happy 4th of July.


Friday, July 3, 2015 at 6:33:00 PM GMT-5  

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