But this is a serious post.
I can't take any more torture stuff.
Not the debate. I'm willing to read lists of Senators who voted the right way or the wrong way. I can type the words "torture is wrong" without fading. It's the images. I've had it.
This evening I was listening to a book on tape, fiction, which quoted the story of Penelope and the hanging of her twelve maids by Odysseus. It's Margaret Atwood, so at another time it would be blackly delicious, but tonight I couldn't take it. I can't listen to a narrative of one man harming another, or a group, because he doesn't like what they do or who they are or what they represent. I can't take it.
I want to give myself and my readers permission to put armor on against images of torture. Notice I said armor, not blinders. There is a difference. Armor allows the awful reality of torture to be acknowledged and denounced, yet also allows us all to continue to work against this awful practice without becoming mentally paralyzed. We must protect ourselves above all from paralysis in the face of this evil. It will not do to be paralyzed.
There is a mental space between being paralyzed by mental images, and desiring to be anesthetized against them. I will not view images of torture. I will also not watch Dancing with the Stars. I will turn off the images without turning off my brain.
I fear greatly that our, the Left's, insistence on denouncing torture, and our desire to impress voters that yes, this is happening, and yes, this is being done in your name, and yes, you are not safer for it...
I fear that America will change the channel. I don't fear it. I know it.
When Keith Olbermann began his special comments I read the C&L threads which said "stay safe, Keith," "don't go on airplanes, Keith," etc. I thought those were fantastic musings of young imaginists. Then the "anthrax powder puff" arrived and Goddammit he opened it. Opened his own Goddamn mail? Fuck. Anybody who fucks with Keith Olbermann is fucking with me, and I don't mean in the Aristocrats four-way manner, either.
We are not safe, in that much the President is correct. We are not safe because our Constitution no longer exists. There is jocular talk about "meet you underground" or "they're coming for us next" or "we're all next" out around the blogosphere. We are not next. That powder puff was mailed to all of us.
Put your armor on. We are not afraid. We are awake. We will not move to Canada or hide in front of our television or just turn off the set and go to bed. We will not stand silent while another human being is made to bleed so that we may be "safe." There is no "safe" here. And we are not afraid of that danger, the danger of madness that might deny us, indeed, has denyed us, our "safe" world in New York and Washington and that field in Pennsylvania, and ALSO at Columbine and Oklahoma City and just last week in that Colorado High School.
And we are not afraid of you, Mr. President. We will survive this, and we will be a better nation for it. I have faith in that with every fiber of my being. But we will not be silent.
Amygdala has a poem up about overthrowing the government by force called "Come Arrest Me." It's good.