Sunday, October 1

Keep your armor on.


Well, shoot my butt, it's a thong for law enforcement!


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.

11 comments:

  1. Well said.

    Is somebody going to get around to organzing a "Blog Against Torture Day," or did I miss it already?

    Seems like a good time...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really, well put. If anyone on the bedwetting right would do a little thoughtful analysis, they would see that an American civilian has a very low probablity of actually being harmed by an Al Qeuda inpsired terror attack. But they can't see the real immediate danger to all Americans by this attack on our Constitution.

    It's like how everyday we jump in our cars and race down the freeway without giving a second thought to the high probability of death or injury while sipping our lattes or dialing our cellphones, but a brief story of plasticizers in our urine has us all in a tizzy.


    from Billmon's site yesterday:
    Sound Bites

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Inaugural Address
    March 4, 1933


    "The only thing we have is fear."

    George W. Bush
    Radio Address
    September 30, 2006

    http://www.billmon.org/

    ReplyDelete
  3. it is so hard for me to believe that more of our young haven't taken to the streets, instead, they still swallow this administration's lies. i guess it's just that i can remember the 60's and tho, there were some major flaws in some of the ways we(as a generation) went about correcting things(there are fanatics in every age and movement)STILL , i can not believe the apathy, the blind trust some still cling to.
    even those of us that were not strictly "activists" we still debated and spread the word and spoke to parents and others, every, every day. especially after the nightly news.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I used to want to believe that the threat of a draft might finally mobilize the youth to hit the streets.

    Now I don't even think that would do it.

    We're in trouble out here, folks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We are in trouble.

    Even with the odds against us we need to get everyone out to vote in Nov. and put an end to this horror.

    That is our only chance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Actually, Canada ain't soundin' all that bad.

    How does that quote from Franklin go? To paraphrase, those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. This is us right now. Unless we start raising our fists and our collective voice, in rage, we deserve every erosion of our liberties foisted upon us by these thugs.

    Five more weeks. Make sure everyone you know is going to vote!

    Thanks for dropping by my place, Blue Gal.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Back from a knitting retreat (ahhh, that felt so good) where I had the sad task of telling the instructor about the demise of the Bill of Rights. She had been travelling, and hadn't noticed.

    Neither had most others - lovely women, educated and skillful, mostly mothers of older children, some still raising a brood.

    Yes, damn straight I brought it up (in between some amazing techniques... ...oooh, the lace!) - and I will continue to do so, even if it's pesty and rather inappropriate. Damn it, it is the single most important thing that has happened this year - possibly since the infamous Supreme Court selection. What concerns me is that even without a legal education, I have been able to construct several plausible ways of making that seem legal/constitutional. If I can, so can the stacked-deck of two-dimensionals seating the majority of chairs in that court.

    I'm not sure how (or if) it will be reversed.

    Love ya', BG. I wonder where "safe" is, because that's where I wish we could be raising our kids. I am afraid that they will be bearing the cost of this.

    ReplyDelete
  8. always interested1:36 PM

    There doesn't need to be "the threat of a draft" when huge amounts of tax dollars are shifted out of education, health care,and social services, and put into the military. That's where the "jobs" often are, and that's what replaced the draft, from the time that Reagan was in office, and even more so now. Can there be a revolution of everyone getting out and voting? Extremists almost always vote and perhaps count on others not to. Thank you Bee-Gee for your words. This is not a time for "paralysis". This is a time for armour, and action.

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  9. I'm with Cheryl. Some of us think about Canada or the UK pretty often. Besides, I just got back from a screening of Jesus Camp. I have every reason to be scared.

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  10. It's better here in Canada. It's not perfect, but it's a whole lot more sane and civilized.

    I was tired of feeling so alienated, so angry all the time - seeing all our hard work go down the tubes - watching them take over the country.

    It takes about two years for an American to emigrate to Canada. So if you think you want to do it, download your applications and start reading up.

    ReplyDelete
  11. always interested10:40 PM

    We welcome you, we do. However, with about 11 times as many Americans as Canadians, it might not work to shift en masse from one country to another. The most important thing for Americans right now, I think, is the upcoming midterm election.

    ReplyDelete

I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I do moderate comments, but non-spam comments will take less than 24 hours to appear... Thanks!