The Drone of Nations
So, Osama bin Laden is dead, and as a result I feel…not much. Bored. Perhaps a little sad at the way people are so quick to dance in the blood of their vanquished foe like it was some kind of sporting event. But I know that there will always be people like that, or rather, I know there will always be people who are less than willing to contain their own worst impulses, and that some of them might think better of it, later—and others will just go home and immerse themselves in another distraction. And I know there are people who will take my lack of wrath, and my sadness at the wrath of others, as an invitation to feel even more indignant, to claim that I am somehow sympathizing with a terrorist–but indignation is such a cheap emotion, so much like junk food, a quick flash of simple flavor on the tongue, then nothing but a craving for more, providing no dietary benefit whatsoever. A steady diet of indignation makes for a people primed for silver bullet answers to complex problems: he’s dead, now we have closure, it’s a symbolic victory, he deserved to die. What silver bullets will be fired at the problems created by the way he was killed? The US killed a criminal on foreign soil, does that mean that other countries should feel ethically justified in killing criminals on our soil? It’s all about power, of course, and realpolitik, and people who believe that the expression of power is ultimately justified by the possession of power. Do the dead of 9/11 sleep better now? What about the servicemen and women, and all the civilians killed during our misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are they looking down from heaven, slapping high-fives, popping open a corona? Closure is a night time story we tell our selves before flicking off the light, before the demons start coming out of the furniture. This is not the end of anything, I’m afraid, it’s just another footnote in the story we’ve been scrawling on cave walls for millenia. It’s stupid. I guess that’s what I feel, come to think of it, surveying the wreckage from my privileged viewpoint, one foot on the symbolic neck of another of my twisted species: stupid.
And then there’s music, and art of all kinds, and love, and—and the realization that it will be this way for as long as I am alive, both extremes happening at once. All the more reason to live for the benefit of the seventh generation hence.
427) Volcano, I’m Still Excited!: Volcano, I’m Still Excited!; 428) Cassandra Wilson: belly of the sun; 429) P.I.L.: Second Edition; 430) Danzig: thrall-demonsweat live; 431) David Lindley and El Rayo-X: Very Greasy; 431) Red Hot Chili Peppers: Mother’s Milk; 432) Vyacheslav Artymov: Way; 433) Mellow Round Midnight: Classic Love Songs; 434) Tama: Nostalgie; 435) Mahlathini and Amadwazi Emveloo: You’re Telling Tales; 436) Sunny Day Real Estate: The Rising Tide; 437) It Had to be You: A Jazz Wedding Album.