J Church / Honey Bear Records Newsletter - Fall '01
If Death Comes So Cheap, The Same Goes For Life
Parts 1, 2, 3,
Stating the obvious, it's been a surreal couple of days.
Peter Jennings, who I've really grown to like, really hit the nail on
the head when he described the WTC collapse as such. I still find it kind
of mind boggling when I watch the re-runs.
It's especially strange because I really feel like I (and others) have
been waiting for something like this to happen. I don't mean that we were
looking forward to it or would in any way have wished for it to happen.
But I've spoken to friends many times before about the subject of terrorism
in America. Why doesn't it exist?
There have been active terrorist organizations in almost every other
country. Left wing, right wing, religious cults (I include Christianity
under that heading) and who knows what else, the one thing that most of
them can agree on is that America is the big bully on the block and is
the enemy of the world. I never could understand why they spent so much
time blowing things up in their own countries when America was such a
wide-open target. And the number one target, in my opinion, was the WTC
with the offices of multi-nationals in it as well as the World Bank and
it's proximity to the Stock Exchange.
It's also so very symbolic. Knocking down those two towers was like
saying, "Hey America, you may think you're big and strong. But we
just knocked down your two biggest phallic symbols." Have you ever
told a big macho skinhead that he was impotent?
So when it finally happened (I'm already talking like it was some event
in a US History book), of course it's horrible and the loss of life is
horrendous. But I can't say I didn't expect it. I know I wasn't alone
feeling that way. I could be wrong, but propaganda by deed is the most
powerful. I would be surprised if the WTC attack wasn't a precursor to
a new age of terrorism in the US. Like the Oklahoma City bombings, it's
proof that it can be done and it's proof that if you're willing to put
your life on the line, it's virtually unstoppable.
This seems obvious to me and now I'm realizing what the real danger
of a President like Bush is. Of course, Gore is also evil and would probably
be just as anxious to please the American public's bloodlust and fragile
ego ("We're #1!" "God bless America!" Fuck off!).
But Bush is a special kind of stupid. Ultimately, all Presidents' are
manipulated by other forces (Big business, the pentagon, the Knights of
Malta, whatever.) But Bush is especially likely to do something really
rash that could lead to a much more dangerous end. He's obviously flailing
out there and has no idea what to do. Once he starts making real decisions
as to what kind of revenge America seeks, he could start making a lot
of big and extremely dangerous mistakes. Right wing, left wing, whatever:
we may all be fearing for our lives.
Americans seem to think that they're Romans in the Coliseum and historically
Bush isn't opposed to keeping the people happy with blood sports. If we
start attacking Afghanistan or Pakistan or Florida for that matter it
will be like the ultimate mixture of Bread & Circuses with reality
TV. I don't think that I'm being cynical in saying that ABC, NBC, FOX,
etc. are secretly ecstatic. This must be better than sweeps week for them.
Everyone is blinded with a sick and joyous rage against helpless targets.
I wonder if anyone is practical enough to start thinking about how this
is all going to affect the economy? Closing down the stock exchange for
a week is one thing. But the President having unlimited access to all
government financial resources is another. Do you trust Bush to spend
our last bit of savings wisely? Do you remember what lead to the Great
Depression? Are we heading for Class War or a right wing coup?
If you're a billionaire or a multi-millionaire, you're not gonna be
too concerned about Bush draining all the money from social security.
The rich won't be the ones homeless and starving. It's obvious whose interests
are prioritized in the hunt for Bin Laden or whoever. It should also be
obvious that nobody really cares about the interests of the middle class
and lower in this country. The most laughable (and not much is really
that laughable) is that tomorrow (Friday) Bush has declared a day of remembrance
for the people that died in the attacks. He's urging everyone to take
time to pray DURING THEIR LUNCHBREAKS. Yeah, all those people died but
big business and corporate America aren't about to give anyone a day off
to remember or contemplate these lost lives.
What's most appalling is how self-serving all the American politicians
are. Listening to the Senators making those utterly quaint and self-serving
speeches on Tuesday and then singing "God Bless America" was
nauseating on so many levels. Thousands of people dead is now a future
campaign strategy. It says a lot that, when interviewed for ABC, players
for the New York Giants seemed more lucid and sincere than any politician.
Now there's misinformation being circulated about the White House and
Air Force One being targets of the attack. I don't think anyone believes
it. It may be the White Houses biggest lie in the matter and they're already
being a little coy about it. It's a smoke screen to avoid the real question.
When Bush claims that "cowards" did these terrorist attacks
he doesn't want anyone asking the obvious. What's more cowardly: taking
over a plane and flying it into a building or hiding in secret while the
country that you're the president of is under attack? Shit, even JFK sat
at his desk during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
God, it's so painful. I can take seeing the wreckage. I can take the
relentless footage of planes hitting buildings. But I can't take hearing
Bush's fucking voice anymore. I think the final straw was that live phone
call with him and Pataki and Giuliani. It was so lame. Anyone who believes
that it was a real exchange must also think Days Of Our Lives
is a documentary.
But the propaganda machine in the media is in full blitz. We're bombarded
by borderline racist comments about Muslims. We're bombarded by pathetic
pro-Israeli editorials about how we should now understand how the Israeli's
feel even though they are the occupational government. Is it any surprise
that Palestinians were celebrating in the streets? At my most cynical,
I'd say they were just as stupid as Americans. Frat boys and jock and
other idiots were cheering while they drank in sports bars around the
US while watching live footage of missiles hitting civilian targets in
Iraq. What's worse?
Within the media itself there are different tiers and while I do respect
people (who I may not essentially agree with) like Jennings who's had
the decency to respectfully interview Palestinian and Arab leaders there
are far more opportunists in their midst. Scumbags are everywhere hoping
to capture THE human-interest story. I'm sick of seeing reporters talking
to victims or the victims' families and just waiting for them to cry.
"How will you feel if you find out she's dead?" "Would
you be willing to trade your life for your dead brothers?" Or what
about the reporter interviewing the surgeon after hours of work? "How
does it feel to be a person whose job is to save lives be surrounded by
so much death?" It's sickening.
And Ari Fleischer… For fuck's sake, it's become obvious to everyone
that every time Bush opens his mouth, something stupid comes out. More
and more, it's fallen to Fleischer to deliver information from the White
House and now he's on TV relating some human-interest story on how "touched"
the President was when he visited victims in a hospital. God knows Bush
wasn't able to convey any emotion as complex as that during any of his
public addresses. But does Fleischer have to refer to him as if he were
the Great Oz? He and the impotent Colin Powell are definitely trying to
make the most out of the utterly empty statements Bush has made.
Of course most people I know, and I'm guessing just about everyone who
reads this, isn't your "average American". They're not the doe
eyed patriots that can't believe that any civilized people could hate
America with such intensity. This attack might be a real crisis in faith
for middle America. They've believed in America for so long and without
any logical reason, that once they start questioning their belief systems
and analyze WHY they have that belief system, their lives could start
But my friends and me are in an odd situation. Hey, I don't like Bin
Laden or the Taliban (assuming that's who's behind this… we may
never know). But I don't like Southern Baptists either. All religions
are kind of the same to me. I don't like the Afghani system of government,
obviously. But I'd be hard pressed to find any tolerable government amongst
the nations condemning them. Putin and Bush criticizing a nation for harboring
terrorists? It's absurd. I certainly have no feelings for the Christian
proselytizers who are currently under arrest and probably shitting bricks
in Afghanistan. They're all vicious. There are no "sides" worth
And what can you say about an attack on the Pentagon? I can honestly
say that I've been hard pressed to find any emotional connection to that
attack. It's the seat of American militarism. Next to the World Bank,
it's about as evil as can be. I'm no pacifist. But I certainly don't like
seeing people die. But I really can't relate to any remorse over an attack
there and I get the impression that more and more people feel the same.
Even the news media isn't reporting the Pentagon attack with the same
concern as with the WTC attack. It's awful to feel indifferent to death
and destruction. But is it any different than the death and the destruction
that goes on around the world and is almost entirely ignored by Americans?
I know that this is gonna sound really trite, but maybe this is all Karma
for our indifference towards all the people killed because of American
business interests around the world. Too bad I don't believe in Karma…
Anyway, I'm turning off my television. I can't stand it anymore. I don't
like being manipulated and I know I can't resist this level of propaganda.
As much as I hate to say it, it's become boring.
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