Monday, August 29, 2011

All's Fair in Love and Genocide

This one got strange.  Love, loss, massacre, and bin Laden.

          I've been thinking a lot about love, lust, and need recently due to an abortive and confusing little tango with an ex-girlfriend. I'm not talking the sort of thinking that makes me cry into my beer and wonder what went wrong or that makes me want to stand outside her window like John Cusack with a boombox playing “Closer”. The sort of thinking about what I want and by extension what others want, no-emo. I swear.

"I want to fuck you like an animal!"

          She wanted something slow, I wanted to hit her over the head and drag her off to my castle. This is a flaw I run into a great deal, where most people want to have something normal and decent that their parents and God would approve of, and me wishing it was still acceptable to claim a girl and nail her on the bar just so everyone knows whats what. Was that ever acceptable? Fuck it, lets pretend it was. I grew up in a Jewish suburb so the thought of a life more violent and full of blood and bare breasts is attractive to my somewhat screwed up brain, like a Heavy Metal magazine found by a fourteen year old.

I think that I'm not unique though.  Sure I may be a little outside the norm in the details but most guys I know have at least in part that want and need to do some damage and take what and who they like.  Who among us doesn't occasionally want to seize or be seized?  If the “kink”, the so-called “strange” urge wasn't actually common would we really have so god-damn many examples of that in the mainstream?  I dare, DARE, anyone here to say with honesty that Lady Heather didn't get their motor running.  Or, if you're more like me when the same actress played Julie in Return of the Living Dead 3.  I swear to god, that movie made barbed wire hot.

But I digress.  That's not an apology, its a statement of fact.

"Is that broken glass in your hand or are you happy to see me?"

So I think we all have that barbarian edge.  That smashie, stabby part.  When Osama bin Laden was killed I realized it fully.  We were all medieval peasants and men at arms that day.  When the president came out, even people like me who hate the man wanted to see Obama just say “We got him and shortly you'll be receiving pictures of his body hung from the conning tower of an aircraft carrier”.  People cheered, danced, went to the place where his disciples killed three thousand of our fellows and drank champagne and partied over the man's corpse.

None of us killed him, only about thirty of us had that honor, but they were ours.  Osama had struck at our country, and our warriors, our team had killed him back.  I saw echos of every war in history in that moment, each video making it more and more clear that we were celebrating the death of an enemy.  Michael Moore huffed his ginormous bulk in front of a camera, naturally, to spew his disgust for the celebrations, like a few others over the next few days.  They spoke about how disgusting it was, un-American.... how wrong it was.

When the other countries drag our servicemen and various other enemies around and hang their corpses high we tut tut and shake our heads.  Its a shame such decent people were pushed to that point, that we made them do this.  If they only had what we had they'd be just like us!

I need to take a page from Gary Brecher's book here.  They're not just like us.  There's not a New Yorker hidden in the heart of every Libyan rebel putting a bullet in a government soldier while the soldier lies in the hospital.  No, I think that in the heart of every one of us, every single mall-going, burger eating, Jersey Shore watching chubby American there's a Hutu rebel just looking for an excuse to hack his neighbor to death with a machete.  In the US, the UK, and a few other places in the world when some dude on your block has a loud dog you go to the neighborhood association, or you stand out on your lawn and yell in out.  In Uganda if the dude isn't your tribe you kill his male family, rape his wife to death in front of him, then chop him up and eat him.  In Algeria you mow them down on their front lawn.  In Mexico you hire some drug-runners to kidnap and murder his ass.  In Russia you point the cops their way and watch them disappear.  In Serbia you just sell the guy's daughters to slavers to become hookers til they die in some back alley snuff film.

We're the exception.  Those of us that don't consider killing some dude for disagreeing and hanging his torched body from a bridge are the minority in this world.  I think we're the ones who are the strangers, we're the ones that are pounding down something that is apparently fundamental to the “human condition”.  You'll hear jackasses on the Left whining about how its because they're poor and because we didn't do enough for them and that we ruined them with Imperialism, but that doesn't explain shit like the Mongols riding across the world and killing a couple million and change worth of screaming Asians.  We're talking 1190 here, too, so cities were not bustling places of a million people.  The Mongols were busy goddamn people.  If they didn't kill it they raped it, and if they didn't rape it they forced it to be a subject under the threat of killing or rape.  Five minute managers from the fifth level of hell.  Before we ever hit the Africans with our funny hats and flexible senses of human rights the African tribes were cheerfully enslaving each other and selling them to Muslims to use as sword fodder, too.  These things weren't caused by the West.  We certainly didn't help, but we weren't creating situations that didn't already exist, we simply made them more efficient.

"We're interested in cultural understanding! And rape! Mostly rape, though."

I can hear the neo-cons cheering that, but sit the fuck down, guys.  The issue, too, isn't that we haven't suitably “democratized” them.  They aren't waiting in Iraq to accept American Democracy with open arms... as soon as we kill the required amount of insurgents like some sort of Call of Duty map victory condition.  The Middle East is the Wild West without all the good parts and its not changing anytime soon.  Murder is a way of saying you're upset, and no amount of imported US TV is going to change that.  Doubt me?  We’re seeing more and more Latin TV stations here in the US, Spanish language signs everywhere, a major push to Latinize the US.  Is it making you more likely to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  Fuck no.

Now imagine all this was being done after Mexico came into the US, blew up all our military and killed most of our leaders, and told us everything we have done and are doing is wrong.  See the issue?  I remember reading something from a rap singer (Surprising since in most cases I cant honestly say I think most rap artists have an intelligence that rises above that of a farm animal) and he said simply “I can't blame those guys in Iraq.  I hate the US government, but if some motherfuckers invaded us I'd be in the streets with an AK too. Our country is fucked up but it's our fucking country.”  We can't imagine anyone would actively choose a political system that involves wholesale murder, but most of the world works that way.  Its human nature.

I want to say its a local thing, but look at the globe and think of all the places where rape and murder are common.  How many places are torn apart with multiple groups murdering each other for political gain and for something to do on a Saturday night?  In the US bored 20-something dudes put on polo shirts and backwards hats and go to bars to drink til they puke.  In most places they join militias and burn schools down.  Its a matter of degrees.

Think about it though... if you didn’t think the government could stop you... if you didn't fear official reactions... wouldn't you go to great lengths to get what you want?  If you felt you could use what means you could to make the world “better”...whatever that meant... wouldn't you be willing to go to whatever point was needed?  Now strip away this sense of value of life” we have because in most of these countries they have such a high birth-rate that life is, essentially, meaningless.  Shit, I live a pretty decent life and even I wouldn't say no if a viking horde or Roman Legion stopped by and asked if I wanted to do some hardcore looting and raping.  Sure I might get killed, but fuck it.  I could get killed in a car accident too.  How many people die wishing they'd done more, here in the US?  How many people squeeze into a suit and tie for fifty years then die of cancer of the prostate or a heart attack and wish they'd lived?  Those suckers in the bush of Africa and the favellas of Brazil might be brutal murdering fucks but you can't deny they're really making something of themselves and living life to the fullest.  I drive a two door Ford escort, meanwhile there's Mexican drug runners building tanks from scrap metal.  I really can't say I can compete.

Tell me this shit here isn't better than anything you've done at your job.

Is this all stupid bullshit bravado? Maybe.  Maybe.  But I think its true too.  Look at the field in Afghanistan and Iraq.  When the politicians and UN dick around like “civilized” people, civilians die, the bad-guys assault us, and shit spirals back down towards the Mother of All Fuckups state that the middle East naturally gravitates to.  When we watch the US soldiers in the field doing what they do all we see is Allah getting so many hyped up teenage and college age “warriors” delivered to him that I think he's likely back-ordered on Slutty Virgins for another twenty years.  “Sorry we can't give you virgins, Ahmed, but Mahmoud there doesn't have a ton of stamina so you can share his.  Just mind the sticky ones.”  You don't see entire fucking generations deciding death is worth it and not flinching from serious hardcore murder unless there's something inside that makes us want it.  Poverty can't simply make someone into a Tamil Tiger or an Al-Qaeda patsy, sorry.  There's not some sort of line where once you go below it, it suddenly makes sense to run into an Israeli pizzeria with a few pounds of Allah's Grace and C4 strapped to you.  If a person can be pushed to that point that means somewhere it's already there.  That dark and brutal urge doesn't crawl in your ear one night, it wakes up.

Watch our US soldiers in the field.  When it goes down to brass tacks, US GIs having long meaningful discussions with brown people using assault rifles and explosives as a medium, the US GI wins.  The bad-guys blow up civilians with RPGs, the Army's troops laugh and tell jokes as they hunt them like animals with Apaches.  The Taliban scream “Allahu Akbar!” before setting off a bomb, the US troops scream “YEAH MOTHERFUCKER!” as a daisy cutter turns an apartment building into a human and rubble meatloaf.  Be disgusted at the inhumanity of the Iraqis for displaying those security mens' bodies in Fallujah, then read up on what our boys did in Vietnam.  Then read about the atrocities in medieval wars, and the sort of displays the Romans would do.

We're all angry, violent monkeys.  We all want to take what we want, we want to do as we want, and that's it.  We run into issues when we indulge that completely.  We run into issues when we deny it completely.  Does this long tirade mean that I think we should all rape, pillage, and kill whenever the mood strikes us? Fuck no.  It means I think we need to accept that “civilization” is a framework in which to fit that caveman urge to hit a dude with a brontosaurus femur.  It means instead of taking some Judeo-Christian-Puritan-WHATEVER framework as the first step then figuring out how to get what we want inside of that, we should figure out what we want.  Then we should fit that into whatever framework we want.  Wholesale murder isn’t the way, anymore than denial of our basic needs and instincts are.  We should be human, not some degenerated or falsely elevated sense of what humans are.
Image of John Carter courtesy of every guy's subconscious, ever.

Anyone raising a pillaging army, however, is welcome and encouraged to let me know.  I've always wanted to sack a city.


At present, my army consists of about two dozen hobos, rakes, and rapscallions. I am looking to start a cavalry regiment or two, of which you could take full control provided I get to design the uniforms. This was a wonderful piece, and I shall be posting it on tumblr very soon.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More