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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


composition in gray #8

Hospice provided someone to come in and stay in the house with Jr to give me 3 hours free time. I came home and watched a movie. Haven't seen one since Jr left the last nursing home. That's been a few months and I am a netflix junkie. The movie waiting to be seen was BUTTERFLY. Made in Spain. Took place in the time of the Spanish Civil War, in the early part when people in a village who have lived among each other all their lives start turning on each other, the fascist party rounding up the communist sympathizers.

A beautiful story of an old man teacher who taught the kids the wonders of nature, taught them to appreciate what is around them. The priest doesn't think so much of him. The rich man in the village doesn't like him. One little boy who started out wretchedly shy, the teacher supplied him with some self-confidence. His students looked to him with much appreciation. Until the suspects are rounded up and the old teacher is taken away among them with people shouting at them to cover up their own suspect backgrounds. The little boy turned on the teacher at the end when they were taken away in a truck, throwing rocks at the truck, calling out "atheist!" Not even knowing why. Sad story, but so very true in everyday life.

It's the mind of the 20th century, dividing up between the red and the black, communism and capitalism. People turning against their neighbors, their friends, over politics, ideologies,which there, like here, are entirely mental phenomena. I think it oughta be this way. Well, I think it oughta be that way. I have more capacity for destruction than you, so you do what I say. Big doggin. Which one can pee the highest on a tree trunk is in charge. And all the rest of us have to live under the shadow of all these people making decisions that always endanger us, and sometimes do us in.

The rule of thumb in conflict is the one with the most advanced technology wins. What we call terrorism challenges technology. We have the technology to bomb entire villages from the air, which is what we do.
So they use bombs too. If you're not afraid to die, you're a lethal weapon.
It's what happens when you have people cornered, no place to turn, when they're too poor to have an army, the people become the enemy. It becomes real confusing real fast as we saw on the news the last half century. Since WW2 we've had continuous war, none of it legitimate war, nor internationally legal war, the rich countries stomping the poor countries and the poor countries have everybody out fighting back. When everybody is in a corner, that's when they get fierce and even kids attack GI Joe, the menace of the non-white world.

I saw the Bush-Cheney-Rummy triumvirate as the white man's last stand. Turned out it was. Nothing like a bunch of bleached white men trampling civil liberties to keep somebody colored from getting something for nothing, and taking everything for themselves, to turn the scale so far as to get a black man, the only one who stood up to their intimidation and was on record for it. All the folks of any degree of color, and the white women that white men haven't been so good to either, they outnumber white men. White men rule no more. They were going after everything they could get before the clock ran out. The Mongols are coming! Grab all the loot you can get and get outta here quick as you can git.

The early half of the 20th century was a rough time for Europeans, coming into the time of electricity with the people divided between capitalism and communism. The Depression during reconstruction after WW1, then WW2. Then Asia. Then Middle East and Africa. Middle East has oil, so meddling in their business is what we do. Africa is frightening to the white world. Best just stay out of it. A very different way of thinking and doing things. Seems like in Africa killing is the same as nothing, like swatting flies.

And here we sit in peace at home where I can watch a movie and write my stream of consciousness thoughts after seeing it with my cat Tapo between my arms with her head in the crook of my right arm, snuggled in good, feeling at home. Perhaps the best thing there is to being an American is that ability to allow the other side their right to be, the same as my right to be. We're good at that. When it comes to different reasons different people have for being glad to be an American, maybe that's it for me, that we can not just shake hands, but be friends with someone the other side of that mental divide that keeps things stirring.

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