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Thursday, August 18, 2011

MYTHOLOGY IN EVERYDAY LIFE


the last note ~ thornton spencer



Palestinian militants from Gaza...Israeli gunmen retaliate...so incredibly tiresome, and USA formally telling Assad to get out of Syria for killing Syrians. What a joke. Who in the world stage of politics and war has the moral authority to censure anyone else for any reason? In that world, there is no moral authority. British prime minister accusing young Brits of having no morals for reacting to the news of English police killing an innocent young guy. Of course prime minister makes no mention of WHY the youngsters lacking morality reacted. I would rate Cameron's morality quotient below that of the lowest of the rioters. USA has no moral authority over anything or anybody, making this daily news of Hilary Clinton telling Assad to step down the laugh of the day. She's been saying it for weeks, and every time it's told like it's the first time. I don't think there's anything to any of it. She's making those statements for the international news services, and Assad is going to do whatever a middle-eastern monarch will do with a substantial military, wealth and power he's not going to let go of because the Great Satan is making sound-bites that sound big. 



Our evening news is the daily soap opera for men. The news advertises shaving soap the way daytime soaps advertise washing soap. I think of it as the Evening Soaps. Tune in tomorrow and hear what happens next...don't miss it...it's what's happening in the world...this is real...your world is not real because it never gets on tv and if it does, it's not about you. I'm wondering if the news is our contemporary mythology like the Old Testament histories. Strange to have 3 of the world's major religions based in warfare of genocide, open season on people of polytheistic religions, God on our side cheering them on, kill all the dogs and camels, don't leave anything alive. If I have to believe it that God was directing the Hebrew genocide of everybody not them, then I have to believe that God was directing Genghis Khan, who destroyed civilization all the way across the world from Mongolia to Eastern Europe, plundering for riches, creating the Silk Road to carry their bounty back to Mongolia, along which caravan route the Black Plague was spread from China to medieval Europe in fleas on yaks.



Jewish merchants along the caravan route got the plague first leading the Christians to believe the plague was coming from the Jews, and they had another exclusion of the Jews, God's chosen people and Christendom's most reviled people. I say "most," because Christendom reviles a lot of people, not just Jews. The religion of love. Bang-bang, I'll shoot you down / Bang-bang, you'll hit the ground.  I love you, but I don't love what you do, what you are, who you are. Qualified love can stretch all the way over into hate and decorate itself with the word love carrying no more meaning than the word peace on a Christmas card. It appears it would be inevitable for Christendom to become militant, basing itself in the Old Testament of righteous slaughter of others. Half a dozen or so years ago, some zealous Baptists asked me if I'm a Christian. I said, Christian has become a political party and I'm not a party member. When we got it straight I'm not answering their cliche question with a cliche answer, I said, When it gets down to aligning myself with the way of love, I can say yes, but only in that way, no associations with religion of any persuasion.



Perhaps, for me, the most interesting part about this time we're in is that right and wrong are suspect as issues, because everything is relative between the two poles. Suppose I'm drafted, sent on a patrol in Baghdad to an address of terrorists storing guns, break down the door, spray the interior with lead, and it turns out to be women and kids. No problem. A mistake. Line of duty. Following orders. Orders based on bad intel. Oh well. Then I have to live the rest of my life with that room full of dead women and kids replaying in my mind every day and night unto the grave. I can look at it like none of it was my doing, drafted, given orders to follow or else. Nonetheless, my subjective self registered itself as the one pulling the trigger. Absolved of guilt by official proclamation, how does one go on living with those images in the head? Tom Berringer's Sniper movies, all 3, deal with this issue. He is a soldier in a purpose far greater than himself, good at what he does in kill or be killed situations, and he carries every kill in the front of his mind day and night. This is not peace, it is the history of men in civilization.



The question, is war our mythology? looks convincingly like it might be, in every way I'm able to see it. It was the myth that guided the Europeans that came over to the New World and the military sweep of the original inhabitants off the map. It was the very same as if aliens in flying saucers came from outer space and started killing the American people from East to West, coast to coast, made treaties and never honored a one, killed with impunity, genocide the purpose, and even with our massive redneck arsenals from coast to coast, the rule of thumb that the side with the most advanced technology always wins, applies. The white European take-over of the North American continent was certainly of mythic proportion. Spaceships wiping out the population from coast to coast for a place to put their people whose planet just died from pollution, we'd see in mythic proportion the way the Indians see the mythic proportion of what happened to their ancestors. USA cannot point the finger of morality at anyone or anything without the 3 fingers that point back at the one doing the pointing. All the rest of the world knows it. The American mythology is war.



This is where secular history and religious history interweave in a braid and become the same. One could not be without the other. War for our living mythology makes us self-righteous in the extreme unto arrogance without self-awareness. The attitude toward the world of the untamed is they are the same as nothing. It was easy to kill the Indians, or want to kill them, because they were untamed, the same as a raccoon, or a wolf or a bear. Kill ever one ya see. With killing as the mythological foundation of our country, it's only natural we'd have way the highest murder rate in the world amongst ourselves. You piss me off: bang, you're dead. You broke the law: bang, you're dead. You fucked another man: bang, you're dead. You're not me: bang, you're dead. I can't live with my mind any more: bang, I'm dead.



Seeing killing so deep in our national roots really gives us a respectable place in the world. French colonies. Dutch colonies. Belgian colonies. British colonies. Spanish colonies. They all did the same thing we did. Killed "not us" people all the way along and thought nothing of it, not even as racism. It's the same as shooting bottles. They're heathens. Nothing. They're dead already. Just getting them out of the way, like burning the vegetation off Caribbean islands to plant them with sugar cane, making money. My lawyer friend Lorne Campbell told me the march of history is up the staircase in army boots and down the staircase in silk slippers. Over and over it goes, round and round, a slinky lurching down a flight of stairs. All this on top of worrying about paying bills. It's time to put on some music by Whitetop Mountain Band and feel happy about everything in a very few minutes. We're just human beings on earth doing not necessarily the best we can, but getting along somehow. Every once in awhile God has to rescue us from ourselves.  We get good parenting, love without condition, not even judging us for fighting amongst ourselves all the time. Loves us anyway. With so many kids, what else can you do?











   

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