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Thursday, August 9, 2012

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

     robert motherwell


Another shooting incident in Milwaukee, this time several Sikhs at their temple. The white guy with the gun took the Sikhs in turbans for towel-head Ay-rabs. What's the difference? Immigrants. Not white. I saw a posting somebody put on facebook a few days ago of an American Indian with words to the effect that we're concerned about immigrants coming in and taking our land away from us. The man doing the shooting, an adult white male, was bagging some towel-heads for Rush Limbaugh. This morning on the Diane Rhem interview show on NPR, she had some yoyo talking about we have to stop this phenomenon of surprise shootings by going to the source. That is lone wolf white men. Single white men who have been to Vietnam, though not necessarily. Now single white men are preemptive suspects. They need to be "surveiled." I'm thinking it needs to go deeper than that for the cause. Like if we want to cure the problem, let's do away with ignorance. That's not going to happen. It's too late. It's not going to happen anyway. This looks like a time of steady increase of ignorance instead of decrease.


I keep on thinking of a cartoon seen several years ago, a lot of years ago. Two little boys. One tells the other he saw a flying saucer land and a little man came out. The other little boy said, "What'd he say?" "He said, Take me to your leader." "What did you do?" "Nothing." "Why not?" "I didn't know who my leader was." That's how I've felt all my adult life. I'm not sad about it. I'm glad none of the politicians in the country can be called my leader. Not in any way I could tolerate would I call any of them my leader. What a travesty it is that we only have politicians to call our leaders. They are not anybody's leaders. They couldn't lead a pack of dogs by pushing a meat wagon. Some people might think of some of them as their leaders, but I can't imagine who they'd be, unless they would be obedient corporate execs. I feel the same sorrow that possessed Gore Vidal in his last years, sorrow seeing what has become of the home of the brave, the land of the free, all that uplifting belief system we learned as children in school, along with the honor of dying for country.


These shootings by white guys that happen more and more frequently inspire no sociological or psychological investigations into what it is in the society that inspires this behavior. Like Charlton Heston said of American history in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, "We have a lot of blood on our hands." Karma. As a nation, we have killed freely all the way along as if it were our righteous duty as a nation "under God," whatever that means. I can't help but see these surprise "random" shootings as karmic return on a major part of the American character, the right to kill. I see this guy in Aurora, Colorado, entering the exit door of the theater and shooting people by surprise, like I see General Custer with horse hooves covered for silence in first light charging a village with snow muffling the horses' hooves for surprise. They charged in quietly and killed as many as possible, killed their horses. Reading in American history what General George Custer did to the Indians, I couldn't help but be satisfied he met his end at the Little Big Horn. As is said of karma, he had it coming, in abundance. Before he went down, he had the opportunity to see his regiment was being wiped out. How many villages had they wiped out?


On the ship in the Navy, it could be said the captain was my leader, but in my heart and mind, he was not anything to me. He was a player in a game I wanted nothing to do with. In the time of the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, "crisis," when some communists were making a play for power and the fascist government couldn't handle them, calling on the Americans for assistance. My ship was sent there to "patrol" back and forth across the harbor in front of Santo Domingo. It was a beautiful city from the sea. On watch at night I could see The King And I, the Yul Brynner version, playing on the drive-in theater screen with binoculars. It wasn't like I was distracted by it. Had it been La Dolce Vita, I'd have been distracted for sure. The thrill running through the officers was the chance that we might be able to lob some shells into the city and do some damage. Americanista power. I prayed the whole time we were there that we not fire on the city. I could not tolerate being a part of the American war machine shooting up the poor section of the city. Of course, that's where the terrorists are hiding; in that time they were called communists.


Without public health care, without public psychiatric help, the people needing help don't get it when they're of the working class and can't afford insurance. To politicians that's ok. The working class is the enemy, potential rioters, strikers, the thick-fingered masses. Plus, they don't have any money to give the politicians, who are even worse than preachers at asking for free money. If you're not a source for free money, you don't exist, even if you tell good jokes. I'm glad I don't exist to them, like I'm glad I don't exist for the Jehovah's Witnesses. The last time they stopped here, I ran them off permanently. Nothing here of interest to you, just an old set-in-his-ways heathen. The new people to go around in the cars browbeating people in their own homes are told when they pass my house to keep away from that old man, he might shoot you. I don't know that for a fact, but I do imagine what they say is an exaggerated version of whatever it is I said or did that they understood all those years ago. Whatever it is, it keeps them away. No need to question a good thing.


We have such a hard-edged martial society where big college jocks on steroids bash into each other in mosh pits to hard-core punk at concerts. There is an underlying hostility between men who go around with chips on their shoulders looking for anybody to knock one off by looking at him wrong. In Glade Creek several years ago a man had an acre of ground covered by 55gal barrels standing above the ground on posts with a gamecock attached by tether to the barrel that was his home. Chicken prison was all I could think. I felt sad for those poor chickens having to live. Something like that makes me then feel sorry for all the domestic animals around the globe that are regarded without soul, without consciousness, without feeling, without emotion, without even awareness. Then it gets so immense I can't handle that thinking any more and have to let it go as something beyond my mental capacities. I accept on a deeper level how things are. Acceptance is what I want more and more of in myself. I find the more I accept the context of my life, the easier my life can be.


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