Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Death, More Bombs, More Death-In-Life

Mike Ferraro

The shootings of recent days are of course tragic and sad. But what can you expect when you live in a depraved, morally and spiritually bankrupt world such as ours? In fact, the truly shocking thing is that such rampages don't happen more often than they do.

And so to the great liberal response.

Gun control. Mental illness sensitivity and awareness. Yes and yes. Of course, yes. Cue the hand-wringing, pants-shitting pundits and harrowing statistics.

Too bad everyone already knows the statistics, has felt the crushed and bruising reality of their indicies, either personally or through friends or family. That untreated schizophrenic aunt on her deathbed, crippled and long-forgotten. The never-do-well cousin serving time for armed-robbery, maybe a murderer maybe not, but surely a criminal, a miscreant-degenerate of the highest order and certainly no good. No, not a nice guy at all, someone to avoid at all costs, permanently. Someone, finally, deserving of his imprisonment and wretched fate.

We've all got stories and tragedies, big and small, regarding the horrors of gun violence and mental illness. Behind them all lies the same, simple truth. Namely, that if American legislators cared about the health of the nation and its citizenry, the social landscape would look vastly different than it does presently. Education, healthcare, the so-called war on drugs, judicial and financial reform, the list goes on and on. Instead what do we get? More bombs, guns, sickness, and death. All the rancid fruit of the plutocratic cabal between political and financial interests and the exorbitant sums exchanged between them. In other words, bizness as usual, son.

If legislators wanted to reform gun laws it would be done by now. Same holds for all the aforementioned ills and injustices. The only logical conclusion to draw, then, is that they in fact do not want these things, and will do whatever they can to prevent their occurrence, preferring instead the spoils of their perennial graft and the preservation of their shamefully lucrative subservience. Again, no surprise there: more business as usual.

These issues of corruption and decadence are not unrelated to current events. In fact, all are inextricably woven into the sickness that is American life, past and present. For what is a healthy nation but a healthy citizenry? Judged by this simple theorem, then, America has been, and remains, the sickest of all “first-world” nations. As the shootings and the reactions remind us, such events, and their causes and consequences, are already deeply politicized. To suppress this fact, even for an instant, dishonors the memory of the slain. Further, to ask that these events not be politicized in the wake of the tragedy, as if such a thing was possible, sounds good, but is in fact deeply disingenuous, patently ludicrous, and downright cowardly. It is, in essence, bad medicine, and manifests the very opposite of the liberal avowal of alleged compassion motivating such a request. In this instance, the compassionate thing is to speak truly about the underlying causes that make such tragedies a reality, and to speak against fake and easy alms and solutions that do nothing to assess the miserable record that makes such catastrophes inevitable.

To continue to mindlessly comfort ourselves with surfeited platitudes and falsehoods regarding the indefatigable will, generosity, and compassion of the American spirit may achieve its short-term narcotizing goal, providing a necessary distancing to face another round of national tragedy and mourning. But such succor is ephemeral at best. As always, the true terrors and unchecked passions linger, festering just below the surface. Yes, we may assuage our guilt for the moment but it is a shallow convalescence.

Such rhetorical perversions are the transparently manipulative purview of politicians and pundits and nothing more, serving to mask the unending clamor of the American nightmare reality and its manic beat of more death, more bombs, more death-in-life. If we are to get serious about saving ourselves and this country, these aberrations, and their attendant death-march, need discarding pronto. The future of all our children, and the republic itself, depends on it.