5.03.2011

Lots Of Death

Bin Laden’s dead (or so they say). I sat quietly in the nook as the t.v. flickered images of jubilant youth chanting inane slogans and engaging in flagrant displays of uber-nationalistic disgust only a truly brainwashed child of the flag could appreciate.

What I didn’t realize right up until this very moment was that so many of those faces on the screen, faces that belonged to humans almost a decade younger than me, were 10 years old when the towers fell on September 11th.

That means that perhaps these kids were acting out nothing more than the rage, hatred, bitterness, helplessness, divisiveness and fear that have been so much a part of there upbringing for the last decade. They are the direct product of their parents’ reactions (and the indirect product of their elders inaction). They are the national lightning rod, the societal barometer of our national hopes, dreams and fears. This is the future acting out the past in the very real present.

Is this what it might have looked like for the generation that would eventually go on to become soldiers in Hitler’s Nazi party? Is this what a decade of fear, ignorance, lies, apathy, powerlessness, bigotry, and outright scummery has wrought?

Is this “Generation Kill” in the truest sense? They see “any” unity, even unity around the grave of a dead person, as “good unity”. How far have we as a people come when this is all we have to offer as a cohesive social institution; War as the new church, Death our new god.

Are they only channeling what their parents are too cowardly to act out themselves? Are they mere conduits?

Just yesterday I stumbled upon a quote from that wise old Chinese sage Confucius. He said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

The ocean was his, where will be ours?

4 Comments:

Blogger .j.net. said...

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." -Martin Luther King, Jr

3:39 PM  
Blogger Ryan Georgioff said...

I was 12 when the towers came down. And I've had a lengthy recovery from the forces of this decade. You won't find my friends or I chanting "USA," but instead looking for ways to unbrainwash our sorry peers. And our parents.

6:32 PM  
Blogger BoxCarKatee said...

I only still wonder what smoke screen this latest news has been making invisible.

12:28 PM  
Blogger WeThePeople said...

thank you for your thoughtfulness and well written post. it's good to know that young people like yourself are thinking these thoughts in a country gone insane with rabid patriotism, not understanding the meaning of the word.

many innocent civilians in Iran and Afghanistan died too; killing is never something to celebrate and the whole big picture is always more complex and interrelated. your writing is a breath of fresh air.

5:07 PM  

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