Sunday, January 16, 2011

Killer Tatts

Linh Dinh writes at Counterpunch:

Jared Loughner tried to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and shot 19 people. In this, he was as reckless and inefficient as our military. Attempting to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, America massacred about 3,500 Afghan civilians during the first eight months of that war. We have occupied Afghanistan for nearly a decade now, with no end in sight. Our Nobel Peace laureate president, still a beacon of hope to many American progressives, has expanded the conflict into Pakistan. Almost daily, we hear of Pakistanis being massacred by our drones. It’s not clear who we’re trying to assassinate, only that plenty of innocents have died, hundreds in 2010 alone, according to the BBC.

There is no outcry. We must kill them over there so we don’t have to kill them over here. It doesn’t matter who we kill, as long as the ratings go up, corporations cash in and the masses get some bonus thrills before returning to the regularly scheduled programming.

Initial responses to the Tucson tragedy have tried to shoehorn Loughner into being a Tea Party, Sarah Palin zombie, but this grinning dude is even more messed up than that. A high school drop out, aimless and living with his parents, he was also kicked out of the community college. Loughner tried to join the US Army although he considered as war crimes our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Among his favorite books are Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. He dismisses others as illiterate and ungrammatical, yet barely makes sense in his own writing.

Let’s face it, sanity and coherence are no longer our strong suits. From President to busboy, we babble in slogans and sound bites. For over a century, the mass media have corroded our syllogistic chops. Browsing some crime story, one is distracted by a shoe add. A genocide photo may be juxtaposed with a new, improved laundry detergent. On sale too, no less. All become spectacles and life is a meaningless collage. With jump cuts and commercials, television accelerates our derangement. The mind is not supposed to blink that fast for decades on end without deadly consequences. Speed kills, period. With remote control, five hundred channels, ipod in one ear, cell phone in other and laptop a humming, we can hardly remember who got wiped out yesterday, or even a minute ago. We no longer have reality, only reality shows. ...