The Politics of Igorance.
Ignorance is Bliss.
Don’t remember who said that but it sure is true. Especially when it comes to American politics.
There was an article somewhere, Alternet I think, that pointed out the fact that the war has disappeared. Not from the earth, certainly not, but from the news. Every minute of every day American soldiers–and a growing number of American mercenaries–are battling God knows who in at least two countries. There is NO coverage so who knows exactly what George and Co. is up to. (When I say that understand that I mean Cheney and the Puppet.) But who hears anything? In the days of my youth I remember Vietnam was the lead story every single night. Day after day it was body counts and troop movements and Ho Chi Minh or Peace Talks or whatever. The tinker-toy wars we had in the nineties were front page news, too.
But like everything else post 9/11 our government does, this war is going on “over there” and off the American radar. Only families who are accepting pieces of soldiers being returned–some living, some not–know there’s a war going on. Not even the recycled soldiers themselves are saying much if anything. One must wonder what kind of fear-of-God junk they’re fed before they are allowed to come home. Everything we hear is anecdotal.
Ignorance of the war means indiffernce to the horrific suffering of Iraqi families and Afghan families caught in the middle. I heard a guy the other day in a plumbing supply say, “I just say kill’em all and come on home.” Ah, how American of him!
Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Not when you read something you want to share but forget it before you get a chance to write it down. Such is the case with me. I read something in National Geographic while sitting in the Dentist’s office that inspired this blog and I’ve already forgotten what it was. It WAS significant.
Ahh, now I remember. There were photos from a guy who snuck into North Korea as a tourist because he couldn’t get it as a journalist. He told how he snuck around snapping pictures on the sly, put them on his MP3 player in the dead of night, doing some journalistic spying for his piece. One thing he said that struck me. He said he was totally surprised at how happy and friendly the North Koreans seemed.
He must have had the image of brooding communists with sullen faces wearing drab, ill-fitting clothes, dragging along–a la Soviet Union. How could people so repressed, mistreated, and ignorant be happy? Ahh, check out the local mall! Well, maybe they’re not all “happy” but they’re not walking around with eyes full of fear, just frustration that they’re not getting their share of the American Dream quick enough. Americans slip along thinking hey, this is tough these high prices and stuff, but it’ll blow over. God Bless America! But beyond the view of their rose-colored glasses the clouds are high, very dark, very menacing.
There was a short-lived TV ad that ran in the sixties that showed a cute little kid with a flower suddenly blasted by a nuclear bomb. We in America are that kid. Ya suppose we’ll ever wake up or will it hit us without us ever seeing it coming?
You tell me.
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