Might As Well
During the course of my quarter century marriage I found myself subject to suspicion – an ornate, decidedly feminine button was reportedly found upon the communal bed and I was tasked to explain it. As I had no occasion to deposit said button there I could offer no personal explanation. I found that in this situation I was subject to the repudiation of philandering without enjoying its benefits. This struck me as fairly unjust.
I explained to my accuser that were I to mess around in our bed with someone with poorly attached fabric fasteners, knowing the hell that would be unleashed upon me for being caught, I would most assuredly have gone over the crime scene to eliminate evidence damning. When the same button heralded the same accusation years later I pointed out the improbability of said accusation and suggested that if I was to be sentenced upon such obvious manufactured evidence, that I had no reason to avoid the crime. If I was to be pilloried for philandering I might as well philander.
I didn’t. Retrospectively, perhaps the foolish choice, but I don’t feel we improve our position, within society or in our own esteem, by behaving repellently – even when others around us do. Especially when others around us do. To respond to anger with anger, accusation with accusation, blame with blame, violence with violence, only escalates an already unpleasant situation. Instead of one asshole in the room, we make it two. Or more.
At the time as now I realize[d] that people who behave in ways that make them feel guilty are often the first to point blame at others. Thus in the spotlight the accused are compelled to explain something they have no explanation for while the guilty slink smugly into the shadows, enjoying the machinations they have set into play, imagining their lack of repudiation as exoneration.
Escalation. The guilty accuser creates a climate where circumstances escalate, leading the accused into the very action they are accused of as there becomes no good reason not to. Then, the accuser, vindicated, exacts their desired retribution from a position of self-imagined moral superiority. If one doesn’t commit murder owing to the legal proscription on murder, then what motivates the wrongly convicted to not actually kill when they have suffered for it?
Murder by the state. If you are wrongfully accused and can’t afford to buy your way a not-guilty plea, by killing you, the state has little concern of recourse. Where prison sentences have been overturned owing to egregious prosecution based upon manufactured evidence and open lies in court, the worst that happens to the offenders is that the public has to pay a fine. Lying in court as a police officer or prosecutor which deprives a person of their lives is not a crime as evidenced repeatedly in the USA’s legal system. The public covers the bill and it’s all good. Right.
Often those who engage in criminal behavior in court become elevated in rank, moving from police forces to DAs’ offices to judges’ chambers and all the perks attendant thereof. Successful prosecutions are what move people up in the legal establishment, actual guilt or innocence of the accused secondary considerations at best. If successful prosecutions come from official perjury with no real penalty where revealed, why wouldn’t officials lie to advance themselves?
Might as well.
Judges convict people based upon their personal impression of them as much as the evidence; so do juries. As humans we reveal our bias every day, every waking moment. (Our sleeping moments are our own.) If we are told that people of dark hues have a propensity for crime, we might or might not believe it based upon our understanding of such things. If we are told the same thing a thousand times, by all kinds of people, through all manner of media, with particularly grisly examples to amplify the heinousness, we are likely to believe it, if only owing to the weight of attention directed towards it. It’s very natural.
For herd animals.
And we are that if anything. We graze constantly when there is grazing to be had, we drift toward the perspectives of the perceived majority, where presumably we will be safe and undetected among the throngs. We are very inclined to milling about where the grazing is good and readily achieve stasis where we can. We like to sit fairly still and eat, where our natural inclination is to migrate, keep moving. That whole walking upright thing.
But with the myriad rewards of the interweb, our constant companion and best buddy the Television, as well our perpetual electronic tethers allowing us to look at little 2-Dimensional worlds instead of each other, where physical stasis is not possible, mental stasis is encouraged. And as the bulk of the herd exists within said intellectual framework it becomes easy as well as fashionable to take the Soma – might as well.
It’s been said that democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting on what to eat for dinner. When the sheep outnumber the wolves, the wolves then must confuse the sheep, herd them in directions advantageous to the wolfen clan. With the proper motivation the wolves can convince the sheep that some of their numbers – the most sheepish or black sheepest among them – are actually to their benefit to render unto the wolves. Which they do. And the wolves dine on the sheep that the other members of the herd offer as sacrifice with the unstated agreement the wolves won’t eat them as well. Which of course they do, being wolves and all.
So we sheepishly surrender our freedom to be secure in our persons and property to the wolves, as well the weakest among us, with the unstated agreement that they will only eat the bad ones – the black sheep. We also allow them to define what constitutes bad and how bad is best dealt with – usually a good eating. Or in the case of the enforcement arm of the wolves, a bad beating, revealing them for who they really are: pigs.
For in fact the apt analogy is that the minority of pigs in wolves clothing convince the majority of sheep in stylish apparel that the animal farm will be happier with them atop the food chain; where the sheep submit to piggish rule under the belief that somehow the pigs will pass over their homes and lives and just eat the bad sheep. Baaaad sheep.
And our enforcement droids come at us with increasing and escalating fury: children shot in the back by grown men and women who kinda wish they were men; women shot in the back by gangs of uniformed law enforcement thugs, cowering until they pass then opening wild fire on them; women tased to the street for parking violations, cavity-searched for littering, killed because they called the police. How long before we are safer with criminals in our homes than with the police? As long as it takes them to get there I suppose.
We are faced with a military culture: people who promoted peace murdered, those who promote peace at grave risk. By their overt escalation of violence directed wherever they appear, with the increasing awareness that this violence is not isolated, nor remote, they appear to be offering another of their fine dichotomies: submit (die)/fight (die).
With the realization that the outcome is the same in either scenario, how long before people oppressed and very pissed off take the attitude that the cost of their lives will cost the oppressors lives as well? How long before the group of kids on the street just says, “Fuck it” when the police cruiser pulls up and just opens fire on them? They’re gonna die anyway – might as well.
The way to dissuade a bully is to be equally bullish: pose the likelihood that any assault will be met with equitable response. In the movies they call it the ‘Mexican Standoff’: Two hotheads pointing guns at each other waiting for the other one to shoot first, hoping they’ll be able to squeeze off that killing shot before dropping dead from an itchy trigger finger, thereby assuring both idiots are dead and not only one.
This is MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and is thus promoted and advanced by Madmen and Madwomen too. Back in the daze, MAD proved sufficient to keep the USA and USSR and UK and PRC and all from committing murder/suicide; destroying themselves trying to destroy each other. The Pyrrhic Victory: as we’re all dead, we’ll call it a draw.
This was acceptable among such large and horrifically brutal nations which had achieved parity, the accepted euphemism for enough nukes to blow each other’s shit up. They were the exclusive members of the club they wielded.
But Israel had to steal some, then India got some which gave Pakistan beau coups reasons to get ‘em as their worst enemies in the world had them: the peace-loving Muslim-hating Hindus and war-loving Muslim-hating Jews. And when your worst enemies in the world start waving nukes at you, harsh language invariably seems inadequate. So the club gets bigger and is wielded more readily, at least rhetorically. Because even the Madmen and Madwomen in the Pentagram know what a Pyrrhic victory yields.
It was suggested that John Colt made all men equal, for in the ability to shoot back, or first, comes the understanding that while all guns pose effectively the same threat, all men pose differing ones. A little man with a big gun becomes equal to a big man with a big gun; a woman becomes equal to a man. Certain men don’t like this: bullies. They insist on being able to inflict greater damage to others than others can inflict on them. Bullies threaten and posture, then wail and lament when their intended victims dare defend themselves – only bullies are threatened by others ability to protect their lives and the lives of their loves. This is good to keep in mind.
BP and Exxon and GE and so many other large corporations rape the planet, brutally penetrating and extracting and desecrating actual resources for the abstract invention of money. They pollute and destroy with no consequence; they can kill thousands, hundreds of thousands of people and utterly savage a region, rendering it uninhabitable, and the worst that happens is that they maybe pay a fine, which they in turn write off on the taxes they don’t pay anyway.
These are actions of real consequence which are accorded economic sanction when they are called out for their abuses. Why would those enriched for their criminal exploitation of the world we all inhabit, who suffer no real consequence for their malevolent behaviors, stop them when those behaviors offer such large dividends? Might as well.
In the case of BP and all the other oily slicksters: well as might. As long as they can continue converting actual petroleum into imaginary dollars they can remain the greatest concerns imaginable. For all concerned.
What benefit then does Iran gain by not having nukes? Iraq, the USA’s ally and Iran’s next door neighbor, was invaded and the USA murdered their leader, a man they provided all manner of money and weaponry to. The USA accused him of having nuclear weapons (because Israel insisted they should be the only unregistered nuclear power in the Near East) then destroyed his nation because they knew he didn’t. Had he actually had some nukes, they might have negotiated but because he didn’t the USA invaded with impunity. That’s how it works with the nuclear club.
Actually, the USA's increasingly bellicose attitude as well as the numerous and escalating provocations toward the nation of Iran seem designed for just that: compel them to become a nuclear power. Then bomb the living shit out of them. To punish them for having nukes.
The might of the USA and Israel come not only from possession of genocidal weapons but their willingness and apparently slavering desire to use them. What would those very weapons provide the nation of Iran? Might as well.
The pigs in wolves clothing are very clever but not at all smart. Thinking, reason, decency tend to confound them, get them all hot and bothered. Their thuggish nature is adept at response to only one thing, the thing they employ: senseless violence.
This then is what I suspect they want. They want us to open fire when they pull up; they want ‘rogue’ states to weaponize so they can justify more war, more killing, more devastation. More power. We are being alternately deadened and goaded. The compliant will wait patiently for the door to be kicked in, the angry will attack which will give the pigs what they seek: justification.
They aren’t waiting. Every day they chip away more of our freedom and convince us to sacrifice more rights under the illusion that they will be sated before arriving at our doors. Reason dictates that pigs – regardless how they dress – are never sated and will keep eating as long as we continue to offer our flesh to feed them. To look at life on their terms is to see the option they leave us and the reality of which they must be aware. If we are to be served as the main course anyway, it seems that pork makes a fine appetizer.
Might as well.