Upon first glance it seems ridiculous to link together the Iraq war, our disposable society, and the failure of so many of my friends' marriages. But each of those is a thread in what is rapidly becoming a self-woven funeral shroud for the majority of Americans. The loom this tapestry weaves itself from with our help is the idea that nothing lasts, that everything can be replaced, that a newer model is an upgrade rather than a lie we choose to believe with all the fervor that comes from seeing Napoleon in the mirror.
The temporal nature of our society is at its best a place where newness can flourish, where cultures can evolve, and where change is a good thing. At its worst, change becomes an object of fear and scorn. It becomes the hermetically sealed culture that half my family immigrated to get away from. If I went back there and stayed within my proper "station" in life, the only people I could have as friends without being ostracized and considered an outcast would be mostly in their 80's and 90's because they are the ones who stayed the same by resisting change.
Here in America the underpinnings of that are already in place, but with a certain depravity that raises uncultured, poorly educated, and boorish clans likes the Bushes into a form of demented monarchy. This elevation of pigs into pigs with diamond pinky rings is so typically American that most would consider me snobbish and nationalistic upon hearing it, unless they also understood that these pigs are the ones who send their sons and daughter, the true diversity that is America , the true change that created the dream of America, off to fight their wars for them.
They do this easily because such people are as meaningless to them as plastic cigarette lighters. The horribly inbred monarchies of other countries pass on their cruelty genes by getting more and more out of touch with what ordinary people want and need. This aberration of generational distance is starting to take root here where money and power keeps these families isolated from the rabble that would gladly kill them with their bare hands if given half a chance. Just as some people fear cigarette lighters because they also have the potential to fry their asses, so do these inbred culture less monarch-wannabes fear the incendiary temper of the population who are ready to drag them to the first handy stake--or considering that this is America and with the consciousness so focused on Texas and its version of "cuisine," the stake would no doubt be exchanged for a big-ass barbecue grill.
Because these families don't rise to power by work, intellect, or talent, they are forced to make their money through drugs, prostitution, hired killings, and war. Politics is simply the means by which they are able to practice their trades outside the rule of law. This is why they need war, why they demand war, why every politician who has pounded his fist on the table for war, stood to profit obscenely from it one way or another.
And to fight these wars for them, to die in these wars for them, they need expendable people. They need to make immigrants bad and corrupt and scary because how else are we the people going to allow our government to use them as cannon fodder? Although official figures from anyone in this corrupt administration are suspect, I'm willing to bet an astonishing number of our troops in Iraq are "Green Card Soldiers"--immigrants, legal and otherwise, who are promised an expedited path to citizenship if they live long enough to collect.
The other expendables are poor, uneducated savages that political parties absolutely love because they can do double duty for them; they can serve as cannon fodder AND propaganda tools. Our state-run media like Faux News does not target the educated. It targets the crackers, the bigots, the fundie loonies and uses them as a sort of easily manipulated robot to do their bidding for them. All it takes is some free hot dogs, the mandatory corn syrup laden beverage of choice, and a few tunes from a hate mongering racist and they'll support their grandmother dying in some country they can't find on a map if their lives depended upon it.
Finally, what does this have to do with all my friends seeming to go ape shit at once and wanting divorces, lovers, a new life under a different name, dream, or car color? A lot. We've all been so completely programmed to believe that if something doesn't work perfectly you take it back for a refund or an exchange. We don't even question it anymore. It doesn't work. Take it back.
Keep it around when everyone has a new one? You've got to be kidding! Everyone knows an upgrade is good. Just ask anyone who installed Vista or the latest Internet Explorer on their computers if upgrades are good. I recommend doing this only if you can run really really fast and don't mind having a string of curses unleashed on you.
Grow old together? Why? We're all going to die in some horrible terrorist attack or get drafted and die in some politician's personal piggy bank anyway. The world's going to end and when that day comes, do you really want to turn to the person you've spent most of your life with and regret everyone you've let slip away? Fuck commitment! Grab that girl or boy toy before the last sands run out of the damned hourglass. There's no time for anything else! We're all going to die, a sad bundle of regrets and wasted dreams, so why not have it all now? We're all expendable. They all have trophy wives, boy toys, gas-guzzling piggie cars. Who cares about the environment when the first gray hairs stare back at us from the mirror? Who cares about people, about the planet, about each other? We're all going to die anyway. Horribly. Sadly. And far too soon.
So you see, they are all sadly related and maybe, just maybe if we started putting an end to war it could end up saving our relationships. It's worth a try.
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