FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In the Kingdom of Double Crosses

by MISSY BEATTIE

Went south. I-95’d and I-85’d to help sister Laura arrange the furniture in the Chapel Hill house Erma had not seen yet.  Traveled north with one of my children, then back on the road again with him to North Carolina.

Regardless of location, I keyboard a path to Google News for a looksee (in the interest of research) at “Top Stories.” Among this morning’s, as I write, are Black hole, Lindsay Lohan, Mike Tyson, Powerball, Mobile technology, Demi Moore, and Sexual Health.

I don’t watch that tubed-in, flat-screened corporate emoting, mainstream, fictionalized news and entertainment, actors interviewing entertainers, and entertainers interviewing actors, unless I’m staying with someone or some two who remote to CNN or MSNBC for background noise during happy or sad hour. I speak of Laura and Erma here, whose new place safe havened me both trips south.

Late evenings, we, the Sisterhood, watched Netflix episodes of Lie to Me. Those who know me well get the significance of this title. Those who don’t will understand the obvious.

Nighttime, in bed with my laptop, I checked Facebook scenery for articles posted by people I admire. Articles about the dead in Gaza.  Articles with images of children–children wrapped in blood-soaked blankets. An article about Bradley Manning. And a video addressing the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy with this statement from Barack Obama:  “There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”

We know the propaganda of American exceptionalism. We really don’t have to scrutinize the mannerisms of politicians, Pentagon officials, any warmonger, even those who call themselves “progressive.” We require no knowledge of microexpressions or the Facial Action Coding System to detect the cool, smooth, polished narcissism of a liar.

We lie to ourselves when we refuse to admit we know.

I saw a Facebook “status”—calling for Israel to be blown off the face of the map, a statement so violent I gasped.

And Bradley Manning: I’ve seen him, sat behind him at one of his hearings, this man who acted on conscience to reveal torture, imprisoned now over two years, subjected to inhuman, degrading treatment. Some have called it “harsh,” this adjective that fails to describe what Manning has endured. Like the military term collateral damage, words combined to camouflage murder.

Returning to Baltimore last Saturday, I noticed the exit for Quantico—Quantico, where Manning was locked naked in a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell 23 hours a day. I also saw the USMC Museum, its Intrusive penetration of the sky a giant phallic symbol, a huge f**k you to the serenity of cumulous clouds.

So much on my mind as I drove by myself.

I confess to loving a road trip. Especially with one or both of my children. With Laura and Erma. Or alone—for miles, listening to whatever I find on the radio. But mostly, I like thinking my thoughts, observing all the exteriors that trigger interiors. I saw flocks of birds shift in flight—synchronized flying, like ocean waves lapping, like water rushing and rippling through leaves during a storm, all that synchronicity and, yes, my emotions, falling, rising, falling, rising.

And finally I turned into the entrance of the Kingdom of Double Crosses, this place I call home, despite the tangled weaving of webs, happy to be here, content to walk into my kitchen, my bedroom, everything familiar.

But when I felt the softness of my pillow, I saw the seen-ery of drones, the roads strewn with bodies and body parts, the children.  Beneath my eyelids were unsightly “seens.”

Finally, I found my own small peace by returning to that graphic of birds, little ballerinas, their synchronized dancing across a sky-blue stage.

Missy Beattie is in motion.  Email: missybeat@gmail.com

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail