FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Running on Empty

by MICHAEL McDAETH

There is a macabre irony to the Boston Marathon bombing; that of blowing off the legs of people at a running event. The victims lost their legs to this low flying violence as they stood behind barricades waiting for their loved ones who were using their legs to cross the finish line.

Large public events like the Boston marathon with its large participation and crowds attending obscures the fact that long distance running is a very solitary and I would say self-indulgent activity. I view climbing twenty-nine thousand foot peaks in the same light. Feels like a lot of me me me. Even when you run with someone else you seldom speak. At some point it becomes only you and the ten feet in front of you.

It is another macabre irony that they run for pleasure and personal achievement while much of the world runs on pain and self sacrifice. They run for pleasure while the ills of capitalism run roughshod over most of the globe and a military that has put millions of people on the run between Iraq and Afghanistan. If you think this is anything new; it was a matter of policy to keep native people on the run back in the day; culminating with the big rundown and slaughter at Wounded Knee.

Wherever the drones are flying the people below are surely on the run hoping beyond hope they can get to safety. Maybe that’s why so many children are killed by drones; they just can’t run fast enough.

The media ran wild with speculation in a series of hundred yard dashes that did little but leave them breathless. It seemed they were running a witch hunt. Was this the Hunger Games sequel I’ve been hearing about? I wonder how much the media hype, massive police presence, and the very public passing around of their photos threw a panic into the alleged perpetrators and got them on the run where they killed one and wounded another before they themselves could run no more.

CNN reported that the elder alleged bomber expressed his desire for money and women so it appears he really wasn’t much different from the average american male. Speaking of which, the average american male was in the streets applauding after the carnage was over like it was the end of a really satisfying action movie. It was something they’d already seen a hundred times before. One suspects that they cheered louder and longer for the violent captures than cried for the bombing victims.

The Marathon will be back there is little doubt. It will be declared a triumph of American resolve by the run amok media. They’ll show emotional shots of good Americans pushing survivors on wheels through the course and over the finish line. They’ll hang medals around their necks and wheel them next to politicians and Boston bred celebrities for photo-ops. There may be a few who run the course on their new artificial limbs, if so, the media will chime in on how they are making such amazing leaps forward in the design and usability of them without a hint of irony; there are only fake impressions of false notions running through their heads.

The whole stinking mess is tragic and unnecessary. All it takes is to sit still and soberly assess. They may have concluded long ago that you cannot make continual war and expect it won’t take the legs out from under you someday.

Peace on earth before the clock runs out.

Michael McDaeth is a writer and musician living in Seattle. He is the author of the novel Roads and Parking Lots. He can be reached atmmcdaeth@msn.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Dmitry Kolesnik
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus, as, Fear and Loathing Grip Europe.
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail