Running on Empty


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

Weekend Edition
November 28-30, 2015
Majd Isreb
America’s Spirit, Syrian Connection
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
James Anderson
Reframing Black Friday: an Imperative for Déclassé Intellectuals
Simon Bowring
UN Climate Talks 2009: a Merger of Interest and Indifference
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxembourg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
Aidan O'Brien
Same-Sex Sellout in Ireland
David Stocker
Report from the Frontline of Resistance in America
Patrick Bond
China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink Fast
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
Charles R. Larson
Chronicle of Sex Reassignment Surgery: Juliet Jacques’s “Trans: a Memoir”
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
CounterPunch’s Favorite Films
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving