It’s axiomatic that if you watch enough O’Reilly Factor, you’ll be treated to the sight of a Nabokovian Nymphet in a thong, as his program “exposes” the immorality of youth run amok. Mr. O’Reilly, like many of his ideological cohorts who have never met a form of oppression they weren’t willing to give at least equal time to, invariably is shocked or even appalled by the base amorality of young, attractive white boys and girls. Certainly, goes the implication, there’s no cultural provocation whatsoever for children to not live up to the standards of youth on Father Knows Best or even Dennis The Menace. We are the most moral, safe, and free nation ever, goes the chorus, the same chorus that echoes hollow delusions that the IDF and the Mossad are somehow on God’s side in the impending apocalypse and that it is somehow God’s work to displace [if one is a “dove] or obliterate [if one is more predisposed to a hawkish perspective] the Palestinian people.
The kids are supposed to somehow take seriously a system of justice that is more likely to have someone spend time in lockdown for possession of an ounce of weed than for embezzlement of millions or even billions of dollars. Tough but fair, one supposes they should say, as they sit home zoned out on OxyContin watching Limp Bizkit videos with their meth-dealer boyfriend. The kids are supposed to understand that guns and ammunition equal power, and that every moment of every day is an invitation to be taken hostage. Not interested in visiting your local unannounced police roadblock? Don’t turn around, to quote Ace of Base, or you may be surrounded by love in the form of a phalanx of police cars with paramilitary officers and the like. By way of a national security precaution, it goes without saying.
It’s enough to make you wish someone solid, like Senator Rockefeller of West Virginia, were president. But I digress.
We are about to reinstitute a military draft, in spite of very little being said in mainstream media on the subject. Consider the war in Afghanistan. Only those familiar with ancient history, like the Vietnam experience, will understand the implications of US soldiers standing guard around the home of the president imposed on the traditional regional power brokers via high-altitude bombing and a sham loya jirga. Yet again, the United States is in the position of imposing an external, corporatist order on a region whose every instinct runs against such artificially linear mechanisms of vertical coercion. Yet again, we need players for our team, and just like your favorite professional athletes, YOU TOO can be a team player on the BEST TEAM OF ALL
All of this to play the Great Game. To build an impregnable empire. One of the saddest parts of this spectacle of the US facing economic collapse even as we are led into global war and into a domestic police state is that the pawns in the game — those boys and girls who played the video game, watched the video, et al — have precious little clue about what motivates our war planners to plan wars without cease.
And why should they have any idea? Educated in so-called public schools where emergent citizens learn that they really have no Constitutional rights after all, they come home to mothers who Botox so that their faces show no character. Fathers, if they have them, are brainwashed into thinking that Pfizer has just the thing to cure problems with their sex lives. If these kids have any “adjustment” issues, Ritalin or some such is used to make them compliant.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone, given the narcotization endemic in our culture generally but especially in our young, that our President’s approval ratings have been slow in falling. If you accept opinion polls as legitimate, the slow decline from those days after 9/11 when we were fighting evildoers appears to be carefully managed. By the time people realize that they aren’t the only ones who don’t want to be watched, locked up, and terrorized by the US government’s sham war on drugs or some other war on or for some other commodity that said government is interested in controlling, the laws will be passed and our greatest fears will have become faits accompli. There will be many bodies in soldier suits. Some will walk proudly on the streets of a foreign city, or perhaps — if we are to be especially safe and free — the streets of our own towns. There will be other soldiers, as well, headed home in sacks, knowing about as much in death as in life as to why he was willing to kill and die for some other man’s pleasure.
Anthony Gancarski is the author of UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS, a collection of fiction and poetry. He is currently is a student at Gonzaga Law School in Spokane, Washington. He can be reached at: Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com