FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Standing at the Graves of Iraq

So much for the painted word, that quaint theory of visual art where everthing is an attempt to speak. In the closing days of election USA, there is nothing real except fists and balls.

Sure, every song has its lyric and every movie its script, but if we look at the top culture icons assisting our presidential candidates in these final days of votingñSpringsteen v. Schwarzeneggerñwe get a sense of how visceral we need to be.

And bin Ladenñwho is everything the Republicans once asked Willie Horton to beñ speaks, they say, in moderated tones, with gentle gestures of hand. But who cares what or how he speaks? The image of bin Laden alive is enough to provoke a response. Listen to them holler: ìThe bastard is still alive!î

Forget also the wire that Bush wore during that debate. No doubt, it was only a conduit for words. Everyone agrees he spoke poorly anyway, just as everyone agrees that what he said doesnít really matter anymore. How he ìconnected,î thatís what counts. His visceralñhow did it feel pressed up against your visceral in a charged field of cyber-chemical reaction.

In fact, forget any connection that runs from spine to brain. The only connection that plays in the big-time these days runs between scrotum and gut. Why else would Kerry break a shotgun over his arm, dress in camouflage, and walk with dead geese in Ohio (Canadian geese no less).

ìHappy wouldnít quite be the word for it,î said a dutiful reporter Friday evening when asked how the Bush campaign is reacting to the bin Laden video. But how do you put words to the feeling you get when you realize that now again, you own the nationís fears.

So if there is to be dialectic in the next few days, it will have to be located in a counter-visceral terrain, where we can recover our sickness about this messñand fear not.

Excuse me for speaking briefly. News Friday carried an important bit of research suggesting that the Iraqi death rate doubled last year. Thatís about 150,000 more funerals than normal. Women of Iraq have cried at gravesides twice as often as they did the year before. If their children, fathers, lovers, and sons did not all die directly as a result of smashing metal, then they died from distresses that a world of smashing metal brings.

If we could stand witness to 150,000 Iraqi funerals, we might find the sickness that we need. And in that sickness, we might recall caskets we ourselves have been commanded to forget. And so on (there is so much to be sick about). Compared to the fear that the fear mongers are whipping today, I feel that sickness is the healthier alternative for me.

GREG MOSES writes for the Texas Civil Rights Review. Moses contributed a chapter on civil rights under Clinton and Bush for Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils. He can be reached at: gmosesx@prodigy.net

 

More articles by:

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail