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

 

More articles by:

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

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 26, 2017
John W. Whitehead
Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind
Pete Dolack
Trump’s Re-Negotiation Proposal Will Make NAFTA Worse
George Capaccio
“Beauty of Our Weapons” in the War on Yemen
Ramzy Baroud
Fear and Trepidation in Tel Aviv: Is Israel Losing the Syrian War?
John McMurtry
Brexit Counter-Revolution Still in Motion
Ted Rall
The Democrats Are A Lost Cause
Tom Gill
Is Macron Already Faltering?
Ed Kemmick
Empty Charges Erode Trust in Montana Elections
Rev. William Alberts
Fake News? Or Fake Faith?
James Heddle
The Ethics and Politics of Nuclear Waste are Being Tested in Southern California
Binoy Kampmark
Slaying in Minneapolis: Justine Damond, Shooting Cultures and Race
Jeff Berg
Jonesing for Real Change
Jesse Jackson
The ‘Voter Fraud’ Commission Itself is Fraudulent
July 25, 2017
Paul Street
A Suggestion for Bernie: On Crimes Detectable and Not
David W. Pear
Venezuela on the Edge of Civil War
John Grant
Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike
Charles Pierson
Like Climate Change? You’ll Love the Langevin Amendment
Linda Ford
Feminism Co-opted
Andrew Stewart
Any Regrets About Not Supporting Clinton Last Summer?
Aidan O'Brien
Painting the Irish Titanic Pink
Rob Seimetz
Attitudes Towards Pets vs Attitudes Towards the Natural World
Medea Benjamin
A Global Movement to Confront Drone Warfare
Norman Solomon
When Barbara Lee Doesn’t Speak for Me
William Hawes
What Divides America From the World (and Each Other)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Chandra Muzaffar
The Bilateral Relationship that Matters
Binoy Kampmark
John McCain: Cancer as Combatant
July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
Richard Hardigan
The Media is Misleading the Public on the Al-Asqa Mosque Situation
Matthew Stevenson
Travels in Trump’s America: Memphis, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville
Ruth Fowler
Fire at Grenfell
Ezra Kronfeld
The Rights of Sex Workers: Where is the Movement to Legalize Prostitution
Mark Weisbrot
What Venezuela Needs: Negotiation Not Regime Change
Binoy Kampmark
From Spicy to the Mooch: A Farewell to Sean Spicer
Wim Laven
Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing
Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail