FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Scripture, Memorials, Lies, Life, and Death Culture

I’m waiting for a call that could be either good or bad news and the longer I wait, the more anxious I become, knowing that the longer I have to wait makes it more likely that the news will not be what I want to hear.  I’ve avoided this particular caring for someone, this caring enough that you engage in exactly this—this worrying and waiting. I should have run when I could’ve although that would have meant choosing solitude.  As a neighbor said about my reluctance to take a chance: “If you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs.”

I might have answered, “If you want to make love you have to break your heart.”

I’m going to do my usual to rush the clock: listen to music and write. At this moment while writing, I think about people who are much more troubled than I am, because if the specific people I’m considering were worried about what’s bothering me, they also have additional crushing issues gnawing their sanity. I’m thinking about The Talk that black parents must have with their children to keep them safe, safe from racist police officers. I’m thinking about parents of troops deployed to countries the U.S. has invaded. I’m thinking about families who’ve fled countries not because they fear some commitment that might be accompanied by watching the body’s diminishment, but because their lives are in peril, their children’s lives are in peril. I’m thinking about the human beings we call The Other because war wagers hear cha-ching rather than the wail of anguish.

Yesterday I read that Barack Obama consulted scripture when he prepared his tribute to memorialize the officers who were slain in Dallas by a military veteran trained to murder The Other in Afghanistan. Imagine the inconsonance of holding the title of president of the U.S., sifting through scripture one moment for the most appropriate words of comfort, delivering those words to grieving family and friends of the dead, and then on Tuesdays, another sifting, through names and photos—the Kill List. Making a decision to incinerate someone in a drone attack.

I’m thinking, visualizing, pushing away my own small, personal-world angst, to see George Bush. The morning after the officers were killed in Dallas, the former president (who once said it would be easier if he were the dictator) issued a statement: “Laura and I are heartbroken by the heinous acts of violence in our city last night. Murdering the innocent is always evil.” Juxtapose that with this reminder that Bush said God told him to end the tyranny in Iraq and that it was during this ending of tyranny that the tyrant Bush exacted heinous acts of violence, murdering millions of innocents in the carnage he began in Afghanistan after 9/11 with a Terror War based on lies, a crime of mass destruction that continues and has been expanded under the scripture-quoting Obama.

I heard a discussion on NPR yesterday, focusing on the events of the past few weeks. What among the many tragedies was the most important? I answered, speaking to the radio, said they’re connected. The carnage here is the carnage there, a state-sponsored death culture—the distillate of injustice.

He texted. Is being admitted for tests. And it’s too late for me to erect a wall. Give me your tired, your poor, your all, your some. I’m in—in as if there’s no tomorrow, because this is it, life, for now only.

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

April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman - TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail