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

December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Jasmine Aguilera
Lessons From South of the Border
Manuel García, Jr.
A Formula for U.S. Election Outcomes
Sam Pizzigati
Drug Company Execs Make Millions Misleading Cancer Patients. Here’s One Way to Stop Them
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Agriculture as Wrong Turn
James McEnteer
And That’s The Way It Is: Essential Journalism Books of 2018
Chris Gilbert
Biplav’s Communist Party of Nepal on the Move: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian
Judith Deutsch
Siloed Thinking, Climate, and Disposable People: COP 24 and Our Discontent
Jill Richardson
Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count
John Feffer
‘Get Me Outta Here’: Trump Turns the G20 into the G19
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail