Monday, August 22, 2005

“This is blood for blood...”



“...and by the gallon. These are the old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They're back! There's no choice left. And I’m ready for war.” – “Marv” from Sin City.

To be filed under: Which war are we fighting?

It’s a month of tough anniversaries up at castle driftglass, which is neither here nor there except it brings freshly back to mind the hard fact that people fight all kinds of battles, for all kinds of reasons.

And sometimes they fight them over and over and over again.

Time after time, an abuser will seek out a victim, and the enabler will seek out an abuser. A certain kind of woman will sift through decent men like a sperm whale going through krill to find the bad boy who will fuck her over, leave her broke and confirm her conviction that Men are Bastards. A certain kind of man will keep driving right on past one decent woman after another to lose himself, yet again, in the high, dead desert with an ice-thing who will carve out his heart with a cuticle pusher, bearing out his personal credo that all Women are Bitches.

And they never see it. Like the unquiet spirit, stalled out in the Moebius-loop of a single instant because they died violently or drunk or steeped in sin, they’re stranded. Locked in.

Like the song says:
“You've got stuck in a moment /And you can't get out of it.”

This comes to mind because the “V”-word is in the water like chum.

Vietnam.

I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times already, and it’s a perfectly fine parallel. Vietnam...on speed.

...on meth.

...on crack.

True enough, but not enough. Necessary, but not sufficient, because Iraq is a lot of different wars to a lot of different people. Because there are a lot of different ways for a thing to be true.

Strategically, it's true enough, that Iraq is ‘Nam on terminal speed-up.

Historically, to a typical Muslim living in the Middle East, how could this not be seen the Crusades – chapter and verse. After all, we told them it was.

Iran stands on the border, watching, waiting to see if they need to swarm across the border and take what they want Korea-style, or if the Americans will deliver them a Shiite Theocracy, gift-wrapped, and without losing a single soldier.

And viewed from space, we are surely indistinguishable from Conquistadors: looting an Oil-Dorado on the other side of the planet with Jebus as our wheelman.

But I believe there is something else. Something...subcutaneous about the war in Iraq that is driving it on. The positively ignites certain people, causing them to charge belligerently – irrationally -- in a certain, specific direction.

Wars are historical events, and economic, and strategic, and tactical and philosophical.

But war always shows up brightly in the emotional spectrum, and certain wars – lost wars -- burn like the fire of a thousand suns. Some people (most notably and locally, certain Red State citizens) obsessively re-fight them over and over again, generation after generation.

Losers forever stand on the neck history, jumping up-and-down, demanding a do-over.

And when the banner the losing side fought under was hateful and repulsive, the lies and delusions that the defeated use to radically revise and prettify a murderous history and ideology into a glorious and noble “Lost Cause” also get passed down, father to son, like hemophilia.

So look at the brief and bloody history of Iraq and note that...

...it is a war began by a Southern President.
...it is a war began by rich men and fought by the poor.
...it is war sold to Americans as a Noble Cause.
...it is a war of pre-emption against a hated enemy that we were told we HAD to attack before it was too late.
...it is a war sold on the defense of our “way of life” rather than a specific, measurable, strategic objective.

And come the 2004 election -- an election was all about Iraq -- look how the nation split; right down the Mason-Dixon Line. Of course not perfectly Not exactly. The West is what it is, and there are plenty of fools in the North and Good Guys in the South, but you cannot look at the ’04 election map and NOT notice that something deep and pathological was playing itself out.

Again.

A nation split into a Southron Republican Confederacy of the Mind and a Northern Democratic Union.

A Dixiecrat GOP who detach themselves ever more from even tangential contact with reality and more and more hysterically insist the Cause is Noble (whatever the Cause has morphed into this week) and the War is Not Lost, whose followers grow more deranged and fanatical by the hour, being goaded deeper and deeper into insane denial by the daily headlines ...and arrogant Yanks, who keep rubbing the Republican’s collective nose in the fact that their President is objectively a liar and their Cause is a Disaster.

This by Faulker – my third-favorite Southern writer -- explains it better than I can (line-breaks added by me). It’s long, but it gets to the marrow of it, and the writing is like stumbling onto an overturned a jewel-box, so enjoy it:

For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance,

it hasn't happened yet,

it hasn't even begun yet,

it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armstead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think,

“This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago....”

Strategically and historically, the debacle in Iraq obviously matches up very well to Vietnam-at-78-rpm. And with his war crimes and corrupt-goon-squad-traitor White House combo-platter, George Bush manages to combine the most detestable aspects of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

That’s how I’ll deal with it when the fall comes -- when the horror-show that has arguably been the worst Presidency in modern history unravels into the history books like the intestines spilling out of a gut-shot Clio.

Next year in irons standing before the bar of justice, or (more likely) six years from now in a Supersized version of O.J. Simpson pariah/internal-exile, Bush someday will be just another monster President we have clean up after, prosecute if possible, inoculate against, and move past.

But that’s me. That’s most people I know. But not, I think, the South.

Every day the White House dickslaps them in the face with huge, baldface lies, treasons and disrespect. Every day this White House delivers back to them their dead and mutilated children -- the price-tag for those lies and treasons -- and the Southern Republican Man smiles his dimwit, gimlet smile and goes right back and re-elects the same cocksuckers over and over again.

Ha! That’ll show them damned Yanks!

They’re running a whole different program. A whole different Operating System; one that’s had a Peculiar Poison laced and tangled into its cultural DNA for the last century and a half.

Strategically, Iraq may be Vietnam, but emotionally the Red States are smack in the middle of the American Civil War.

(Shit, in big parts of this country, isn’t every-fucking-thing a re-fighting of Gettysburg?)

For the Dixicrat GOP citizens, Bush proxies for Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee. And no matter how absurd a liar the unclouded eye sees him to be, no matter how peyote-for-breakfast-and-bad-acid-for-lunch delusional you have to be to still not see the truth, to the Red State Rebs each word that spills from his mouth is the unvarnished Gospel.

Iraq stands in as the latest iteration of the Glorious Cause, and it is literally unthinkable that the War could possibly be lost.

God is, after all, on their side, right?

They want to fight and win a Great Struggle that we nattering Northerners said was impossible...and then shove it up our asses and have 150 years of humiliation finally redeemed.

But to fail...again?

To ever have to admit that they have been chumped, again? Lost, again? Duped into a disastrous war by rich men, again? On a pack of lies, again? And having to endure the fucking Yankees laugh at them for being such fucking morons...again?

Better to die first. Better everybody die first.

Or, as Marv said, “These are the old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They're back! There's no choice left. And I’m ready for war.”

God help us all.

118 comments:

StealthBadger said...

Okay. So I was sleepy and got it backwards how Google ranks. ^^;

marquer said...


Iraq stands in as the latest iteration of the Glorious Cause, and it is literally unthinkable that the War could possibly be lost.
....
Better to die first. Better everybody die first.


Well, given that the previous iteration of the Glorious Cause over which the Southrons became het up was against an adversary packing a couple of gigatons of thermonuclear firepower, I'd say we got off lucky.

There really were times during the Cold War when I'd hear "Better dead than Red!" in a Dixie accent, and think to myself, jeez, these crazy motherfuckers really are going to get *all* of us killed. There's going to be a crisis that builds to a confrontation that terminates in a cliff, and they're going to leap off of it in full Johnny Reb battle cry. Yay-hoo, the same yay-hoo that echoed from Slim Pickens riding the Bomb in over Laputa in Dr. Strangelove.

This time? The worst that the dumb fucks are going to be able to do is to get us in trouble. Deep trouble. But survivable. That's progress of a halfwitted sort.

Anonymous said...

Well.....no....

When the popularity figures gets down to , ohhh.... around 33 or so, i'm damned glad i no longer live near (downwind) of New York.

Lurch

US Blues said...

Gives new meaning to the term "sore loser." You recently suggested that parhaps Lincoln should have used the war money to instead purchase all the slaves from the South, free them, and let the Republic split. Hmm, that would make a good Sci-Fi novel DG, something to chew on in your spare time...

jedwards said...

wow. driftglass your mind is a veritable fountain of prose. that hits ya smack in the face.
i keep asking myself, "now what do i do?" one of my teachers, a wise old lakota holy man, gilbert walking bull, recently advised me to keep praying.
so i do.
thanks for the reinforcement.

driftglass said...

us blues,
What is this "spare time" of which you speak? :-)

jedwards,
thanks. and do keep praying.

Raenelle said...

That explains, then, their contempt for Massachusetts (the cradle of abolition) and seeing Kerry as a wimp and Bush as a bold leader (any Southern boy can wup 10 Yankees).

Anonymous said...

The big irony is that Bush is not a Southern boy at all. Tries hard to be one, though.

pookapooka said...

You got yer drugs mixed up ... peyote & acid will confront you with the unvarnished truth, and dare you not to look at it in the face.

It's more of a what-me-worry coked out situation.

Dot said...

Whoooa! Wow!! Never considered this perspective. It smacks right though. Truly and really. (There was a time during the 60s and the Civil Rights/Black Rights movements, when a Black friend said to me (who's White): "Well, what's the worst they could do to us?" I replied: "Don't you think there are people in the country who would want to round up all the Blacks into one area, maybe Nevada or somewhere, and just nuke it?" He, being a highly moral person, thought this was ridiculous. The older I get, the more I fear I am right.)

This is a deeply thoughtful post. I really disturbs me. But there is a regional/class pathology that buys into the idea of don't ever tell me I'm wrong; I'll keep at my failures and my lies forever. You are wrong to tell the truth.

rosebuddear said...

Hey if you were watching today then you saw Pat Robertson call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez.........a democratically elected leader this country has tried to depose TWICE now.and failed....what's his big crime.? Socialism..at least in their eyes...trying to redistribute oil wealth to benefit the poor...............

I am just so disgusted with these people.......

When I was up in Canada, I saw a tape which my Canadian fiance made from a documentary made on Canadian TV..those people got it right.........it's out there online .........if you google "The Revolution will not be Televised" then you will find it.

Hugo Chavez was a democratically elected President which our CIA is trying really hard to depose because he is doing right by the people of his country.

Rose

rosebuddear said...

And now that I got that little rant out of the way, which ties right into the the whole theme of this, really, because what is Hugo Chavez but a huge slap in the face to them all? He stood up to them and survived, 2, count em, 2 coups which were both engineered by the CIA.

You really hit on here something Driftglass, you really did. All this animosity is really just aimed at all damn Yankees.............you substitute any half a dozen words for the word "liberal" and you got your wingers in a nutshell.

I knew a guy from Massachusetts in the service who got out of the military and settled in South Carolina. I went down to visit him a few years ago..getting nostalgic for the old days and visiting old military pals........he was spouting off justifications for the Confederacy like he was Nathan Bedford Forrest, or something, and he took me for a little tourist trip of the area proudly pointing out all the former plantations, whose land owners are now all the rich (insert word here that I don't want to use in polite company) in the area that he knows. It was like he was brainwashed.

I will never voluntarily set foot in the South again. No offense to anybody here who is from there, but they will never get another penny of my tourist dollar.

Rose

rosebuddear said...

Marquer? Your post was great, but I wouldn't be too sure about us just getting into "survivable" trouble this time.

I think these people really deeply and badly want to throw a nuke at somebody, anybody, just to establish the fact that they can do it. And I am not sure they will be able to resist that urge while they are in office.

Rose

Jim said...

...it is a war began by a Southern President

Haha. I'm reading the Graham Greene novel The Quiet American right now and he's scathing about what dupes the Americans were....in 1952 (when Greene was in Saigon). I watched the Caine/Fraser version recently and it was just heartbreaking; a disaster played out in slow motion. I'm madly in love with Michael Redgrave these days and I'm trying to track down a copy of his version, which Greene loathed.

Yeah, Southern preznits. How's about a Constitutional amendment banning *that*?

jurassicpork said...

You fucking prick. I was just about to make a Sin City posting on my blog. What, do we have conjoined minds, or something? Now I'm gonna look like a plagiarist!

Wait, that didn't hurt Joe Biden, any...

...now I try to be amused said...

"South Carolina is too small to be a republic and too large to be an insane asylum." -- James Petigru on secession, 1860.

davids said...

Found a copy of The Clansman yesterday. It's the book D.W. Griffiths'
Birth of a Nation was based on. The blurb on the back touted it as
an historical romance of the Klan, claiming that the South had fallen into such
lawlessness during reconstruction that the planter class had to become nightriders
to defend the widows and orphans of the fallen Confederate soldiers from marauding
black savages.
This reissue came from Pelican Press and was copyrighted 2001. Motherfuckers never
give up. What's tragic about this is that Pelican is not some fringe operation
run out of some guys' garage but is a medium size press with 500 titles in print,
including many travel and business books.

Soundacious said...

"and the Southern Republican Man smiles his dimwit, gimlet smile..."

"dimwit, gimlet smile..."

I didn't hear anything you said after that line. It was too fuckin' fantastic.

Loveandlight said...

Davids:

That novel, as offensive as it is, is of some historical interest, as Birth of a Nation was the Star Wars of its day. Sadly enough.

Gone With the Wind was also an attempt to use the big screen to rehabilitate the Old South.

farang said...

You're serious? You believe Southerners equate Bush with Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee? Well, vote me one southerner born and raised near Lee's home that thinks that thought bizarre, ok?

See, you must be a more intense student of the Civil War than I, because I was unaware of the solid support of all southerners the Jefferson Davis had. On the other hand, if Davis was seen as an ineffectual, "War President" who failed at every task.... Perhaps it is so..but Bush as proxy for Robert E. Lee?

I dunno...again, by placing the two in a historical context, you do great injustice to the Lee family, one of those old families that assisted in the forming of our nation. You seem so certain Lee fought against Lincoln because he desperately wanted to preserve slavery. I lean towards Lee didn't like a Centralized Government ordering his state to conform. Heaven forbid a Retired General now should see any idiocy in Bush's military strategy, yeah?

Yes, it is obvious by the voting pattern that there is a philosophical, idealogical split in our nation.

Not sure it is symbolic of much more than entrenched voting fraud, to be honest with ya.

I would agree with you that the threats, the language of hate, coming from the christocrats and the Red states is NOT to be underestimated or ignored. Especially not ignored.

But, I don't see a threat of internal conflict. At least, not against anything but the Centralized Government power.

driftglass said...

farang,
Not a literal proxy, no. You're quite right about that. But as a rallying point to tell the North to fuck off; definitely. Bush isn't just bad; he is arguably the worst President in modern history and the stupidest an most dangerously incompetent man ever to hold the office...and he carried Dixie to the screaming adulation of millions for whom the "Noble Cause" is still a central organizing principle, despite the fact that it was a despicable cause.

Iraq is a disaster -- by any measure. The reasons we are in Iraq have proven to be lies -- by any measure. And the man who lied us into disaster...carried Dixie to the screaming adulation of millions for whom the "Noble Cause" is still a central organizing principle, despite the fact that it was a despicable cause.

I'd be willng to accept congential idiocy as an alternate theory; at least that's curable.

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The personal development industry has never been bigger! It consists of a myriad of authors basically telling us how to improve our lives. We are constantly being told self help and self improvement has never been easier. New techniques, gadgets and potions adorn the shelves of new age shops and the 1 billion dollar industry, that is personal development, offers many different approaches to help better our lives. They offer ways to increase our bounty and ultimately alter our own reality. A great example of this is how to develop a Prosperity Consciousness. But does this state really exist and if it does will it bring the effortless unlimited wealth promised?
A lot has been written about prosperity and how to attain it. We have been told by many religious traditions and every personal development guru that the Universersal Source (God, Spirit, Cosmic Mind or whatever label you chose to give it) is boundless wealth. We are also told that abundance, wealth and prosperity are our birthright! Why then are so many people ill, broke, frustrated and unfulfilled? Can a person really develop a prosperity consciousness and effortlessly attract wealth? Well as with everything in life there is only one way to find out. Test it for yourself!
Before we can attain and then test the effectiveness of having a prosperity consciousness we need to understand some basic truths. Let's start by explaining three fundamentals of personal development namely; 1. The Universal Source is all wealth, abundance and prosperity; 2. Prosperity is our birthright; 3. You get more of what you focus on.
1. Why are we told that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth? - Because the Universal Source is the consciousness of the Universe - a universe that is still expanding. It is the driving force behind physical reality. It created everything you see, hear, touch and smell as well as all that we are unaware of (microwaves, radiation, air etc.). It has been stated in religious and metaphysical traditions that this intelligence is not only the Source of everything but that it is also the substance of it! It creates the Universe from itself! It is omnipresent (everywhere present). That means that the entire seen and unseen aspects of the universe are a part of this Universal Source. Science reaffirms this theory as it states that nothing is solid and everything is just one mass of pure energy that vibrates at different frequencies and gives the illusion of separateness.
So we can now claim that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth, abundance and prosperity with some belief. For if this Source is the very substance of everything then it is all the wealth, abundance and prosperity that exists at this very moment!
Ok so far? Now lets look at the second point - prosperity is our birthright.
2. If this Universal Intelligence is the source and substance of all things then there can be only one intelligence in the Universe. Jesus said to his disciples "know ye not that you are the temple of the living God?" Buddha attained enlightenment and "oneness". The list of these religious teachings are too numerous to mention but their message remains the same - God (Universal Substance) resides within and around us. It's very substance makes up our physical body and the world around us - "For in him we live, move and have our being" Acts17:28. Therefore, if this Universal Source is at the very core of our being and is the substance from which we take physical form then it stands to reason that we are connected to everyone else and in fact everything else around us - we are a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the universe. Just as your hand or foot is a part of your body, so every grain of sand, blade of grass, wisp of wind, bar of gold and brick that is laid in a mansion is part of you. The unlimited wealth of the universe is yours for the claiming. It is already yours, always has been and always will be. It is a part of you.
Ok let's go the third point - you get more of what you focus on.
3. "It never rains but it pours", is a saying I have used myself in the past. Have you ever wondered why such a statement appears to be true? Well metaphysics and religion tell us that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" or as Job cried out to God "For that which I greatly feared has come upon me". What we focus our conscious attention on increases! Don't believe me? Test it for yourself! If you can muster up the strength to do it then think in negative terms for a week. Judge everything that happens to you in negative terms and think only of a negative outcome and watch what happens in your world!!! This is a relatively easy experiment as we are conditioned to think negatively by the world. A word of warning though - once you prove that your focus determines your reality stop thinking negative thoughts as best you can.
I will not go into the 'hows' of why our focus has such a profound influence on our lives (that would be the subject of a book or perhaps a future article) just prove to yourself that it does. A clue can be found in the teachings of Jesus when he said "The Kingdom of heaven is within".
So now we have the three principles of the prosperity consciousness explained let's put it to work. The attainment of a prosperity consciousness is relatively simple - just think on the first two principles until you fully understand them and integrate them into your consciousness. As you focus on them you will discover that your feelings of lack disappear and you begin to feel a connection with everything around you. It is really just an attitude shift - nothing metaphysical or mystical about it at all. You begin to consciously realize that everything is a part of you. Your focus changes from poverty to wealth.
If it helps make a list of affirmations that correspond to the two principles outlined e.g. "God is the Source and substance of everything", "I am at one with everyone and everything around me", "I am a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the Universe" etc. Don't just rhyme them off in a parrot like manner, think on them and realize the scientific or spiritual truths behind them.
Will it work? Well I can say now that if you follow the above instructions a real change will happen in you. You will start to see the beauty of the world and the unlimited resources that are available within and around you. Will you attain wealth, abundance and prosperity? Test it for yourself! personal-development.info

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