Someone's Gotta Preach It
2004-01-13 - 8:32 a.m.
Okay, so I need to tell you guys about my birthday on Sunday (actually, it's more of a "What YOU can do to celebrate NotoriousRRZ's birthday in the future" kinda thing, but I think you will like it). I also need to talk about Jennifer Connelly, who is the most devastatingly gorgeous woman alive, and write overdue entries on irony and Paris. But today I need to write about former Treasury Secretary O'Neil's statement that the Bush Administration planned to invade Iraq from day one of their occupation . . . I mean administration, sorry, I get those confused these days.
I need to talk about it because no one else is.
Well, okay, some intelligent people, like my mother and friends and Jon Stewart, are talking about this. But it bothers me that a lot more intelligent people are talking about other things that are, let's face it, inconsequential.
Britney Spears got married in Vegas? Who the fuck cares? No, seriously, does anyone?
As I have said many times, this site was inspired by the pop-culture musings of the Damn Hell Ass Kings, who, come to think of it, I need to post a link to, because these guys are hilarious. Anyway, one of the first articles I read written by these guys was one about the war. I really liked it at first. The author talked about how you need a few margaritas in you to even think about the war, to think about the fact that we flipped a bird the size of pterodactyl to the international community and proceeded to drop cluster bombs--a weapon banned by international law because of its tendency to leave unexploded parts behind, in effect creating land mines wherever they're dropped--on a country whose leader may be on of the top ten list of vile, putrid fuckbats in the world but whose people have done nothing to us. I liked that, because it was true. But then the author talked about how necessary it was to forget about the war, to stop thinking about it, to turn away because to face such injustice would be to burn away, to collapse into dust. In order to keep hope alive, we need to have a drink and forget about it.
Why is O'Neil's story not the biggest story since Watergate? Why are the Democratic candidates and satirists the only people saying anything? Why aren't we screaming out in the knowledge that not only has our administration planned since Day 1 to send our troops to die--because they have been dying, American soldiers have been dying, how many times do we need to hear that--but they have demonstrated incompetence on an unprecendented scale by TOTALLY SUCKING AT AN OCCUPATION THAT THEY HAD BEEN PLANNING FOR SO LONG.
Look, I know it's hard to talk about. I know not only is it scary to imagine that our governments can go to war so easily after so many demonstrations of the hellishness of war in this century alone, it's scary to think about being silenced by the government for speaking out in protest. I also know that there are a billion things we'd rather talk about. If over 9000 Chileans breaking a world record for most kisses at once really were the biggest news story right now, I would love to read about it, but it's not.
These other news stories--Jacko and Britney and everyone else--are serving to make us forget about a war we just fought. This is something that the right wing has learned to great effect. I was having lunch with my mother on my birthday, and she took a moment to curse Clinton for not keeping his dick in his pants and getting himself impeached. I put my head in my hands and had to tell her how wrong I thought she was. Nearly every poll and every civilian commentary said the same thing: who cares? Who besides Hillary, Bill, and Monica should care that the President got a blowjob? Nearly every American will tell you that they'd rather have a strong economy and a general sense of well-being about their nation under a President who's getting head from an intern than live in fear of job loss and terrorism while a saint is in office. Hell, a lot of them will go off on how the President is ENTITLED to blowjobs from interns, that if anything the Clinton's problem was that he wasn't cheating with someone glamorous enough, that if Kennedy gets Marilyn Monroe then Clinton should be sleeping with Madonna at the least, if not Michelle Pfeiffer or Catherine Zeta-Jones (on a side note, my favorite photograph ever taken is of Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses, itself a response to the tearing down of an Irish independence leader by the Catholic bishops after it was discovered he was having an affair, which resulted in another century of violence in Ireland).
In fact, the only people who seemed to believe that the American public was disgusted by Clinton's actions were the Democrats in DC, Al Gore in particular. He distanced himself from Clinton at every opportunity, promising to move away from the scandals of the 90s. Unfortunately, he threw out the baby with the bathwater, and even though he won, the margin was small enough for Bush to cover up. To this day, people still blame Clinton for shaming the office.
There are plenty of reasons to hate Clinton. Hate his lowest-common-denominator centrism and all his bad policy decisions. You know what, you can even hate him for sleeping with Monica if you really, really want to, because his betrayal of his family was indeed deplorable. There are more valid reasons than you can count. Losing Al Gore the office is not a reason to hate him. Blame that first on Bush and his cronies, second on Gore, and maybe third on Ralph Nader. Maybe.
I wonder what would happen if Bush fucked one of his interns. I wonder if the Republicans and Democrats would go ahead and demonstate a galactic level of hypocrisy and switch sides, with the Democrats calling for his head while the Republicans dismiss the inquisition as a waste of time. Because they certainly have paid no attention to every insinuation that Bush took us to war for money and vengeance and knew exactly what he was doing every step of the way.
There are apparently better things to talk about. Like spending money on a mission to Mars. There might be terrorists there, too.
Look, as I've said before and I've said again, I don't want to talk about this either. I want to talk about who I think should win the Academy Award for Best Actress (Samantha Morton for In America, or, if Laurel Canyon was counted for this year, Frances McDormand). I want to talk about why I think the Academy has a valid reason for rewarding beautiful actors who play unattractive characters. I want to talk about how much I want a woman over the age of 35 to win something for a change. The Oscar Race is underway! I'm a flaming queen! This is what matters to me!
So let's do that. Let's talk about the Academy Awards. Let's talk about the favorite film to win Best Picture, a movie that I have repeatedly said is somewhat overrated, perhaps unfairly: The Lord of the Rings.
For a long time, I felt some misgivings about the trilogy. I was bothered by the black-and-white world presented by the films, particularly when one took into account that the noble, glittering elves were almost always blond, as were most of the citizens of Rohan, and that the humans in league with Sauron wore turbans and rode elephants. I wasn't sure whether I could get behind a movie that glorified war, despite the fact, or perhaps because of the fact, that the foe was intractably aggressive and unflinchingly evil. This didn't stop me from loving the movies, but it did qualify that love, just a little bit.
Now, I agree with everyone who says that the best character is Gollum, because in no other character is the battle between good and evil waged in such a captivating way, but I have also always been a fan of Merry and Pippin. According to the books, Merry and Pippin are both from prominent Hobbit families, and I think that Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd did a great job of showing that these boys, good hearted though they may be, are rather spoiled and lazy. Yet these two go through a profound transformation in their experiences. One of my favorite parts of The Two Towers is when the Ents decide not to go to war and Pippin tries to convince Merry that it's alright, that they will simply go home to the Shire and trust Frodo to finish the job. Merry reminds Pippin that the Shire will burn if Sauron wins. Later, Pippin himself realizes that they have to face Saruman, that they have to show the Ents that they, too, will be destroyed by the union of the Two Towers. It leads to the second coolest scene in the entire trilogy after the Gollum/Smeagol debates: the Ents' assault on Isengard. It's beautiful, heroic, and one that I can't wait to show to my kids one day.
With all due respect to Billy Boyd's great performance, which I think deserves an Oscar nomination, I think I love Pippin the most because lately, I identify. I don't want to be in a battle, even if Orlando Bloom is by my side the whole time in full elf regalia and I get to shag his brains out afterwards. I don't want to be involved in politics. I don't want to get up on Saturday to go to a peace rally. I don't want to think about what's happened to my country over the last few years, and I certainly don't want to think about what we've done in the past 200 that has lead up to this. But, well, that's just what I want. I watched Angels in America the other day, which should have been released in the theaters so Al could get another Oscar and Meryl could score another nomination and I could get really pissed off that Jeffrey Wright didn't win, because he wouldn't even if he deserved it. In it, Meryl Streep plays a Mormon mother who says to her coming-out-of-the-closet son "How can you live your life by what you want when what you want changes every day? Hold to what you believe!" I've been thiking about that statement every day since.
I want to be some kind of famous artist, but I want to live a quiet life. I want to be a teacher but I don't want to waste time in a classroom. I want to have lots of sex with numerous sexy people but I want to find true love and raise a family. I get stuck because I keep thinking about what I want.
I believe that causing the death of another human being is a terrible sin, and that there had better be a damn good reason to ask soldiers or civilians to risk their lives. I believe that there is no Hell fierce enough for those willing to use a bomb that leaves pieces behind that look like a child's toy. I believe that this country was founded on ideals worth fighting for, and that those ideals are being threatened right now by our own government. I believe that most people in the world feel the same way.
If you don't believe those things, fine. Just don't come near me, and don't talk to me. I do not want to know you.
But if you do, then it's time to fight. You don't have to do it every day. But you need to scream as loud as you can when a government by consent of the governed is doing something without your consent. You need to get the buzz going, and maybe even write to an elected official or two. True, a lot of them aren't going to pay attention, but if enough people vote based on the word we spread, then they can keep ignoring us as we move their asses out of office.
Also, feel free to pick a candidate and lobby for them like it's going out of style.
I'll see you on the front lines. And if you see a peace activist who looks like Orlando Bloom, send him my way.0 comments so far The End - 2005-02-11
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