Posts tagged Inga.
Canadians were not raised by people whose fathers raped, murdered, and pillaged Vietnamese lives and then came home with all their nightmares intact. Canadians do not teach schoolchildren that the death of one hundred thousand japanese via the atomic bomb was “necessary.” That the death of one million Iraqis was to ‘protect freedom.’ That’s why the US is more violent than Canada. We validate and facilitate violence every day and have done so throughout our history.
Here is an example of how entitlement plays out in the US.
Bristow, Oklahoma, is a small town like many towns.
My cousin grew up there, after a six-year stint in Santa Maria. She liked Bristow well enough, with its jewelry store, clothing shops, cafes, a hardware store, drugstore, and all the other little local businesses that make a small town a self-sustaining economic ecosystem.
And then Wal-Mart invaded and colonized and homogenized the little town of Bristow. The government and Wal-Mart are great friends. Numerous federal laws, loopholes, and corrupt kickbacks pad Wal-Mart’s coffers, as they set about destroying pristine little local communities such as Bristow.
As the businesses closed, a ghost town took its place: shuttered windows, plywood storefronts. Everyone was forced to shop at Wal-Mart, where every product is made in China. All money flows out of the local community and out of the country. Every product is identical in every Wal-Mart in every town across the nation.
Then Super Wal-Mart dropped a bomb on little Bristow. The regular Wal-Mart would be closing, leaving a corrugated steel carcass and acres of drought-causing pavement behind. When the US dropped atomic bombs on Japan, “Little Boy,” stripped Hiroshima, and three days later, “Fat Man,” obliterated Nagasaki.
This is kind of like that.
Super Wal-Mart offers bioengineered Monsanto-sourced robo-food, evil-pharmaceutical corporation drugs, and cut-rate medical care via Wal-Mart doctors.
The only jobs available are through Wal-Mart, which has an agreement with the government about health care. Wal-Mart agrees to pay their employees little enough so that they are eligible for medical coupons. The US government and taxpayers, then, pay for Wal-Mart’s employee health program.
This doesn’t look like a brutal occupation, given the slow death of broken spirits, and it doesn’t smell like an occupation, so long as you avoid wandering around what used to be your town, and it doesn’t sound like an occupation, unless someone documented each scene in each family’s home when they realized Wal-Mart had destroyed their livelihood and edited it all into a time-lapse documentary. Nonetheless, it is a brutal occupation.
The result is a conquered land and a colonized and —what is most damaging—deeply assimilated population. Many folks do, after all, love Wal-Mart and would defend the very thing that destroyed their community with their last dying breath.
This is presently one of the hallmarks of people in the US: we demand politicians who are going to fuck us over, and we fight for the right to be shafted by corporations.
We actively partake in our own abuse and demise as a civilization.
We think of it as “moving forward.”
I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, but that is because I have the luxury of living in a place where there are plenty of other options. If I had no recourse, I would probably fight to get Wal-Mart out of my community, as many, many people have throughout the years. People such as Al Norman of Sprawl-Busters, Charles Smith of Wal-Ocaust and Wal-Qaeda T-shirt fame, the glorious souls at WalMartWatch.com, and Teamsters and Raging Grannies pretty much everywhere.
People in Mexico, Canada and the UK are none too pleased with Wal-Mart, either.
There’s no Constantine here. The US is, instead, an intricate series of microempires, and the visions we forcefully thrust on others are generally considered to be nonviolent, friendly sounding things like “free markets,” and “globalization.”
All the same, we have a genetic past that we can’t (or don’t want to) shake, which promotes new and improved forms of invading and colonizing.
Here in the US we rose magnificently and are presently falling in the manner of olden-time empires.
These friends are not like other friends. You count on these friends, and they count on you. In combat, your friends are the people who make sure you stay alive or who retrieve your body so your family will have someone to bury. They are much more important than civilian friends. If you see one of these friends doing something horrifying — raping, humiliating, beating, killing — you don’t tell. You keep your mouth shut and learn to deal with it. If you see limbless children laying in pools of blood, dead pregnant women, life snuffed before your very eyes again and again — well, it is painful. But you are in no position to allow yourself the luxury of feeling pain. So maybe you bottle it up and maybe you join in and do terrible things that you very well know would break your mother’s heart.
You look awe while something horrible is happening to someone and your gut is clenching because you want to stop it, but you know you are completely powerless to do anything. You witness or perpetuate horrible acts of violence. You are raped or relentlessly sexually terrorized. All these things exact a huge toll on our men and women in uniform.
If not now, then in the future for, without therapy, it will definitely show up in their children.
And you know, when a soldier comes home, wouldn’t that be surreal? Everyone acting like you have not seen a child’s head explode because no one else is haunted by such images, nor do they want to be, nor are they capable of hearing you deal with all the things you have seen. And even if you are blessed with sensitive, caring, listeners, you probably won’t be able to talk about it for awhile. You need to adjust, but there is no buffer zone for you, there is no safe harbor.
So buck up, get a job, go to school, and act normal.
I can see how and why soldiers might reach critical mass and set off concentric explosions of violence in their homes or communities.