Nationalists, Bigots, and Other Idiots

The thing which scares me almost as much as the potential for more terrorist attacks possible economic collapse, etc: the yahoos who are walking around acting so gleeful and excited about the possibility of a major war. These people are positively giddy at the prospect of “going over there and kicking some butt”, as if they were headed for a fucking football game. The testosterone flows freely.

We’ve been through a terrible tragedy and there will (and should) be a response, one both dramatic AND well-considered. But we’re not talking about a video game or a miniseries here. It’s not going to be exciting, entertaining, nor particularly fun to watch. It is not, under any circumstances, something to look forward to. And it’s not going to be over in a week.

Repeat after me: real life is not a war movie and the hero does not always survive to look sexy and get the girl in the final scene.

Patriotism and unity are one thing. Displaying an American flag while calling everyone who disagrees with you a “traitor” or “un-American” is another. It’s certainly not patriotism. Pride in one’s country is a little empty without pride in the ideals on which it was founded. It’s a little like the flag-burning debate; to many, the actual piece of cloth is more sacred than the freedom it represents. Priorities and perspective be damned.

Similarly, lashing out at anyone who looks like he just might have Islamic tendencies or Middle Eastern roots is a sign not of heroism but of plain bigotry and ignorance. Remember that big backlash against people who looked like survivalist white guys after the Oklahoma City bombing? Nope, neither do I.

OK, enough preaching for one day. Some things I love today:

  • There are now “King of the Hill” reruns five nights a week.
  • Pork chops are on sale at Safeway.
  • I got two long overdue checks in the mail today and may be able to continue eating for another few weeks.
  • The front of my building is no longer Pepto-Bismol pink.

We’re all still sad and frightened and generally anxious, but life goes on. Tomorrow, it’s back to the cynicism and saracsm you’ve come to expect in this space. Unless I change my mind…