Friday, May 21, 2004


“Here in the paper a columnist is asking why people in the US are not incensed about the torture in Iraq. Why they aren’t demanding accountability and demanding that their leaders be replaced.” Raven slurps his coffee and pecks off the corner of a cinnamon roll. “What’s your theory?”

My theory is not a theory, Rave. It’s a description based on empirical observation. Unfortunately, the majority of folks in the US are addicted to violence—either directly or as spectators. They think the US should be kicking ass around the planet. That’s what they see their heroes in the Hollywood action movies doing.

“They think they’re Rambo?”

Rambo is sort of old hat. Now the violence has been passed through the production values of Hong Kong and the sieve of computer-generated special effects, so that watching an action movie is like watching a video game on the big screen. The old, horrified responses to violent images have been replaced by excitement. It’s violence as another form of pornography. And we know with addictive behavior that the addict doesn’t want to give it up.

“So you’re saying that a lot of folks are getting their fix looking at the torture pics?”

Sure I am. When the social context is violence, when the cross-eyed cretin in the Oval Office thumps his chest and grunts, “Let’s go kick some ass”, the rest of the addicts are given permission to indulge their addiction. That’s what the soldiers and paramilitaries in Iraq are doing. And the folks at home are kicking Arab ass vicariously, living out their violent and pornographic fantasies looking at the photos and videos of torture—let’s not forget that lots of folks in the US are racist and xenophobic in the extreme. It’s the American Way.

“And people have been conditioned to live through fantasies--in front of their t.v. sets, primarily.”

And beating off to pornographic magazines—some of which have very violent components.

“I have said it before, and I will say it again: your species deserves to be eliminated from the food chain.”

Raven has given up on the cinnamon roll, tosses it into the garbage can.

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