Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

I couldn't find the quote in an online search, but recall reading one political writer -- I want to say a British contemporary of Orwell -- who noted that even in the most oppressive totalitarian societies you'll find plenty of mundane ordinary life, and happy families going out for Sunday picnics. It's an understandable, even common, reaction -- Marjane Satrapi, in her Persepolis novels about the Iranian Islamic revolution and its aftermath, noted that after the revolutionaries consolidated their grip on power, those who survived the liquidations mostly kept their heads down and grabbed what personal happiness they could.

And where "personal happiness" is concerned I really have nothing to complain about, especially not at the start of the holiday season. So all last week I busied myself with cozy domestic tasks: decorating the tree, buying and hiding gifts, filling boxes for the canned food drive. I did this knowing that airports across the country have jackboots sexually assaulting travelers and drawing TSA salaries for the privilege. I did this while the manufactured outrage my media colleagues demonstrate over the unfolding Wikileaks story demonstrates their continued willingness to gaslight America and write apologias for those who violated every principle America once stood for. I only paused long enough to write a brief Guardian column about the Republican-manufactured art scandal at the Smithsonian, but even then my usual outrage mellowed into a disinterested "Yeah, they're hypocrites. Whatever."

Brooding over government misdeeds, ranting over government misdeeds -- none of it does any good. Especially not during the holidays. Why not grab what happiness I can? Why be such a cynic? Focus on the silver lining rather than the cloud.

Like the latest Wikileaks revelation: apparently American contractors pimped out some prepubescent little boys to serve as sex toys at Pashtun warlord parties. Certainly there are criticisms one might levy against such practices, but with my new glass-half-full optimism I recognize that from a realpolitik perspective this is actually one of the smartest moves we've made since the war started. Face it: America's "win hearts and minds" campaign clearly isn't working. The best we can hope for now is to win over a few powerful dicks.

4 Comments:

Anonymous NoStar said...

A government that pimps out young boys to be sodomized in order to maintain its empire and world-wide military influence cannot be trusted to protect the safety, nor the liberties of its own citizens.

Bill LaVern Kalles

9:18 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Of course it can't, Bill. But then, this is the same government that hires high-school dropouts to molest innocent people in airports. It is no longer worthy of honor.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Russ 2000 said...

The US was able to start AND END the Afghan War On Little Boys (or is it end AND START?) within a 20-year span.

Perhaps there's hope of ending the War On Drugs here at home.

/sarcasm

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An Obama sanctioned pimping of little boys!! Where is the MSM?

3:03 PM  

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