September 23, 2004
The Courage to ThinkI received an e-mail from a friend who told me of a thought that occurred to him, a though that has his "more politically aware friends very troubled (as well as some of them thinking i'm truly insane)". He said, "sometimes i wonder if he knew about it beforehand...and that moronic look on his face, to me, is exactly like someone thinking along the lines of 'holy shit--they actually went through w/it.' and that petrified him."
He said he knew this idea was "pure wingnuttery" and he said he was "sorry and ashamed" for having thought it. Yet he couldn't hold it in, he had to tell someone. Confession is good for the soul.
I sent him a reply. Rather than explain my reaction, I will just paste my message to him here.
Okay, look. Let me be your one friend who is so fucking insane you can always say, "Well at least I'm not as bad as him..."
Your speculation into what might have been going through Bush's head is actually the most plausible explanation I have heard about that bizarre moment. What really pains me is to see how tormented you are just by the fact that you didn't suppress your imagination from this flight of fancy, which might just happen to be a flash of insight into what really was going on. This is the environment we are living in. This is how powerful these influences are in this big fishbowl where television dominates people's realities.
Why are your "more politically aware" friends "troubled"? Is it because of the mind-blowing implications of the scenario that you just suggested? Or are they troubled because you have let your mind get so out of control? If it is the former, then it is good they have opened their minds to the incredibly disturbing possibilities that stare them in the face. But if they are concerned about your mental state, I think it is they who are in grave danger. Are they really more politically aware? Or just more indoctrinated?
I liken the people who refuse to entertain the notion that the Bush regime may have done this even though there is such a tremendous amount of evidence that would indicate they did to sheep trustingly being led off to slaughter.
I will not allow myself to be so easily silenced and suppressed. Though I may have to behave myself and function within the boundaries of society, just or unjust, I at least have the freedom to maintain the integrity of my own mind.
I say congratulations that your mind is still free enough to consider that when something looks like shit, smells like shit, even tastes like shit, it may actually be shit.
Let me just make a couple more points. My friend is a much freer thinker than most Americans to even allow himself to recognize that such a thought ever crossed his mind -- such blatant thoughtcrime! (Hence the shame that has grown from being scorned repeatedly for having an open mind.) Most would never go so far as to even listen to their own thoughts when they got so out of control. This is how pervasive the corporate media propaganda has become, and this is very very bad news.
Closing one's mind to monstrous facts does not make them go away. These are extremely challenging times. Before things calm down again, we may find that we have seen the world go through a paroxysm of destruction so massive that World War II will seem quaint and innocent by comparison. "The Good War..."
At a time of such danger, it is essential to have one's wits about one at all times. Hiding in a cloud of denial is not good survival skills. It is a time when courage is required. Even thinking takes courage. In a time when the unthinkable is accomplished fact, one must not shrink back from any thought, no matter how frightening.