March 28, 2003

Sad Friday

Every day is sad now. There is a pall over everything these days with the death regime in place carrying out its plan, trying to consolidate its power over the world, pounding the Iraqi people. Even this beautiful, radiant spring is darkened.

And all the lies. They just wear you down. It's such a constant affront to rationality, to sanity. AOL ugh! One of many propaganda voices of the corporate military state constantly pounding mental garbage into your brain. It takes a great deal of mental fortitude to navigate through this insane, polluted cultural environment.

This morning AOL is telling us the "Bunker Buster" bombs are being used on Iraq. That makes me shudder. Bunker Buster was a name they were giving to nuclear weapons at one time. These may not be them, but you know they are horrific. You know these madmen are going to just increase the raw force of this attack until they quell resistance. That is their goal, and they do have enormous power under their control, unthinkable power. They are massively sadistic and for all practical purposes insane.

Nothing worse has ever happened to this planet than this Bush administration.

Last night AOLBigBrother was barking that "Saddam fights dirty..." Is attacking defenseless children dirty to these people? Is lying about your reasons for doing it dirty? Is using forged documents to justify killing innocent people dirty? Is it dirty telling people Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden work together when there is no evidence that it's true? Is using the UN to disarm a country then attacking it against the will of the UN dirty? Is using the Supreme Court to stop vote counting to seize power when you weren't elected dirty? Is a massive telephone drive telling voters that John McCain is an insane wife beater and child molestor dirty?

These guys are the kings of dirty. They invented dirty. They are so dirty they make horse dung look positively delicious by comparison.

But there are some good things. Last night I went to Riverside Church in Manhattan to WBAI's tribute to Martin Luther King and a "night of resistance." It's the church where King gave his "Beyond Vietnam" speech one year before his death in 1968. It's an absolutely glorious church with a giant Gothic tower that is visible from a great distance. It was very comforting to be there. It would be at any time, but it was especially comforting to be there with a community of people dedicated to stopping the war and returning democracy to the US.

The speakers included a great variety of very strong voices. I got there late because I didn't realize that the uptown Seventh Avenue express divides with the local at 96th Street and heads east. So when I got out, thinking I was about four blocks from the church, I was really about 12 blocks from it. I missed the great Jimmy Breslin, who was scheduled to be there. Pete Seeger was there. Tom Chapin sang his children's song about "This Pretty Planet," and it was very comforting. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now gave a rousing speech. And the big hit of the evening was Michael Moore. He actually got people laughing hard, rising to their feet and applauding. He aroused in people a great feeling of hopefulness.

He said he wanted to finish "the speech I started the other night." He reviewed what he had said then and went on beyond where the band had started and drowned him out. "The kids at Columbine learned a big lesson this week," he said. "They learned that it's okay to kill someone if you don't like him. It was a sad lesson."

He also complained about how many generals and corporals are on the news shows now all the time. "The military has invaded the news media!" he said. "I think we should get the military out of the news media!"

The grand finale of his speech was when he got out his cell phone and called the White House. He held the phone to the microphone and he said, "When someone answers I want you all to say two words: 'Time's Up!'" It was exhilarating. The crowd practically levitated. It was a glorious moment of hope.

Moore is great because he projects a sense of the possibilities of intelligence. He is evidence of the power of intelligence to accomplish things. And he is an embodiment of fearlessness. He lacks any of the common impulse to conform to ways of thinking that are pervasive in the culture but make no sense.

On the way home I went through Port Authority bus terminal and was struck by seeing a large number of soldiers dressed in camouflage uniforms carrying machine guns. Some of them looked like kids, but very well-armed kids. Shades of the New Police State. Not exactly comforting since "terrorist" is defined as anyone who doesn't go along with the Bush program with great enthusiasm.

On the bus to Hoboken some young blonde prepster sat next to me with her cell phone tightly pressed to the side of her face. She was talking to a boyfriend it sounded like from the nervousness with which she asked him if he was sharing a ride home with "coworker". She then went on to other things. "Oh yeah, they had a 'die-out' or something? A 'die-in'? God. Don't these people have jobs? It's so crazy."

She didn't seem imaginative enough to think how someone might have a job and still be somewhere at 9 a.m. besides in an office behaving oneself like a good obedient subject. And I'm sure it is entirely beyond her why the mass murder of innocents by her government should be a cause of such concern that it would cause someone to do something so "crazy" as disrupt normal routines and attend a demonstration. Then she went on to talk of matters that were of concern to her. Her friend, she said, was so upset because the clothing items she was trying to order from a catalogue were not in stock. It was just so frustrating. Seems like the things she wants are never in stock.

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