Waiting for the Parade

Citing Lt. William Calley serving less than 4 years under house arrest for his role in the execution of more than 500 Vietnamese villagers at My Lai, and Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, arguing that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children as a result of US sanctions were “worth it” to advance US policy in the Middle East, Jeffrey St Clair at Counterpunch argues: “Americans have a remarkable tolerance for child slaughter, especially the mass murders of the children of others.”

“Now the guns are being turned on America’s own children and the rivers of blood streaming out of US schools cause barely a ripple in our politics.”

It’s an extended tragedy of endemic violence from a country immersed in death.

And how do you interact with this level of paranoia and delusion?

There’s an orthodoxy that the Trump voter needs to be understood, listened to and acknowledged.

But there’s a person in this interview that, when asked by Oprah Winfrey to specify why she said she feels “safer” under President Trump than under President Obama starts out by saying that now she’s allowed to say “Merry Christmas”.

I’m not sure where you’re supposed to go from there?

Donald Trump Jnr is in India. Donald Trump Jr. arrives in India on a week-long visit to help attract buyers for his family’s luxury apartments. He is on the telly and says:

“You go through a town…. you can see the poorest of the poor and there’s still a smile on their face.”

So here we sit, waiting for Trump’s Parade, estimated cost $30 million – and Laura (her of the safe ‘Merry Christmas’) says:

“Safer means that I’m not gonna have regulations after regulations after regulations that are gonna outdo my budget. I don’t make any money. I’m poor. So when I mean I don’t make, I probably make less than anyone at this table. You know, my heat bills go up. My electricity goes up. I guess it makes me feel economically safer that Trump’s in office.”

It’s not clear what regulations she means. It just sounds like she’s been brainwashed.

And yet whilst the default position looking at America is: Despair, there’s maybe glimmers of hope.

As the author of the American Carnage piece says: “We have stepped in death so deep we’ve made a virtue of it.”

And yet Florida school shooting survivor Cameron Kasky challenging Sen. Marco Rubio asks:

“Can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?” has the look and feel of a Ceaușescu  moment for the toxic American elite.

 

These people look shell-shocked (and I don’t mean the kids who’ve just escaped death). I mean the politicians for whom this has been a point of constitutional, financial and psychopathic security.

The crisis of American death culture looks to be sudden and catastrophic. Even in the paranoid world where mainstream America is a sub-culture of Jim Jones morphing in to Alex Jones, there is, it seems, a limit. Tonight First National Bank dumped the NRA, saying it will no longer issue a NRA Visa card. A name and shame boycott of associated businesses (a la Stop Funding Hate seems the obvious route).

That limit may have been reached with the idea of ‘crisis actors’ and desperate churn that everything that doesn’t equate with your own fantasies is a ‘False Flag’ building a bigger and bigger more ridiculous conspiracy to protect you from your own insignificance.

When online post-truthism spills into daylight it does seem so awkward and awful you wonder how it ever gained traction.

Our radio waves had earnest discussion this morning with broadcasters asking plaintively, and apparently in all seriousness: “Is arming teachers the way to go…”

As Umair Haque writes, this is really about a sort of Death Economy:

“Have you ever wondered how the economy can be doing well — while kids massacre each other regularly at schools? After all, an “economy,” if it’s anything at all, is about how well we live. And yet, American economics presents us with a strange paradox: people’s lives can be falling apart while the economy roars.

Why is that? Let’s consider the example of school shootings. What happens in response to each one? Well, “active shooter drills” are now sold to schools. That’s a whole new industry. Gun sales roar and gun stocks soar. Parents spend more money monitoring their kids, trying to keep them safe — even buying them bulletproof gear. So the economy grows — even as kids become less and less safe by the day.

Doesn’t that make you a little uncomfortable? Isn’t that a little, well, intuitively wrong that an economy should “grow” on the back of dead kids, while the living one and their parents are overwhelmed by anxiety, insecurity, and dread? In what sane universe does selling a school an “active shooter drill” count as beneficial economic activity?”

The problem is, as we know, that the more spiral into this madness the more difficult it is to re-frame or recover our own sanity.

But credibility is draining out of the gun lobby and their political wing faster than you can discharge an AK47.

Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic may have been replaced with the Revolver, Remington and Ruger – the 3 Rs according to – but what seemed impossible yesterday seems really probable today, and when this sickening gun culture is defeated it will look inevitable and we will wonder why it didn’t happen a long time ago.

The answer, as it always is, and as Cameron Kasky pointed out is money

But if the NRA become the toxic brand they inexplicably aren’t already, then the dollar will drain from the undrained swamp faster than you can say ‘Ratners’.

 

 

Comments (10)

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  1. Alan says:

    America is a big place. There isn’t a uniform gun culture across the country. There are states that have quite strong gun laws, much lower gun-related death rates and where politicians aren’t beholden to the NRA. In the states with next to no gun laws and high rates of gun deaths, I rather doubt that the NRA will become a toxic brand any time soon.

  2. J Galt says:

    You pays your money and you choose your fantasy.

    Questioning the reality of events such as the Kennedy assassination for instance, or challenging the secret state was once as much “alt left” as “alt right” – now however it’s seen as exclusively “alt right”.

    It’s amazing that now from the left side comes this idea that if you in any way question events as officially portrayed you are a moronic right wing tinfoil hat wearing loon.

    Even internationally respected left leaning figures such as John Pilger are ignored or even derided if they point out that the Emperor has no clothes such as in the recent Russiagate shite – belief in which is now compulsory if you dislike Trump.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      That’ll be J. Galt the character in Ayn Rand’s far-right cult novel, ‘Atlas Shrugged’, not J. Galt the talented Scottish novelist and social chronicler?

      1. J Galt says:

        No, it’s another J Galt altogether, a real one like the Greenock writer (‘Ringan Gilhaize’ – now there is a novel!), but currently living in Ayrshire and not writing novels.

        I have ploughed my way through an Ayn Rand novel, not ‘Atlas Shrugged’ but the one about the architect, ‘The Fountainhead’. Turgid isn’t the word, I won’t be repeating the experience.

        1. Graeme Purves says:

          Touché! And here’s me suspecting that it was a crafty online persona! I read somewhere else that Rand’s novels demand perseverance and fortitude. On reflection, Percy Verance might have some potential.

          1. J Galt says:

            I was thinking of reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – not because I like libertarian capitalist theory but because I like trains!

            But on second thoughts….

  3. SleepingDog says:

    It’s not called the Great Satan for nothing. What has changed recently is not the suppurating evil but the allowability of some mainstream criticism of USAmerican domestic policy which was traditionally suppressed in the UK. I remember being called anti-American by peers during my Scottish comprehensive schooldays for voicing what I suppose was merely well-informed criticism. While the one chap in our year who was openly pro-Soviet was ridiculed.

    What I find striking is how much the protection US atrocities still get in many historical documentaries when describing a Cold War mentality that somehow blinded policy-makers, academics and generals to the falsity of their premises and logic (that democracy had to be crushed to prevent Communism, towns had to be destroyed to save their inhabitants, building the capacity for nuclear Armageddon many times over was the only way to peace, and so on). Ridiculous! These people created that mindset. It’s as farcical as suggesting that any mass-murder of groups of civilians was due to an unfortunately mistaken assumption about their dangerousness.

    I recently read of historian Howard Zinn’s account of the Allied napalming of the French town of Rayon in the last days of WW2, which he took part in. Unlike other late-war Allied bombings, there could be no rationale of “ending the war quickly” or “saving lives”. Here the intent to test new weapons was nakedly on show. Perhaps they were interested in the effects on children; napalm was of course heavily used in Vietnam years later.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_siege_of_La_Rochelle#Allied_offensive_against_German_“Atlantic_pockets”

  4. Willie says:

    And the orthodox thinking from Trump is to arm all primary teachers.

    Couldn’t agree more but why stop there. Every five year old upwards should have the right to bear arms.

    That,ll stop the nonsense.

  5. Grafter says:

    On a domestic level the manufacturers of weaponry and their collosal profits are not to be interfered with and the price is paid in American lives. This is a problem the citizens of America need to address themselves. Where I take exception to is the continuation of this on an international scale. American imperialism backed up by their MIC is now a serious threat to all who want to exist peacefully on this planet. Their psycopathic behaviour for world domination needs to be stopped sooner rather than later.

  6. Ian says:

    Rather than a culture of Death or at least one soaked in Death, it might be clearer to consider it, at its foundation, a Culture of Theft. An acceptance that the only way to gain value is to steal it and this at ANY cost, including – but not limited to – death.

    We call theft by pretty names, but at the core, the culture expects that to gain something one must take it from others. If our stock portfolio does well, then others will have lost for us to gain. If company profits are up, then workers have done more then they were compensated for or customers were enticed to pay more than they should or for things they don’t need. Culture expects to freely trade the people for services that make others rich, and this is normal. People know they have been taken and this is normalized, so then take from others as the Just outcome of the social contract. Taxes are low because people have managed to ‘win’ the game of dodging them and didn’t support the government by stealing from our fellow citizens. And on it goes. The hero is the thief and wealth is concentrated to the few. The culture doesn’t like this image, so it uses the language of merit and achievement, pretending that success comes from the clever, the wise and the hardworking, while it is rather the lucky and the merciless. So those who suffer or die as their value is stolen are merely the unlucky or inept.

    When theft is acknowledged or is egregious in its effect, simply blame the victim, they should have taken more care, because everyone knows that everyone is out to Take. The Culture doesn’t protect the weak, and they shouldn’t expect otherwise. We see this in financial crises to school shootings. The culture blames the victims, because when you lose that is just your fault as everyone is out to take from you and that should be expected.

    The hero doesn’t protect the weak, the hero in the Culture is the greatest Thief. Theft brews fear, and fear foments violence, but not directed at root causes, which in turn generates new opportunities for theft and greater apprehension and fear.

    Where does the Culture place Value and on what? The outcome from this shouldn’t be surprising, but Culture will look anywhere, but to the root cause for answer…

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