21 May 2009

I call shenanigans

I'm afraid of a lot of things. Fire, deep water, heights, death, my future, being alone in a strange city knowing no one, unwound cassette tapes. The whole gamut. I'm pretty much an expert on fear.

Yet I've never lost a wink of sleep worrying about being killed by a stray terrorist.

And I suspect no one else has, either.

So with all due respect to Glennzilla, who correctly marvels over the marvelous pants-pissing proficiency of our Gruff and Serious foreign policy establishment over the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to prisons in the United States, I don't believe real fear of turr'sts is a motivating factor. Yes, I'm saying Bedwetter Nation is a put-on. An affectation if you will. You see, it's not actually possible for someone to feel genuine fear over terrorism. You have a better chance of suffocating in the frozen food section of the supermarket. People know this instinctively. Assessing real threats is necessary for survival.

No, we exaggerate the fear of terrorism because we need an enemy. A real enemy, a dangerous enemy to give us our own history-defining war. In fact, the stupid jock posturing has been made worse by the fact that there is hardly any real danger. It's little more than a game to the great American Empire, and everyone on the cable chat shows knows it. Give them a real enemy with the power to cause a serious crisis to our survival as a society, and the screaming plump blowhards would get much more somber.

Remember the words of G..K Chesterton.

"It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people. First, it is a small power, and fights small powers. Then it is a great power, and fights great powers. Then it is a great power, and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity. After that, the next step is to become a small power itself."

No, we're not afraid. But we need something to make small powers great.

And, of course, to have a reaosn to hate brown people for being brown.