Pleasure in Pain


by "Time and Circumstance"


So much flippancy in the face of suffering. We all sit in judgment, deciding who among the savages deserve censure.

Revenge is a powerful motivator - on both sides...planes into buildings, invasion of Nation, routing of Government, refocus, retrenchment and lies, retreat in the face of overwhelming force, shock and awe, collateral damage, atrocities, colonialism, dictatorship disguised as democracy, US military bases, "terrorist" insurgency, the "gift of freedom" for brown skinned people, war for the people of Iraq morphing into war against Iraq, artificial date for an artificial granting of sovereignty to the Iraqi "government".

On whose authority does the CPA operate? What grants Paul Bremer's occupying governmental apparatus the barest hint of legitimacy? Is his tenure in Iraq the political equivalent of Dubya's occupation of the White House?


We are all captives of time. Prisoner abuse. The beheading of an American civilian in Iraq. They become juxtaposed; intertwined. One builds upon the other in the popular imagination. Individual frames overlap into a seamless montage of painful point/outraged counterpoint. I can visualize the picture clearly of the idealized American of the blond-haired, blue-eyed persuasion striving to bursting to communicate his displeasure - holding a photo of the young Mr. Berg at his most unfortunate, competing for emotional supremacy against the fictionalized Islamist zealot armed with an equal measure of outrage and holding the photo of a Father holding the ripped and shredded body of his young daughter in his arms.

Who holds more claim on outrage? Are the deaths of our children more tragic than the deaths of theirs? Does our (kind of) declaring war - but not in the legal sense - against terrorism make all the mangled, shredded, ripped and vaporized People of the Middle East more palatable in the moral and legal sense than the rough hewn and personal murder of a Daniel Pearl or Nicholas Berg?

War in all of its manifestations is a supremely brutal exercise. I shiver at the wild abandon so many in this World - on BOTH sides - greeted the news of impending carnage. War is political expression at gunpoint. Unfortunately, the ignorant and the apathetic are not afforded the luxury of sitting out this particular political process. We are all swept up into war's cavernous maw.

...perhaps some day; in some far distant future it will be mad Ares himself who is strapped down and made to feel helpless in his quest for destruction...

...although, sadly, that dream is as real as Ares himself - or for that matter Jesus (the "Prince of Peace") who shall return with a fiery sword or some such shit...