Sometimes a piece is so all over the map in terms of idiocy that there is really no comprehensive way to sum it all up and say “This is why it’s wrong.” Sometimes, the sheer amount of throw-away innuendo, general ad hom insults, brainless platitudes and taken-for-granted conspiracy nonsense just makes me look at it and shake my head and say, “Man, I’m not cleaning up this mess.” Like when your dog gets loose while you’re away and paws his way into the trash can, tracks mud all over the kitchen floor, chews on the sofa and then ceremoniously takes a dump under the kitchen table. You just really don’t know where to begin to address the problem, being overwhelmed by the sheer ubiquitous complexity of the mess.

That’s sort of how I feel about this, “As If it Matters…” The author, Bill Davis, doesn’t really have anything substantive to say, just a lot of sorta clever turns-of-phrase to dole out, and he ends up sounding like a slightly more somber, certainly more earnest, yet equally vacuous Maureen Dowd. We’re helpfully informed at the the bottom of the page that the man’s a playwright.

Well, “melodrama” doesn’t begin to describe it.

Writing and protesting have in common the fact that one has to do each as if it matters. It’s a leap of faith that words put to paper will nudge a consciousness here or there or that raising your voice against the monolithic mobilizing military machinery will somehow put the brakes on.

Alliteration like that should be made illegal. No, scratch that. Idiocy should be made illegal. I know, I know, this worries you. “But who,” you may ask plaintively . “Will write our plays then?”

Simple. Monkeys on typewriters. Lots of monkeys. Lots of typewriters.

I’m curious whether Mr. Davis recognizes that the amount of monolithoscity in our military machinery that is currently mobilizing is no greater (and probably much less substantial) than, say, his own dear protesters’ pillaresque purity of pensive philosophy.

I wonder if Davis has any real knowledge of how our military operates. A single civilian Commander in Chief, but one whose inexperience in military matters leads him to consider the opinions of sundry experts, both within the military’s command structure and without, among whom, as the media has been all too happy to inform us over the last few months, there is a wide diversity of opinion in the administration and in the minds of the generals who report to them. The only curious part is that before, this was used as a justification to not go to war, because the administration was crumbling apart. “There’s no unity!” we were told, as if there must a single monolithic voice shouting down pronouncements from the mountain of supreme authority.

“People, Americans, countrymen, the Lord hath spoken to me and bade me give you these ten commandments which will lead us to victory over the evils of Saddam!”

For the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and for Bush and company, the protest didn’t matter. For at least 150,000 people in Washington D.C that day, it did. If one letter to a congressperson is indicative of 100 people feeling the same way, what does one person getting on a bus in Wisconsin or Michigan or Minnesota to come to Washington in person mean?

Could mean several things my friend. First of all, it means you can’t be trusted to give numbers about the protest, since reliable sources put it at 100,000 (you might want to look into a lucrative career as an accountant for Enron). It might indicate that there are only about 100,000 people out 270,000,000 who are against the war, but that they’re all really really against it and also happen to have too much time on their hands. And yes, maybe it means that there are significantly more than 100,000 people in this country who think we’re going off half-cocked here, but you might be aware of the fact that the query of “just how many more?” is the $40,000 question . And polls that actually try to answer that question, rather than simply throwing out vague notions of “more than 100,000” have showed that the majority of the public is still for the war.

The relief after the sniper’s capture was short-lived since my chosen mode of transportation was Amtrak. Word went out that the U.S. rail system was a target for Al Qaeda according to information coaxed from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. I decided to take the comforting position that the warning was just more of the same terror alerts meant to keep us all off balance and in our cars buying more gas.

It’s pretty sad to realize that this man takes comfort in the notion of a sinister conspiracy by the US government. But I suppose there is comfort to be found there for such a one as he, where his bizzarro world of Adolf Bush and the global hegemony of BIG OIL is still able to be clung to, however desperate and pathetic it appears to sane people.

In between the terrorist surveillance I read the paper and learned that the captured sniper was a Gulf War veteran and that the gun he used was something called a “Bushmaster.” This, as much of the past two years, comes under the heading of – overwritten. When the motifs and literary devices are too thick with resonance an editor might say, “It’s overwritten.” “Bushmaster” is overwritten. And yet there it is. A Gulf War veteran – a weapon named Bush – anonymous targets – murder maybe motivated by money, maybe not – a combination of pathology and greed – and the streets feel more and more like enemy territory and the populous suffers under a low grade and palpable depression.

In other words: “The point I’m making is ridiculous and has no relevance or the slightest fiber of common sense because it’s all based on silly puns and the like, but, at the same time, there it is!

Where? I’m honestly looking, and can’t really see anything. Perhaps if I even had an idea what “it” was, I could be more effective in my search. At the very least, I’ll bet “it” is something endorsed by Gore Vidal .

What with all this conspiriatin’ goin’ on in the above paragraph, one is left to wonder why Davis neglects to mention the perhaps salient point that the sniper was a Muslim convert who expressed sympathy with Al Qeada? Wouldn’t that keep us on our toes and off balance? Then we could go and buy some more SUVs and gas and the like, cuz I don’t know about you, but whenever I feel like my equilibrium has been disrupted, the first thing I do is slap down some money and gobble me up some of that sweet comforting unleaded American goodness.

The chant that defined the protest for me was “No blood for oil.” The Washington Police were great but then so were the protestors; an ardent, passionate and peaceful lot. The image that was most arresting was the sight of the empty White House surrounded by citizens. The “Surround the White House” protest was supposed to have taken place on September 29th 2001. But that day was pre-empted by 9/11. So here it was one year and one month later, the unoccupied people’s house surrounded by the occupied people.

Always inconvenient when the Bush Junta and the CIA creates an enemy like Bin Laden so they can mastermind the death of thousands of American citizens to add a few million to line their pockets, in addition to all those millions they already have, eh? Though he doesn’t say so explicitly, Davis here raises the familiar moan that went across the pantheon of the left after 9/11: “Fuck! All our causes are going to suffer because of this. Damn Bin Laden! Wait, wait, no. I shouldn’t say that. Damn Bush and the Republicans! Yeah, that’s the ticket. I am absolutely sure they actually caused this, if only indirectly. And as soon as Noam Chomsky writes something about it, I’ll be able to tell you why.”

But no need to worry your addled little head off, Davis. After all, the “Surround the White House” gig went off anyway. Just for completely different reasons, but hey, we’re still out and protesting something, and that’s what’s important right?

“As if it matters. ..” and all that good stuff. Don’t let the cracks show now, Davis! You might actually let on that a protest of a hodgepodge of malcontents, one of which can’t write an article without throwing in just about every silly fallacy and talking point of the left, actually doesn’t matter. We can’t have that.

last update : 23-5-2018

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