The most powerful country in the world proudly announced last week that it had just dropped the biggest bomb in the world. And it didn’t just drop it on some nameless piece of desert, oh no. It’s only worth a positive headline if you drop it on some actual people.
Not alone did they drop the bomb, they shared pictures of the giant hole the bomb made in the Afghan earth. We were invited to boggle and hark at its interesting contours. Doesn’t it look like someplace? Like a new country perhaps? Like the terrible, blood crazed new countries these bombs have been making for decades now.
Sooner or later, some po-mo artist will win something like the Turner Prize for an exhibition of the diversely shaped turds his body has excreted over the years (if this hasn’t actually happened already). He will attract nothing like the admiring comments directed towards the most powerful man in the world for dropping the biggest bomb in the world, and this already feels like something of an injustice.
Trump was supposed to change all this, you know. There was supposed to be some kind of great bloodless war between him and the military industrial complex, a bit like the war in Harry Potter, we Muggles wouldn’t be able to see it but would somehow know it was there. How quickly things snap back.
How quickly we are back to the language and agenda of the neocons. How quickly are we back to the fetishization of weaponry. How long before we hear some CNN clown crooning again about how beautiful explosions look in the night sky of some Arabic city?
A real journalist – assuming there are any of those left – might make you switch off by pointing out unhelpful truths, such as the things flying metal can do to the flesh of a child. But no, that’s not what this is about. Look at the beautiful explosions. Listen to the godawful prose poem the CNN clown tries to hammer out while thousands of invisible people cry out and are silent forever.
It’s about the beauty of the weapons, the phallic sleekness of the jet, the microchipped precision of the Cruise Missile, on its way to destroy a Hospital (because they still do that, you know, in spite of all the fetishized tech).
What a comment on the unspeakable evil at the heart of traditional media that the uniform piling of excrement upon the head of Trump turned instantly to praise once he started bombing places. All of a sudden, the unforgiveable scorning of Queen Hillary was forgotten.
We’re back to the Bush / Obama agenda. We’re back to making and dropping all those beautiful weapons on people because that’s where the money is, stupid, and traditional media rises as one and says ‘Amen’ and ‘look at all the beautiful explosions.’
In fairness, one supporter of Trump pointed out to me that he could just as easily flip back again. Maybe, but hope is as rare a commodity as wisdom these days.
In the meantime, what boggles the mind is the sheer apparent stupidity of those who would lead, and I’m not talking about Trump, but those ‘experts’ who pretend to advise him.
We are being sleepwalked into war with somebody, anybody. Is it Russia? They’re still the big bad demon. Oh wait, no. It’s actually North Korea: those weirdos have been asking for it for ages. But will it still be them next week, or will it be somebody else? What about that new asteroid? I don’t like the way it’s looking at me.
The Russia thing is instructive. The Cold War ended back in 1990, yet the mindset of the US military industrial complex remains as anti-Russian as ever. NATO, a Cold War organization desperate to hold on to relevance after the disappearance of its official enemy, the Warsaw Pact, was allowed to expand, not just into Eastern Europe, but the former Republics of the Soviet Union as well.
No one seems to have sat for a moment to consider whether this was a good idea. Was it worth feeding the Russian paranoia about encirclement simply so highly paid NATO bureaucrats could hold on to their salaries and budgets?
This is how decisions get made these days. It’s why the EU would rather lose Britain than make itself democratic. It’s why the world is being blundered into a war nobody but senior military bureaucrats and their neocon political mouthpieces actually wants.
Let’s go back to North Korea for a sec. How is what’s going on with North Korea now any different to anything that has gone on with North Korea at any time since the official end of hostilities in 1953? We didn’t pay much attention in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s. What’s so special about now?
The other night, I heard a commentator on CBC argue that ‘the Chinese are worried now, because the Chinese know something.’ Really? Any chance he or they could let the rest of us know what it is?
George Orwell wrote in ‘1984’ that a totalitarian system pretty much depends on keeping the population believing that it’s in a state of constant war. You need people to be in a constant, low level state of fizz about ‘the enemy.’ This gives them virtually no time to think, and also renders them more amenable to whatever crap the rulers want them to swallow this week.
Every so often, the people are strung along on a potage of hope, with regular press releases about how the latest ‘victory’ has brought the endless war ‘within measurable distance of its end.’
Many people in the West today would be offended by the notion that they live in a totalitarian system, but consider: hasn’t the West been in a state of fairly continual war since the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003? Who benefits from this war? Who has reasons for making it endless?
And at least Orwell’s war had something to do with ideology, our one appears to be about nothing more than bureaucratic inertia and the shifting of units. The armaments industry is mega-huge, and forget about putative Kazakhstani bad men for a moment, the biggest players are actually the United States, Britain, Germany etc. You need opportunities to show what these weapons can do, the lovely explosions they make, you need constant war.
And it’s probably not even just about arms. Each new manufactured crisis makes people rush home from work to watch the latest lovely explosions on the teatime news. It massively boosts TV viewing figures. There was a time when the suggestion that TV networks’ coverage of global emergencies was totally governed by the need to boost ratings would have been righteously condemned as beyond the pale cynicism, but no more.
People fly home to watch the news. They’re in far too much of a fizz to cook dinner. I bet the sales of convenience food go through the roof whenever there’s a so called global crisis. Later on, insomnia generated by the latest panic causes them to surf the Net till late in the night. There are new mini-booms for gambling sites and porn providers.
In short, everybody wins when there’s a constant almost war, apart from you, of course, and whatever remains of your sanity. Just forget about it and look at all those beautiful explosions, making you all a little bit more secure every single day.