Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"A Nation of Five Year Olds" from Scholars & Rogues

"... What i don’t understand is the idea that Americans are entitled to perfect security. Here we are (and for the record, all the troops stationed everywhere in the world are you and i) crashing around the globe and blowing shit up, yet those of us in God’s country should face no threat. And for the most part, we don’t face any threat. Nobody’s bombed any of the weddings i’ve been to over the last few years. I’ve never thought, “I don’t think i should go downtown, because somebody might suicide bomb where i shop.” I’m convinced that the Canadians will launch their plan for world domination any day, by invading the social and evolutionary cul-de-sac of America where i live. But as of yet i have not had to contend with RCAF close air support in the neighborhood.

Still here we are, gripped by fear and willing to submit to whatever the organs say is necessary to protect us. Hunter Thompson used to say that we’re a nation of pigs. I disagree. (Unless he was being Orwellian.) The comparison is unfair to that noble and intelligent, barnyard beast. We’re a nation of five year-olds whose parents don’t say, “No, no, there’s no bogeyman in the closet because there’s no such thing as the bogeyman.” Our parents keep telling us that the bogeyman is real and he’s out to get us. He could be in any, or every, closet. In fact, he probably is in every closet!

True, it is a good way to keep us out of the porn collection and drug paraphernalia.

I’m not being glib nor am i underplaying all those “very real dangers” that we face in the post-9/11 world. I’m saying that if we don’t want to live with the dangers then we might want to stop provoking them. I’m saying that there is no such thing as perfect safety and security; you are going to die someday and you probably won’t go to heaven. And i’m saying that our government consistently overplays any actual threats (and their probability) in order to control us through fear."

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