by starkravinglunaticradical [Subscribe]
Wed Aug 24th, 2005 at 09:25:42 CDT

Good Morning America, this is Chicago!

Wow. I woke up this morning feeling like a visitor from another planet.
As a starkravinglunaticradical who has always been opposed to violence of any kind--be it domestic or foreign--I suspect that, in the world according to Kos, I'd be lumped together with the "touchy-feely hippy types," some of whom, we must never fail to note, have since "grown-up" to earn PhDs, JD s, MD s, etc. and currently lead productive, though not necessarily prosperous, lives disguised as "professionals" in various sectors that run the gamut from university positions to corporate management and the legal profession.

* starkravinglunaticradical's diary :: ::

Never mind that the "touchy feely hippy types" probably constitute a large portion of the constituency that has allowed DailyKos to become the primary source of income for Markus Moulitsas as Kosmic Kingpin of the highest-trafficked political blog which also happens to rank in the top-5 of all weblogs in popularity according to Blogstreet, in the top-10 according to Technorati. (Don't take offense, Kos: "Kosmic Kingpin" is intended to be an entirely affectionate moniker, a "Kosename" as it were (Kosename--German for "nickname").
Here's the statement that blew me away and forced me to ask just who is further divorced from reality: Kos, or the rest of Americans born on or after 7 December, 1941.
"Unlike most people reading this, I grew up in a country at war."
WTF? I was born in the United States of America, it is where I grew up. In 1984, with the re-election of Ronald Reagan, I left the country to seek political asylum from a population that was stupid enough to put Darth Vader in a cowboy hat at the reigns for a second term. I moved to Germany, and remained there in exile until 1992, when I returned to my homeland just in time to vote for Ross Perot. So, there's an almost decade-long "memory hole" in my cultural consciousness as an American, perhaps best illustrated by such memorable moments as the time I asked someone if there was a copy shop nearby, to which a friendly stranger replied, "There's a Kinko's down the street," and I had to ask, "Kinko's? What's Kinko's?" or the time I lost any shred of credibility while addressing a group of 5th-graders on the south side of Chicago when they said, "Hey, you's wearin' MC Hammer pants!" and I said, "Who's MC Hammer?" (I was clad in the traditional garb of the Malinke people of Guinea, West Africa, a place I visited often in my nearly decade-long period of self-imposed exile from the country of my birth).
Upon reading this statement, I had to ask myself: did I miss something truly relevant in my absence? Did the "touchy-feely hippy types" actually manage not only to "visualize peace" sometime between the mid-80s and the early 90s which the European press failed to report? Did I miss a brief moment of PEACE? Was there actually a day or two somewhere in their when MY country was not dropping bombs on someone somewhere in the world?
It only took one google-hit to confirm that I had in fact missed nothing of the sort: the country I grew up in (i.e. the US) has been engaged in some form of military intervention ever since the day I was born in 1961.

(see: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html)

OK, so the point Kos is making is that, unlike most of his readers, he actually grew up in a country where war was not displaced to some distant land way beyond the wild blue yonder where its citizens never had to confront the consequences of war on a daily basis, but rather as a mere abstraction, a defense budget and minor news item, or a video game. Kos grew up in a country where war was staged on his doorstep, in his own backyard.
Unlike many of us here, I suppose the fact that I lived in Germany during the $13.1 trillion-abstraction that was the "cold war"
I did at least have the opportunity to see my defense-budget tax dollars in action--even if that basically amounted to passing cruise missiles at 110 mph while driving up and down Hitler's Highway--otherwise known as the "Autobahn"--in my late-model Citroen. I even had the amusing "pleasure" of once having a minor fender-bender with a US military vehicle: so distracted and outraged by the US-military convoy clogging traffic in the small northern German community of Neumünster during one of those exercises in insanity staged annually in Germany every fall, when the NATO troops dressed up in full military garb, hauled out their trucks, tanks and toys and played "war" not on a video screen, but in the fields and forests of Germany, I ran once rear-ended a US military VW-bug, put a dent in the fender and paid for it dearly in the subsequent 6-week long bureaucratic nightmare resulting from the fact that the military personnel on the scene refused to accept my generous offer of 50 bucks to pick up the tab for the bumper.
Those NATO maneuvers really used to piss me off because they always caught me off guard: I'd go out for a peaceful walk in the woods, only to find myself surrounded by British and American boys all dressed up in fatigues with nowhere to go but my little patch of wood. In my absolute disgust for what the US had become since 1941, I suppose just hearing a word of English was enough to set me off because it reminded me of just how UGLY my country had since become. I never imagined that barely a decade would pass before I was sitting here again in Chicago, thinking UGLY Americans? No, we have since become HIDEOUS. OBSCENE. As Winona LaDuke recently stated, speaking last spring at the University of Illinois-Chicago, there is barely a shred of DECENCY left in this country. And I could not agree more.
OK, my personal politics, as a "touchy-feely hippy type" (who happens to have a PhD in German, and thus a convenient "disguise" that allows me to pass for something more legitimate) aside: the point is "LIKE MOST PEOPLE READING THIS, I GREW UP IN A COUNTRY AT WAR"--a country too busy "visualizing peace" to take time out to "visualize war" and thus understand the consequences of perpetual military intervention.
Just for the record: this country has been at war since 1941. Conveniently, many of us prefer to "visualize peace"--and in this, we act very much in accord with the US government, which is doing everything in its power to prevent us from "visualizing war". So, today, my fellow Americans, doves, hawks, pragmatists and peaceniks alike, I invite you to VISUALIZE WAR, and offer this stunning audio-visual tool as just one step in that direction:


For the more faint at heart, might I suggest the following alternative:


And, lest we forget, the most hideous of them all:


I say, to hell with Peace, VISUALIZE WAR.



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