Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hell on earth

It seems to me that in this, the second decade, of the twenty-first century, hell has broken loose. I understand that this is probably just me projecting my perception, generalizing from the particular. Nonetheless, the portals of hell are all over the place, waiting to be uncovered. This is nothing new, but our collective fascination with finding them and exposing them, intermixed with our collective indifference to its short and long-term effects on people and cultures, strikes me as fairly unique.

I am not trying to play the prophet, just an interested, as opposed to disinterested, participant, as opposed to observer. There is probably no way hell has broken loose more perceptibly than through our eager willingness to use military force everywhere and anywhere, on the slightest pretext, or at least to provide "lethal aid" so others can reign hell in the name of various ideologies, even those that contradict our own. As with so many things, like the on-going and pervasive economic crisis, in the U.S., this eager willingness is not limited to one of our two major parties, but pervades both, even as our Congress freely relinquishes its constitutional powers to an ever more powerful executive.

Destroyed Syrian Church

Just as I am not a prophet, neither am I a social scientist. So, I am not drawing a statistically-derived correlation, but I can't help but wonder if violence doesn't beget violence to the point where so much officially-sanctioned violence blurs lines in the minds of many, making violence the primary way we deal with differences, be they differences of opinion, or racial and religious differences. I wonder this precisely because war seems no longer to merely be the extension of politics, or politics by other means, as Clauswitz famously observed, but it increasingly seems to me that politics and war are becoming one and the same.

I am content to let Tom Waits play the prophet, to sing the oracle and pronounce the lamentation. So, if you are interested, watch and listen to Hell Broke Luce- As with reading Jeremiah, before you listen to Tom I will give an EXTREME LANGUAGE WARNING!

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