Saturday, February 25, 2006


In many ways the example set by Salman Rusdie provides a splendid--and frankly, superior--  alternative to the fear-mongering which has been oozing out of Washington DC since 911.

Shortly after the Ayatollah placed a price on Rushdie's head, the author went into seclusion and surrounded himself with security. Two years later, the author realized that this was no way to live and he now takes a few precautions and travels in the open with little regard for his personal safety.
Call it foolish.  Call it reckless.  But in the end Salman Rushdi provides an example which is a lot more normal and a lot more courageous than  the  example provided by the Bush Regime since 911. 
After 911 Bush told us to be observant, go shopping, and go about our every day lives.   Would that he had  actually meant it. Sadly for us and the country as a whole,  the Regime in Washington learned early that hate and fear are motivating emotions, and since that time they have missed no opportunity to exploit both, the dark side of the human psyche and the tragedy that was 911.

Prior to 911,  the Christian Right (which claimed to distrust the power of the federal government), also assured us that there was a Jesus in Heaven and that all we had to do to get there was to lose our grip on reality and join their expanding, theocratic movement.  

That, however,  was before 911.  After 911 the so called "Christian Right" wasted little time as it ran to the federal government for protection, essentially reversing its previous stand as it bellowed something to the effect of: "evil federal government, please, PLEASE ,save our disingenuous hides so we won't have to put this Jesus rhetoric to an actual test!" 
True to form, the  Bush Regime in Washington was only too happy to comply. What can I say? For people who seem so certain that they'll die and go to a better place, the Radical Right Wing Christians seem rather reluctant when it comes to putting their courage where their  conniving, overactive mouths have been:  none of which  bothers George W. Bush who  has  thrived  in a climate of fear. Indeed, he isn't only a sufferer; he's a carrier; he spreads fear as if it were a political bubonic plague.

When there's an bad news cycle, he gives us  another terrorist alert. If the war is devolving into a blood bath he  just goes orange.   If someone  speaks truth to power, he just exploits 911 and the victims of that tragedy. If there's a Constitutional provision which needs trampling on, he cultivates insecurity, and his obedient , heel-clicking supporters will beg, roll over, and play dead on command.

The only problem with all of this is that while Bush claims he wants to save our lives, no one asks the obvious question.

Save our lives for what?

So that we can grovel in fear and terror whenever the Demander and Thief wants to play upon our fears for selfish, political motives?     So that we can go through life afraid, but never quite living it to its fullest possible potential?   What Bush offers is not living. It is existing,  and I refuse to merely exist.

I'm diabetic.  People are amazed when I inform them about this.  They just look at me, and assume that I'm young and healthy, but the truth of the matter is that I have a disease which requires constant monitoring.  If I were to find myself in a situation where I can't test myself and  administer the required medication I could die.
Do I let this mother me?


I do not let the disease control my life. I take certain precautions. I exercise; I watch my diet; I give myself the required bloods sugar tests; I take my medication and I take it on time. Fear does not have to be a regular part of my daily routine. Nor do I allow it to do so.   I do  not claim to be brave.   I don't claim to be anything except pragmatic when it comes to the ongoing treatment and control of my diabetes. 

Life is to be lived and that's what I'm doing with it.   I not only expect to live a long and productive life; I fully intend to be a happy camper in the process. I control the diabetes.   Aside from a few minor precautions, I enjoy the same things that my non-diabetic friends do. And if by some chance something goes terribly wrong and this condition really does kill me,  at least my friends will be able to say that I enjoyed my life, and that's more than some people can say.

Now if Bush would only adopt the same attitude towards terrorism (and life in general)  as Salman Rushdie and allow the American people to actually  live their lives with a minimum of fear-mongering and outright manipulation.

Regrettably,  full, happy lives are the last things  Bush and his goons wantsfor the American people.   Never mind the fact that Republicans routinely complain about a dependency on tax-supported social programs; the truth of the matter is that this Administration  loves the idea of psychological dependency--as long as that dependency is  on  our Big Brother, George W. Bush,  and his maladjusted inner circle of cronies, and empire builders.

Bush understands that a  fearful  population is an obedient  population.  Bush likes obedience.  You might even say that he is addicted to it.  There isn't a thing in his psychological profile to suggest that he can tolerate disagreement in any way, shape or form; and to that end he and his inner circle will do anything and everything possible to keep the American people frightened.

Rushdie has a solution to this. He defies his would be murderers. He refuses to give any potential assassin a psychological victory by giving in to their demands. He has decided that life is to be lived to its fullest, not cowering in the shadows worrying  about what might or might not happen.
Unlike some people, Mister Rushdie has actually gotten on with the actual business of living.



Stephen McArthur said...

William Lloyd Garrison, the American abolitionist, said:

"With reasonable men I will reason;
with humane men I will plead;
but with tyrants I will give no quarter, no waste argument, for surely they will be lost."

This is what must be done..reason and plead with those we can, but give to quarter to those who won't. The tyrants must be confronted at every opportunity.

Rushdie has decided this course of action.

Ragnarok said...

Of course a single author is in an entirely different position to an entire goverment. I don't think there is much to compare.

There is more to compare, however, with Bush to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Everything in the paragraph which begins with "Bush understands that a fearful..." can be likened to the Ayatollah.

Left of Center said...

Funny that it seems the people who are most fearful in the US are the ones that are the most religious. Followers of Bush.

CorruptCo participant


This was the point on my Heuristics post, that the EXPENSE of all this supposed security, much of which is useless, is money that could be spent elsewhere.

Yes, we have to live. And be concerned with what is statistically probably. Like a car accident, or the flu. Far more likely to take your life.

Enlightenment said...

Oddly enough I had a simlar experience when I was going through cancer treatments some time ago.

The religionists around me--many of which knew I found their beliefs revolting-- were more frightened than I was. Finally, out of sheer irritation, I wrote a post BEGGING them to stop with the prayers, casseroles, and flowers.

In the first place, I hate mums. I n the second place, I am a vegetarian, so of COURSE I wanted all that chicken salad and turkey pasta! In the third place, I could hardly keep my food down thanks to the chemo. The anti-nausea medication did nothing. That was bad enough.

More irritating were the prayers and meditations that people offered. They all but obsessed over my illness, as if my atheism or the cancer were somehow contagious.

I understand why my closest friends and family members were worried--losing a loved one is not an easy thing to go through. BUT why neighbors with whom I had always argued about religion would be so concerned....sighhh...They treated the whole thing like a last chance at proselytizing. Talk about exploitation.

I wondered--were they more worried about MY mortality or THEIR mortality.

By the way, Brandon is my oldest born. He was very level headed through the entire affair. Never worrying about what might happen next, but dealing with everything on a day by day, "what do we need to do now?" basis. Instead of the heavy duty grief and worry that some people wanted to dump on me, he ans his friends created a very happy, even humorous atmosphere, which I suspect might have been more helpful than a thousand prayers, chants, and meditations.