[SOURCE: Miller’s Genuine Draft]
by James E. Miller
Following the bombing at the Boston marathon, the mandatory condolence period of three days came and went before the news media fixes its gaze on another topic of little relevance. The tears, mourning, tributes, and pledges of vengeance played out in usual fashion. Democrats, in their infinite conniving for power, used the tragedy to supplement their email list. The whole episode finally climaxed with a predictably grand and empty statement from someone who has a passing affiliation with the city.
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was the lucky one chosen to deliver the sermon of adversity. Upon taking the field in Fenway Park the day after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was caught, the record slugger bellowed to the crowd, “this is our f***ing city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom.” Ortiz, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, previously played on the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins; in addition to numerous minor league teams. “Big Papi,” as he is affectionately known, never made the Cradle of Liberty his home until 2003. You could say Papi was an absent father to the city he now claims as his own. Ortiz’s accent had a deficiency of the famous Bostonian sneer, but that was no impediment to the riling of the masses who reveled in the utterance of an expletive. Even the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission let the profanity slip in tribute to the raw uncouthness of the delivery.
Theatricality aside, the statement of triumph through adverse circumstances was nothing but hubris covering for a less-than-courageous response. After the bombings occurred, the ensuing manhunt saw a pandemic of armored, militarized police rush into residential neighborhoods and effectively turned the city into something out of a zombie outbreak film. Public transportation shut down, businesses forced to closed, armed searches of homes without judge-issued warrants – this was the intrepid response of a city that would never let its freedom be dictated. As former Congressman Ron Paul wrote, it was a “taste of martial law,” force fed to a metropolitan too scared to resist. The goal of terrorism is to invoked political change by implanting violence and fear. If Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were attempting to strike at the root of American freedom, they certainly succeeded for a timespan of almost twenty four hours. The people displayed their gratitude for blatant property violations by celebrating the mighty-fine police work of Boston authorities. The private citizen who actually located the wounded suspect received little thanks even as the men in blue lied about their own shoddy work.
The sad display of faux bravado in Boston was not exclusive to the city. Human beings seem to take pride in fabricated conceptions of their own gallantry. The world is a battlefield and nobody wants to look weak in comparison to their fellow man. And no, I am not referring to a combat zone envisioned by neoconservatives in their disturbingly restful dreams. The sphere of social relations we enjoy comes with stigmas developed over the course of thousands of years. Along the way, it became acceptable to puff out one’s chest for deeds of little heroism, or even downright timidness.
This longing for empty acceptance often manifests itself in deference to the state and its all-mighty power. Just as people pay fealty to authority figures who help themselves to the productive efforts of the public at large, they will petition for a share of the omnipotence. No group excels at the practice like the slice and diced mobs of “victims” who feel entitled because of a metaphysical oppression they have been told to decry. Arguably the bravest of these warrior clans dedicated to wiping social injustice off the Earth is the gay community. Their crusade for eradicating marriage conventions could once be considered a noble effort, rebel wise. Rabble rousers need a spine to break norms. Now, homosexuals have become another tired cliche of privilege complainers, albeit dressed in ridiculous attire. The call for gay matrimony is no expression of an unorthodox minority. It is conformity through the perpetuation of the unnecessary role the state plays in private relationships. Monopoly government has corrupted the sanctity of marriage, and gays are courting the devil for their own benefit. This quid pro quo has tarnished whatever righteousness the movement once had. Putting on drag and begging for the political class’s respect is just plain pitiful.
The betrayal extends beyond the right of nuptials. In the soon to be held Gay Pride Festival in San Francisco, imprisoned Army private Bradley Manning was supposed to be honored as a grand marshal. One day after the announcement, the President of the Board of SF Pride overturned the decision by claiming his crimes put “in harms way [sic] the lives of our men and women in uniform.” In totalitarian fashion she overturned the SF Pride Electoral College’s vote for Manning because the decision did not have the interest of the “broader community” in mind. With sponsors like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and the Bain Capital-owned Clear Channel, it’s tough for a Gay Pride Festival to dress itself up as anything different than a mainstream event funded by right-wing linked corporations. Any memory of the gay private known as Bradley Manning, who had the actual courage to put his conscience above the law reveal the true barbarity of war, is hushed and disregarded. As Glenn Greenwald trenchantly puts it,
“That’s how this parade was so seamlessly transformed from orthodoxy-challenging, individualistic and creative cultural icon into yet another pile of obedient apparatchiks that spout banal slogans doled out by the state while viciously scorning those who challenge them.”
The counterculture movement, which the gay community inhabits, once shrugged off bourgeoisie values to right society’s various wrongs. Misguided as the worldview was, at least the ethos of defiance was consistent. Today, homosexuals will do everything they can to court the state; even if it means sacrificing one of their own. For every principle forfeited by a movement, legitimacy dissolves incrementally. Eventually, any bold foundation that may have existed begins to resemble a paltry caricature of what it was.
Thoreau once wrote that a man is man who “has a bone in his back which you cannot pass your hand through.” Two young men murder three people and bring an entire city to its knees. A gay pride festival celebrating diversity and counterculture values shuns a homosexual in order to maintain corporate sponsorship. These are the stories of empty bluster in America – though it’s doubtful they are unique to the United States. Heads of government are of a cowardly class. Their loyalty is easily won by those who find no moral anxiety in diving headfirst into the sludge of political patronizing. The combined assault of jingoism, nationalism, welfarism, and contempt for higher learning has done inestimable harm to the idea of courage. The very same people lauded as heroes are more often than not despicable.
Most of us will lie to ourselves to look at the face staring back in the mirror. I have yet to determine which is more natural to human conduct: taking pride in cowardice or accepting the truth, no matter how distressing. I would like to think the latter. Having to witness the tossing away of liberty for safety on a daily basis makes me question my own judgement.
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