Very tired, and it’s only Tuesday.
Last night and I watched Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. It was wonderful and funny and very, very difficult to watch for so many reasons, everything from the footage of Shrub sitting in the classroom as the attacks were taking place, holding a children’s book in his hands with his bewildered monkey face all scrunched up as he wishes someone in charge would tell him what to do, to the older, well-groomed Iraqi woman standing amidst the rubble of her family’s neighborhood, shaking her hands in the air, calling on God, cursing us. The maimed and dead children. All of the lies and treachery involved in making Bush president.
We had a long discussion afterwards; I had cried during a lot of the movie and even Phil was emotional about it. Something that I was trying to explain to him was that it is easy to point fingers at the soldiers themselves, at the Bible-belt people who want Bush in power, at all of the Americans who should be smarter and better than that. Yes, all of that is true…the sad thing is, though, that Bush is using his people’s idealism to stay in power and fight his lucrative war.
As you probably know, I come from a small town; my dad was a cop, my sister is a teachers’ assistant and my brother-in-law drives a truck. They are good, small-town people. And, like most Americans, they grew up with very admirable, although naive, ideals: freedom, democracy, a belief in god, a belief that it is all our responsibility to fight for those things…for ourselves and others. Truth, Justice and The American Way is obviously a comic-book cliche, naive ideal…but it beats the hell out of All For Me and None For You, or Might Makes Right. Bush uses this innocence, these beliefs in a greater good to fund his wars. America is sheltered and ignorant, a simpleton that sends its treasured children far away to die because the government and the media have lied to them.
You can only sacrifice your people for so long before even the most die-hard patriot becomes cynical and hardened. And we will have lost something that makes America, America. We will believe in nothing, and that will be a great shame.