January 24, 2010 – I finally figured out what makes Americans tick.
By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond
I originally wanted to delve into the question of why “terrorism” scares Americans witless, so much so that they are willing to suffer guaranteed victimization by their own government rather than face the infinitesimal risk of being victimized by some obscure “terrorist.”
Poll after poll indicates that Americans are not only not fed up with the tyrannical oppression they already “enjoy,” but actually want more of the same! (Ooh, I’ve been so b-a-d, spank me harder...) In stark contrast to the wisdom of one of this country’s esteemed founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, Americans apparently believe that trading their liberty for the illusion of safety really will make them safer.
One has only to examine the most recent laughable “terrorist” incident of the “pantybomber” to demolish that myth. While hundreds of innocent passengers docilely submitted to humiliating treatment by the “authorities,” another “well-dressed” authority figure escorted the “pantybomber” onto the plane without so much as a passport! The icing on this surreal cake is the recent announcement in the mainstream media (gee, what a surprise) that one month later Osama™ has now claimed credit for the “pantybomber” stunt. Never mind that some have credibly claimed that Osama™ has been dead for the better part of a decade, in spite of his reappearing from time to time at crucial political moments, sometimes with a different voice, sometimes with a different face and sometimes even in the guise of a Spanish lawyer. Osama™ is truly the Emmanuel Goldstein of our time (and what an uncanny coincidence that the fictional name “Goldstein” was synonymous with evil in Orwell’s classic).
Oh, and how deliciously ironic it is that Americans trust the U.S. Government to keep them “safe” from “terrorists.” Let’s see, if the “war of terrorism” were a game, and a point was awarded for each dead body, I think the score would be so lopsided in favor of the U.S. Government that any referee with a shred of decency would end the game and declare the U.S. Government the winner. Things aren’t much better at the local level, where the neighborhood cops frequently go “postal” on us poor citizens for “dissing” them and then have the gall to arrest us for disorderly conduct! Do Americans really want these types keeping us “safe”?
I have tepidly observed Americans’ terrified reaction to contrived “terrorism” in several past posts, including People Want To Be Subservient and Why Are Americans So Fearful?, but this fellow, Dr. Adam Murdock, scribed similar observations a bit less delicately than I in his essay titled, Do Americans Want Freedom?, which has a subtitle that reads “Americans want to be Slaves.” Clearly, I’m not alone in my observations.
Considering the already excessive, and growing quantity of antidepressants Americans consume, I would think being blown to bits and given a ticket on the next train to the heavenly afterlife would be a relief. Consequently, Americans’ pants-peeing terror of terrorism didn’t make sense to me. That’s when it finally dawned on me that Americans don’t relish their oppression as an unwelcome, but unavoidable side effect of their government keeping them safe, but because that oppression fulfills their masochistic desires. Attributing the oppression they suffer to the “war of terror” simply gives Americans a way to plausibly deny that they are masochists: “We’re not suffering because we enjoy it, but because it’s our patriotic duty.” Bull-pucky! Luckily for Americans, their masters relish playing the opposite role, that of the sadist. That is, after all, why a great many people go into politics in the first place, to boost their self-esteem at the expense of those they oppress. The rest are just in it for the money.
When it comes to terrorism, nobody does it better than the U.S. What else besides “terrorism” can you call blowing up wedding parties, funeral services and the homes of innocent strangers from way up in the sky, often using pilot-less drones?
We not only condone torturing “enemy combatants,” but seem to relish it, especially the Christians among us if polls are to be believed. Of course, the Christian appetite for torture dates back at least as far as the Spanish Inquisition.
The masochistic side of the “war of terror” is Americans’ seeming eagerness to suffer all manner of indignities under the oppressive thumb of the government. Not content with merely removing their shoes, belts and jackets, Americans are willing even to go as far as virtually disrobing inside a peep show booth at the airport, evidently eager to satisfy the prurient urges of an unseen agent doing god-knows-what with his free hand in the privacy of the booth.
Our political system seems to revolve more around punishing and targeting specific groups, as opposed to finding ways to benefit society as a whole. Look at how easy it is to rally the masses around taxing the “rich,” or prohibiting gay people from marrying. And it’s well known that negative campaign ads are more effective than positive ones. So what does that say about us?
On the flip side, we keep electing those we complain about! I still recall the 2006 Congressional election. At the time I believe Congress had something like an 11% approval rating, but how many members of Congress got reelected that year? About 95%! What are the voters saying with their vote if not, “Give me more abuse!” I’m willing to concede that there may be other factors involved in our chronic reelection of the same miscreants, including simple bribery and pride.
Why do these politicians go to such length to procure “bridges to nowhere” for their districts? To bribe the people, of course. So the people are not blameless in this disgusting perversion of our political system. And then there’s pride and possibly a broken psyche. I think the supporters of Mr. Obama continue to support the guy, despite all of his broken promises and his continuation and expansion of his predecessor’s policies because to admit that they made a mistake in supporting him would be one straw too many to bear. So they “extend and pretend”: they pretend that he’s doing a great job, while hoping that the next charlatan that comes along will be better. Frankly, what I’ve observed the last few decades is a steady deterioration in the characters of our “leaders.” It’s hard to imagine anyone worse than the current “Big Brother,” but then again, I said the same about the last one and was decidedly wrong. If this trend persists, I suppose the next one will be a baby-eater.
Look at how many television shows are based on cruel and sadistic themes. All those “reality” shows that thrive on humiliating people, the shows that glorify the police and make mere citizens look like so much human garbage, the law and order shows that bestow omnipotent, supra-legal authority on the “good guys,” who happily abuse that authority right on screen. But it’s OK because the “bad guys” deserve such treatment. All these shows, which thrive on the psychological and physical abuse of people are immensely popular. And god help the odd celebrity or athlete who makes a human misstep. The more salacious, the better for ratings. By way of confession, I was awed by the depth of the secret debauchery of one otherwise pristine golfer that emerged recently, although I never harbored any ill-will toward him.
While secretly cheering on the punishment doled out to the “bad guys” on the television, people routinely complain about the cost of television, the quality of the service, and then turn around and shell out another $100 for another months’ abuse. Go figure.
Increasingly I see people driving aggressively on the roads, usually behind the wheel of a huge, over-endowed vehicle, evidently a substitute for personal shortcomings. I think the intent of such people who tailgate me on the road is to intimidate me, but it doesn’t work. Nevertheless, I can’t help but notice the increased aggressiveness and impatience, as well as the diminished courtesy of people on the roads today.
Yet these same people who seek to terrorize other motorists endure daily gridlock, inching along for hours each day on congested, smelly “freeways,” their oversexed engines utterly useless in such circumstances, and the absurdity of their lifestyle never seeming to dawn on them. Meanwhile, they suffer an ever broadening panoply of attacks on their wallets, from high gasoline taxes, to red light cameras, to quietly-passed new laws aimed at generating revenue from motorists. The people just suffer the abuse and look for an opportunity to deliver it unto someone else.
I must sadly conclude that the majority of Americans like the abuse they receive from the government and the corporations that run this country, hoping only for the occasional fleeting opportunity to be able to make someone else suffer a little – a nation of sick puppies. As long as the abuse is not too frequent or severe, as long as it is largely administered to “others” (we’re all “others” to someone else), and as long as it’s accompanied by tasty fast food nuggets and televised circuses, Americans will continue to suffer obediently under the skillful torment of their masters.