I’m sorry. I hate to bring down the party like this, but I feel like I’m about to explode. I’m sick and tired.
I’m tired of this war. I’m tired of everything about it.
I’m tired of non-stop news coverage. I’m tired of reading stories filled with typos and grammatical errors because everyone’s in a mad rush to bring you incorrect news first. You would think that a 24 hour news channel would put some kind of care into the news, but it’s the complete opposite, just a big pile of crap shoveled at you with no quality control. I’m tired of government press releases being delivered as “news”. I’m tired of seeing American TV news talking about how the evil state-controlled Iraqi news channels are giving the people there a biased view of the conflict, and talking about it with a completely straight face. The metaphor is old but apt: this is just the latest reality series.
I’m tired of being told to support the troops. I’ve got nothing against the troops and I hope they all emerge safe and sound, but to the best of my knowledge, nothing I do is having an influence on them one way or the other. What I’m tired of is the idea that “supporting the troops” means sitting down and shutting up and letting the government do whatever it wants. I support the troops enough to not want them to lose their lives over a stupid inconsequential grudge match. Is that enough support? If I could, I’d support them enough to bring them all back home right now and then people would stop shooting at them. How’s that for support?
I’m tired of the reasons for this war changing every day. Sometimes it’s about 9-11, even though we’ve no evidence there’s any connection. Sometimes it’s about “nucular” or chemical weapons. Sometimes it’s about regime change. Sometimes it’s about Iraqi freedom. Somewhere along the way America suddenly cares enough about human rights and freedom that it feels it must get rid of the despotic rulers it brought to power in the first place. Now that we’ve found barrels of what might be chemicals that could be used for weapons, we’re back to chemical weapons. I’m reminded of the sharpshooter who fires a shot and then paints a bullseye around wherever it hit.
I’m tired of war buzzphrases. I’m tired of weapons of mass destruction, embedding, regime change, and shock and awe. I’m tired of news sounding like an ad campaign, using phrases that were tested against all the major demographics before they were rolled out. I’m tired of news headlines that wouldn’t make it past most peoples’ spam filters: “Tanks Thrust Into Baghdad.” “Bombs Pound Northern Border.” “Troops Penetrate Presidential Palace.” Was there anyone left who didn’t see any connection between our fascination with sex and our fascination with war?
I’m tired of polls. Who gives a crap what Joe Public thinks about Saddam’s regime? The average person gets all his information from CNN and then is asked by CNN what he thinks. It’s like a pop quiz. I’m tired of stupid unscientific internet polls being presented as news. “Do you think Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons?” What difference does it make what I think? Do we suddenly vote on whether or not people are guilty, regardless of evidence? A friend keeps suggesting I get a Master’s Degree in statistics, but do we even need statisticians anymore? Unscientific polls are apparently good enough – who needs scientific ones?
I’m tired of the government. I’m tired of Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Rice, and even Powell, who once upon a time I admired to some extent. I’m tired of being told I need to shut up and hand over my rights or else. I think it’s odd that someone who was appointed president rather than elected who got a war without having to play by anyone’s rules and who demands no resistance against the war is telling me he loves freedom and hates tyranny. I’m tired of the impotent Democratic party that can’t seem to kowtow to the Republicans fast enough and has become so indistinguishable from the right wing that they can’t come up with any kind of viable candidate. They rolled over and pretty much gave up the 2000 election, and they’re going to do it again in 2004, assuming we even have an election – after all, it might jeopardize the war efforts if we distract Bush by making him campaign.
I’m tired of my fellow citizens. I’m tired of them sitting by their televisions, waiting to be told who to hate next. Protestors, the French, Canadians, whoever they’re told is an enemy of freedom. If you’re not with us you’re against us, in this black and white world. I’m tired of hearing about how anyone who isn’t 100% in support the war is a traitor and should be shot. I’m tired of people with absolutely nothing at stake being happy to send other peoples’ kids off to Iraq to fight for low gas prices. I’m tired of the contest to see who’s more patriotic and who has the bigger flag. I’m tired of protesters being yelled at, spat on, and shot with rubber bullets by police.
I’m tired of blogs, hypocritical as it may seem. I’m tired because what they represent. They are not the force of new journalism, they are a cry of desperation. They are simply the feeble whinings of people who feel completely disenfranchised, trying to be heard over the sounds of grinding machinery. In theory they are a really neat thing, but we wouldn’t need any kind of new journalism (or even something pretending to be new journalism) if our old journalism was worth a damn.
I’m tired of all these books and shout show hosts talking about how awful and dangerous the liberals are. God damn, people, you were awarded the presidency, you won the congress, you control the Supreme Court, your policies go through unchallenged and you’re railroading most of the citizenry into supporting you and you’re still bitching about the liberals? You won! You’ve got 99% of the power and that’s not enough? You’re having your Baghdad dog-and-pony show despite everything and yet you’re still worried that somewhere there might be a college professor who expresses some doubts about the war? No wonder you’re totally backed by multibillionaires who would murder their mothers to get a couple thousand more dollars. It’s never enough. I should read these books to find out exactly where these powerful, threatening, dangerous liberals are, because I’d like to hook up with them. The only liberals I see are a bunch of weak, spineless toadies. If the left wing is so powerful, why can’t they come up with a presidential candidate anyone’s heard of?
I’m sorry. I know most of you are probably sick of whiny rants and ranty whines like this one. I’m sorry to join the blog parade of leftists wringing their hands over all of this. But I had to say something. I’ll try to be funny tomorrow, I promise.