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Monday, October 29, 2007

Gestures

When the next 9/11 happens, as it will -- be it a magic carpet crop-dusting Disney Land with mustard gas, or a dynamited dam to flood another Johnstown, or a box-lunch nuke giving indigestion to a few million habitu├ęs of Central Park and environs -- when any such thing occurs, at long and over-due last, who will we blame? Of course some of us will blame the islamist terrorists. The gauche end of the common sense bell curve will blame America -- you know, we're rich and free and mostly white, I think, or at least English speaking, mostly, I think -- you know, bad and we deserved it. The mentally inbred will blame the CIA or the Trilateral Commission or some other enemy that's not really an enemy. Ah well. There's enough blame to go around.

But shoehorned somewhere in there, between necessary and sufficient causes, between proximate and intervening and ultimate and absolute causation, we will find negligence. It's almost a cautionary nursery rhyme ...for want of a secure border a metropolitan area was lost.... Fill in the details. Some of the missing elements will be "patriotism", "courage", "leadership" and "a brain". Blame, you see, is a complex thing.

In a way, we will be right to blame Bush or his successor. And the Depofhosec, with its perpetual and meaningless Orange Alert, that will only go to Red after the collapse. The presence of thirty million Undocumented Americans is not, apparently, a sufficient danger. Just a necessary one. You know why: in this best of all possible countries, everything that exists must be necessary. It's logic, stupid.

Oh, and by the way, the correct term isn't Undocumented Americans. They do have Documents. Fraudulent. Stolen. Forged. But Documents. The correct term that we Sensitive Americans have just now decided to use is, uh, Immigrationally Challenged Americans. The fact that it is likely to be ICAs who ignite Lower Manhattan to balance out its feng shui with the Uptown Pit that once held a Trade Center, this fact is too much a pittance to trouble ourselves over.

Aren't you glad you have me to explain these things to you?

Feeling up grannies in the PanAm line -- TWA? -- Virgin? -- well, I don't fly much -- but no such, uh, Security Measure is likely to prevent the next 9/11. How can you stop a date? That's crazy talk. And lightning has already struck twice, you will recall. They hit the WTC in '93, non? Then again eight years later, to somewhat more dramatic effect. If we need to find a pattern, it isn't about jetplains or Twin Towers. It's about 8 years. I'm using Chaos Theory to chart my data points. What, two points are insufficient to identify a pattern? I pity you, hidebound as you are with your typical Western mind.

It's about time.

In any case, if you'll stop interrupting and finally allow me to develop my argument for once, what I was trying to say around all your babbling was that meaningless gestures are mere gestures that are meaningless. The lone wackos will indeed stand in line sloshing with nitroglycerin balloons or bulging with lumps of homemade plastique. This, however, is not the conspiracy that will make its mark. You and I could raid the local home and garden big box store for enough nitrates to ventilate City Hall. And we're not even pube-shaving islamo-nazis all lathered up to destroy the infidel. We're under-motivated, it seems, and we shave our pubes only to increase the sensuousness of our love-making, I guess. That's why we do it, right, us Americans? It's not gay at all. Really gay. Not at all. So we tolerate both the invasion and the meaningless shoe-bomb lines. Very tolerant of ineffectiveness. That's a good thing. Compassionate. If we demanded competence and it wasn't delivered, well that would hurt feelings.

I think that just about covers it all then, or uncovers it in the case of your pubes, although why you keep bringing your pubes up is beyond me. Just get over it, will you? This freaky obsession of yours about your pubic hair and blame. For my part, I'm not much for blame. But when it does happen, the noonday sunrise and bright surprise of an actuated midtown suitcase nuke, we will do a bit of soul searching, those of us who remain, who survive as something more substantial than a charcoal silhouette on a concrete wall. We'll do some ruminating, some pondering over what itsy-bitsy baby steps brought us to such an irksome predicament. There are after all a lot of cities, but even so we'd like a little notice before they just start disappearing. A little more notice that is than that which the islamists and their noteworthy accomplishments have already given us. So our annoyance will bring us to a moment of contemplation. What actions should have been taken, and who should have taken them, and whom shall we blame.

Yes, politicians of course. That's why we elect them -- so we can complain about how they're in someone else's pocket. And Mexico, for the northward tide of its unwanted population upon which will be swept the islamists who ignite some city and its river. And the islamo-bombers, with their idiot religion and their poisoned souls. And any other culprit we can think of.

But how many letters have you written to you representative, your senator, your city and state officials, who hand out needles to addicts and contraceptives in grammar school and build bridges to nowhere and wink at lawlessness? How many campaigns have you joined? How much time and money have you given? Voting and paying taxes is not enough. When the judgment comes, will you be able to believe that you acted with diligence and integrity, about the catastrophe you know for a virtual fact is due? The fact that your effort is unlikely to make a difference is not a fact, not even virtually. The effort we expend in staying alive is pointless, given that we all die. It's not about results. Life is the practice of futility. What then is it about? The meaning of life? I don't have to say it, now, do I?

Sprinkled among all the meaningless gestures are gestures that have meaning. Life is a gesture. Is it meaningful?

Anyway. That's why I don't blame. I'd have to start with myself.


J

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