Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone

Seeing the new cover of Rolling Stone magazine featuring Boston bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev reminded me of the outrage I felt that day.  But it was directed at folks other than the two moron terrorists so I guess the title of this blog is a little bit misleading.  But I got your attention, right?

The Boston bombing was yet another needless tragedy caused by individuals who undoubtedly have a very flawed and misguided way of thinking and an absence of love in their heart.  It continually saddens me every time something like this happens.  I'm sad for all the innocent wounded and dead that get caught up in these senseless acts of hatred, violence, and terrorism.  And then I get even more sad when I realize this isn't the last time any of us will see something like this happen. 

My famous fall-back phrase is: "We are surrounded by idiots." -it's true.  Terrorists, psychopaths, and just plain stupid people are among our population every day and there's no 100%-effective way to stop one of these weirdos from detonating a bomb or going on a shooting or stabbing spree or driving their truck down the sidewalk of a busy city street, plowing down pedestrians.  This is the world we live in today.  And the best we can do is protect ourselves as best we can and learn to live in the shadow of this impending danger. 

Every time one of these senseless acts of violence occurs, everyone from common citizens to politicians to terrorism and security experts are quick to offer their best ideas and opinions on how to stop this from happening again.  I think it's our way of coping -fooling ourselves into a false sense of security.  Granted, we're probably a whole lot safer from radical Islamic terrorist today than we were 10 years ago, but there's no guarantee something on the scale of 9/11 won't ever happen again.  This world is too big and there's just too many people out there who are capable of and predisposed to doing evil.  But rather than viewing this as a hopeless situation, I'm going to try to view as just the way things are.  I can't waste a whole lot of time rearranging major aspects of my life worrying about whether I or my family will the the next victim of a senseless act of violence.  If it's one thing to take away from all this it's that life is fleeting and precious.  Don't spend too much time looking ahead... live in the now and cherish and enjoy every moment.  Because, if we learned anything from the past few tragedies it's that we're not 100% safe anywhere... not the grocery store, not at school, not at church, and not running a marathon in Boston.  That's why these things are almost always referred to as senseless acts.  They don't make any sense.

I purposely AVOIDED the majority of media coverage surrounding this tragedy while everyone was busy speculating over who was responsible for such a barbaric act.  Then, when police did have suspects identified, there was another news media frenzy.  Because, let's face it, we like -need- to have someone or something to blame when things like this happen so we, as Americans, can take action and get revenge or put measures in place to guarantee it never happens again.  We end up with a lot of knee-jerk accusations and reactions from a whole lot of people. And we all end up paying for these barbaric acts of others. We indirectly get punished by having more restrictions placed upon our daily lives while giving the police and government more authority and leeway when it comes to searches and investigations.

I guess what really pisses me off is there are some obvious people to blame for the increase in the number of senseless terrorist-type attacks occurring on American soil perpetrated by both foreign and domestic evil-doers.  But no one seems to really direct much outrage towards these folks.  Who are they?

1. The American News Media. Rather than just reporting the news and the facts, the TV news stations have morphed into a form of variety talk show and whenever anything like this happens, you get around-the-clock coverage which goes well above and beyond reporting the news and the facts.  Instead, you get to hear every conceivable back-story and theory about who, why, how, and when.  You get to hear from a parade of subject matter experts giving their opinions and thoeries.  And you get to hear, over and over again in agonizing detail, the same basic facts of the incident.  So, basically, every time something like this happens, it becomes a nationally televised events for days and weeks.  Once the culprits were identified, every aspect of their life was discected and splashed across the news, making them a sort of media star.  And now we have one of them gracing the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.  Wow.  All this does is inspire others to commit similar senseless acts because they know if they succeed, it will become a nationally televised event -and they, or their cause, will be in the national spot light for a while.  Thanks American News Media!  The blood of thousands of Americans is on your collective hands.  Just shut the fuck up and report the news, the facts, and any important updates as they become available. Stop with the around-the-clock coverage... you're not after the truth, you're after the RATINGS!

2. The United States Government.  If you go around whacking enough bee hives with your big stick -no matter how big and bad and protected you think you are- eventually you're gonna get stung.  That, my friends, is what is happening now.  We barged into Afghanistan and Iraq, waving the flag and claiming we were protecting our way of life by erradicating terrorism from the globe.  Yeah... sure. First of all, you can't irradicate terrorism.  There's always going to be one or two BILLION people in the world that don't agree with you.  Hell, a lot of them may actually hate you.  You can't beat or bomb these people into your way of thinking and if you try to do so, all you're going to do is piss off more people in the process.  This is fucking common sense and it's been going on for decades.  We've lost hundreds of thousands of our soldiers fighting wars in Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq -wars that we really had NO BUSINESS sticking our nose in.  And yet we never seem to learn the lesson. 

Why don't we just get the hell out of the Middle East?!  Stop sending all our money to our so-called friends and allies in that part of the world who will turn on a dime and rally against us.  You don't like us? Fine! We don't like you either.  You stay on your side of the world and we'll stay on ours.  We've got enough shit to fix right here in our own country without worrying how Pakistan or Egypt are doing or whether the whole Middle East will be taken over by radical Muslims. Fine!  It's about time we stopped making a few hundred oil executives filthy rich and seriously switch to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources anyway.  Screw the entire Middle East and all their oil. They need us just as much as we need their oil.  There's obviously a very large chasm between our way of thinking and theirs.  Let's just accept that for what it is and stop trying to fix the entire world while our own country is spiralling downward into a massive shitball of poverty, debt, and human crisis.

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