Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Life Math

What's a life worth?

At least 160 people were murdered in car bomb explosions today in Baghdad, Iraq.

And in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, a terribly sad, disturbed, and lonely boy murdered 32 people.

So what's a life worth?

Every day, hundreds of people are murdered because of ignorance (starvation), greed (invading other countries illegally to control their natural resources), or prejudice (any religious/cultural/ethnic group against another), or a whole host of other really stupid reasons.

Is it that such large scale murders (3,000 people on September 11, 2001, or 100,000 civilians and soldiers in Iraq during the past four years) are too enormous for our tiny, post-simian brains to process? Possibly.

And if so, there are those who maintain that Blacksburg will be used to encapsulate the helplessness, rage, anger, or sadness we all feel about these large scale murders. (Let's be clear here: These are murders. Not clean, emotion-free "deaths"—but murders. The purposeful taking of a life.)

So again, what's a life worth?

According to the zombified US media, a life is only worth remembering, honoring, or discussing when it's a young American citizen who isn't fighting in the illegal occupation of another country.

So media zombies, please start talking about everyone's murder, and therefore, everyone's value. Because maybe, just maybe, if you wake from your Shrub-induced stupor, and start reporting what's really happening, people will express their outrage, anger, and sadness by actually doing something good to improve conditions all over our sad, pathetic little planet.

As Charles Dickens put it so aptly, "Any man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Patriot's Day Bloggyness

Well, it's been an interesting month or so. And I am a bad correspondent! I'm sure that all one-and-a-half of my regular readers have wondered where I went? Here is a list of of locales I've recently visited:
1. Great Barrington (March 17-March 18)
2. The Burlington Mall (March 24)
3. My parent's house, Reading (March 31)
4. Beth Israel Hospital (April 5)
5. Various bizarre-o-world locations in my sleep, including my dead maternal grandfather's new house by the ocean. (Don't ask.)

Also, I'm a terrorist.

Yes, it's true. I've realized that based on the Shrub Administration's six-year mantra-chanting about elitist, lefty liberals "if you're not with us, you're with them", that, since I'm an elitist lefty liberal, I must be with them. I count myself in good company because Ben Franklin was considered a terrorist by the British and so was, oh, anyone else who thought carefully about revolution back in 1775ish.

Oh, and by the way, the country was NOT founded for purposes of religious freedom (and even it had been, the word "freedom" seems to have utterly dropped out of the equation for anyone not an Evangelical neoconservative Christian.) This country was founded by a group of 17th-century investment bankers. They supported the Plymouth Bay Colony in exchange for the Pilgrims' promise to turn a profit. Please see Nathaniel Philbrick's latest and greatest, Mayflower, for more on this.

So the next time you hear some Evangelical neoconservative freak rant and rave about how America is a Godly, Christian nation, you can just tell them to shut-the-fuck-up. America the Profit-Oriented yes. America the Size-Obssessed, yes. America the often beautiful, often frustrating, always.

I think this is all coming out because I have to attend a Daughters of the American Revolution meeting with my Mum. And honestly, if I'm going to be all Revolutionary and so forth, I'm going to get it right.

I suspect that this is why I don't play politics well with others. I have firebrand-y revolutionaries in the genes.

Things to enjoy today, Patriot's Day, here in the land of the bean and the cod:
1. Julie Powell's blog. If you can, read Julie's entire Julie/Julia Project Blogbefore you read the book. Trust me.
2. The Boston Masochist-a-thon.. Thousands of self-flagellating runners cruising along the streets of Beantown in the POURING RAIN for 26.2 miles to prove, what? That hypothermia is real? (All due respect to my sister, who ran in 1995. But I still think she's nuts.)
3. Spring in New England.

Happy Patriot's Day, everyone! Go spread some revolution!