3/24/03

From: Tom Moore
Subject: the Matrix

Hi Mike,

Here is a pretty good sermon delivered by Marilyn last Sunday.

My outlook is surlier. I hope this thing blows up in their fucking faces.

The networks had to admit today that they were screening out, at the request of Rumsfeld, images of the war which were pouring in through external news organizations and the internet, so as "not to offend us".

I feel totally paranoid. I feel like I woke up in the Matrix, like the last survivor of the body snatchers.

We are not free.

The major institutions of this country - the networks, the media, the congress, the "two" parties - are being controlled, and are lockstepping to this idiocy.

Well, I hope it blows up in their fucking faces.

*****

3/25/03

Hi Tom

Well, yes, it's all so clear now. Once the bombing starts and you have a chance to doze off for a minute, everything George and Dick and Rummy have been telling us falls suddenly into place. If the weaponzomassdestruction fall into the hands of the terrorists it will be the end of freedom. I must have been blind not to see it. I just got back from taking a piss in the driveway, and I saw one sneaking around my truck, disguised as a rabbit. Several different cars took turns following me home from work tonight. I don't know why I never noticed them before. If Europe and Asia and Africa won't join the war against evil, we don't need 'em. This is about the survival of democracy. Besides, now that we're at war it’s time to get it over with and put aside the intellectual rhetoric and support the troops!

Everybody is depressed and disoriented this week. I think it is just the loss of focus. We were zeroed in on this goal of not having a war, and even though we knew we would not succeed we believed in the possibility anyway. So now that goal has vanished, and the new possibility is that Bush will kill Saddam and be a hero. And win the next election, and go on to establish the pax Americana. Our minds can't handle u-turns like that. We need a few days to regroup. A new goal. Impeachment maybe, which nobody has yet seriously considered.

What has me in a saddened state was a local interview I heard on Friday. A woman named Chris Demchak, a lt. colonel in the Army Reserve who has a doctorate in political science and teaches global relationships at the UA, opposes the war not primarily as a grab for oil or power but as a derailment of the Enron/Cheney investigation. She believes the current white house to be the most secretive and ruthless since Nixon, blaming Bush and his "Rasputin" Karl Rove.She respects the protesters, but believes them to be a permanent minority, describing the demographics this way: 35% of the population in this country is always in favor of war - any war, for any reason. 20% of us are always opposed to war. Out in the middle are two more groups, 30% who will go along with a war if it looks like we will win, and 15% who will go along if it doesn't look like we'll have a lot of casualties. Bush always has his 35%, and trotting out the daisy cutters and vapor bombs and 250,000 infantry automatically gets him the certainty of victory and a 65% approval rating. There was never a real debate or change of thinking with the American public. The outcome was inevitable, statistical, as Goering would have predicted. It is not about anything we think or anything we can teach or learn or understand. It is just about the fixed, eternal status quo of who we are. Hawks, doves and cows.

Hawks are the necrophiliacs who create the pretexts for war and the occasions for all the nifty explosions and dead bodies. They are activists for mayhem, like Patton ("God help me, I love it so!") Opposing the hawks are the doves, who read books and worry about the direction of human history. Hawks and doves are both on fire in their way, attempting to pull society in opposite directions.

In the central pasture between them are the dense, indifferent, unthinking, passive, bovine nincompoops who hold the swing vote. Many of them are sports fans who are less comfortable deciding which team to support than simply rooting. They can only remember one argument at a time. They are not able to think critically since this would involve comparing two arguments in their brains. If they were smart enough to wonder whether or not they were cows, they'd be able to tell by the frequency with which their minds change. The huge segment of the British population that has decided to support Blair after all, now that those peace placards aren't there to confuse them.

You get cows to go back into the barn by dragging a bale of straw (support our brave men and women) behind a pickup truck in the direction you want them to go.

You are right. It feels like nasty little science fiction puppet masters have taken charge. It's demented. The techniques they are using are hackneyed, stupid ploys that shouldn't fool anybody, and everybody is getting fooled anyway. We can't all be so dumb as to let this stand for very long. Unless this is what totalitarianism looks like - a looming oligarchy so preposterous as to be invisible, all institutions directed to support the dictum and no real demand for dialogue. So. If nobody hollers bloody murder then it would appear that the evil Osama (Bush's bogie man) has indeed destroyed freedom, more easily than anybody could have guessed.

Be assured, however, that I have not been body snatched, nor have many others. I think that beyond our borders most people can still see objectively and will assist us in maintaining perspective. On the bright side, we will be relieved of our customary boredom, as we ride these waves of tumultuous change into possible doom. I'm also more militant than your pastor (and mine), though I suppose we should beware of anger as yet another dangerous symptom of the war mentality from which even peaceful people like ourselves are not immune.

Time for tubby bye bye,

Mike