Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fighting terrorism by tarring and feathering ourselves

Since September 11, 2001, the mantra of North America has become "The terrorists! The terrorists!" -- bawled with the voices of cigarette-addled grannies in a bingo hall.

This unseemly shrieking obsession with "The terrorists!", with this polymorphous army of monsters who are at once brilliant and stupid (think "underwear bomber", think "shoebomber", think Swedish suicide bomber who accidentally detonated himself early by bending down to pick up his cell phone after dropping it), who are everywhere and nowhere at once.

Puts me in mind of Bob Dylan's song "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues":
I was looking high and low for them Reds everywhere
I was looking in the sink and underneath the chair
I looked way up my chimney hole
I even looked deep down inside my toilet bowl
They got away . . .
Now, there are rumblings of terrorists heading to the arctic: Federal security agencies raise spectre of Arctic terror threats.

Which leaves me wondering: Is the North American tactic for combating "The terrorists!" to present ourselves as so lame, stupid and ridiculous with black comedy headlines trumpeting our fears, that we're hoping to literally make "The terrorists!" laugh themselves into submission?

If an adversary of mine emanated headlines as North American outlets do (terrified "The terrorists!" are infiltrating the arctic to urinate all over our pristine ice, which has been earmarked to be melted away by emissions from Dow Chemical, Ford Motor Company among hundreds of other polluters), I would go out and have a gold medal minted for myself, declaring me the unmitigated winner of our stand-off.

As North America tars and feathers itself with its hysterical media, gropes its grannies in airports, patrols train stations with machine guns, and bumps wheelchair-bound air travelers who have unusual contours around their buttocks, whatever adversaries we actually have must be gripped by paroxysms of laughter.

Our leaders are buffoons. Our protectors are imbeciles. Our media have become so inept that even The National Enquirer was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2010, thus ending any credibility for that award (which, actually, lost most of its credibility when Maureen Dowd took home one in 1999 for her columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the Clinton administration).

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