Saturday, November 06, 2004

Post Mort

You guys done good. Of course, now we have to wade through all the post election explanations as to why things went the way they did... written by people who didn't have access to the time warp machine so they were guessing like the rest of us. For me... well, all the pollsters seemed to call it a tie for so long that when things finally came to a point and folks had to make the lever choice, suddenly it was over... and I mean, really by God over... then Kerry didn't seem to have a ghost of a chance. Snowballs in hell comes to mind. Well, anyhow... now we get to fight the peace.

I'll say this for the Kerry people: their Orlando office, which was right across Mills Ave. from my bail bond office here in the Thornton Park area of Colonialtown in Orlando, was emptied and cleaned up nicely the day after the election. They may be Donks but they didn't leave any trash behind for someone else to clean up. Good for them. I figured since they were hustling the young people so hard that they would be typical college students and be bad spirited pigs, but not so.

I do have one revelation --

I've been curious about the disconnect from my values and point of view and that mysterious collection of "everybody else" that still lingers out in the nuggusphere as to the "war" that we are fighting.

I was sitting in Otter's last night getting fed by the Redhead and one of the guys from the marina came over and wanted to talk politics. Why he thought I could contribute any insight I don't know. Anyhow, Mike said that he had NOT voted but was curious because he had read about the Republican win on page 1 of the Sentinel and then had seen a story on page 2 about a combat death in Iraq and he wanted to know why people were willing to fight in a shithole like Iraq anyhow and why so many people were supporting the President anyhow.

What can you say? The guy didn't take sides in the debate. Now he's asking me what's going on. Hmmm.

"Mike.... there are two kinds of men. There are guys who will fight and there are guys who won't. I know it's a schoolyard thing but it really is that simple. Which are you?"

" Well, I'm no coward, if that's what you mean. But I wouldn't want to fight in the desert. Screw those guys."

"Those Iraqui guys kind of threw down on us. The Al Quida guys were the ones who flew those planes into the buildings in New York back on 9/11 you know. Didn't that piss you off?"

"Well, yeah. That's what this is all about?"


" Well, fuck. Why didn't somebody say so? I'd a voted for that Bush guy if I knew that. The other guy was talking about getting some Europeans to help out."

"Well, we've got some folks helping us. The Brits are helping. Aussies too."

"Good." And the guy got up from the bar stool and wandered off, beer in hand. An informed citizen.

The point of the lancet is that the guy didn't really understand that 9/11 was the same kind of thing that Pearl Harbor was. Some foreign assholes threw down on us so we had to fight. Had to fight. And I mean fight to the death. This isn't something that we went looking for. They found us and wanted to fight, so we're taking it to them. Of course, we have to be choosey. We have the power to turn the desert around Baghdad into a layer of hot glass a foot thick if we want to kill all of them, but few of us have the stomach to kill all those women and children. Few of us want another Hiroshima. But as a card carring American male I can tell you that I wouldn't mind cleaning out a whole mosque full of Jihad fundamentalists. Like the old line goes -- let God sort them out.

Mike and I are in general agreement about the pecker things. Man stuff. The school yard. The general message is... don't screw with me or I'll burn down your hooch. I think that we are doing fine in that department. That Osama guy hasn't managed to knock down any more office buildings... and we've rained death down on him and his asshole buddies with unrelenting force since 9/11... and seem to have every intention of keeping it up until the rag heads cry uncle.

That was the choice. The trouble is that my friend Mike didn't see the culture war that has been going on. He can understand a direct threat. If someone were to hit HIM, or threaten his old lady or one of his kids, then they would have a fight on their hands. But he has to have someone explain why he should be pissed at Al Quida.

And that continues to be a problem. OK... Bush won one. But where do we stand in the bigger struggle of fighting the war on terror?

I think that most people get the bulk of their general information through mass media. Mike watches the news occasionally but Dan Rather is not a major actor in his intellectual inventory. And when he does tune in he has to sort out the facts from the crap that is shoved towards him by the media. He has absolutely no connection with the Eastern elite or the informed intelligencia. This is not a guy who has ever even heard of Noam Chomsky. He's just a guy in a bar in Cracker Florida who didn't vote (probably a good thing) but wanted to know what the fuss was all about.

We should do a better job of educating the Mikes of this world. And I ain't talking about nuances here. That bullshit is one of the problems. I'm thinking that somehow as a culture we've become disconnected from our own cultural values. The blow felt at the World Trade Center should resonate through our culture to the quiet eddies of Orlando Florida. Mike should still be pissed and willing to bring it to the cretins who want to hurt his country. And if he is not fully connected to that simple fact then we are all at risk of losing the war on terror.