al Coda

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments

[One more post, and then I will shut up. Promise.]

If I didn’t already suspect it, Sunday night convinced me that much (not all—please note this subtle distinction) of the nonviolent and anti-war sentiment expressed by the left over the last ten years was team spirit—proof of membership more than principle, preening more than pacifism. Underneath the talk, they, like their flag-waving adversaries, always yearned for that feeling of victory—not just to be a victor but a righteous victor—and bin Laden’s murder was the first militaristic act in ages to clear the bar. The tolerance for destruction was always there, only with a stricter standard for what is righteous.

That isn’t to say I advocate extreme pacifism—I like to believe I do, but I don’t think it would hold up to an onslaught of counterexamples and hypotheticals—nor am I against preening. After all, it’s a principal reason why we express beliefs in the first place (consider this post a case in point), and rallies are great places to meet chicks. I would just like to hear more lefties admit that because pacifism doesn’t seem like the kind of thing to fake. Green living makes pretty plumage, but war is serious shit.

If you’re curious how I can admonish the celebration in one breath and defend Rashard Mendenhall’s 9/11 conspiracy talk in the next without being a hypocrite, I can’t, and I don’t. That’s the consequence of writing from a voice, as opposed to my voice. As I mentioned in a previous comment, Median Disposition Vinnie is a bore—always equivocating, never taking a stand. Instead (how to say this without sounding crazy…) I mine the voices in my head (…probably not that, but I’ll go with it) for the one that’s feeling ignored and let him speak. Monday’s cap was a victim’s lover, a pacifist, furious and stupefied that a violent act inseparable from the one that took my friend’s life could send the masses into full pep-rally without pause for how that might tear me apart. No, I am not this person; I don’t know this person; but I am fairly certain this person exists. If I had more restraint and humility, I would know their voice gets heard without my intervention, but I don’t. It’s misleading, patronizing, probably useless, but it’s what I do.

Maybe Rashard Mendenhall was a fool for saying some of the things he did.  I don’t believe that, but I can understand why people would, especially those reacting to the conspiracy theories. Still, what I don’t understand, what I can’t seem to get over, even four days later is this: A destructive act, one in a long series, committed as retribution for even more destructive acts was cause for celebration, and only those who questioned the celebration were expected to defend their reactions. Even Median Disposition Vinnie can tell you that’s fucked up.

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