Friday, January 8, 2016

Something in the Air

This article was published over at The Australian Independent Media Network website January 2016. It is in relation, and un pocito, in retaliation, to the double standards used by the media and authorities in addressing an armed takeover of government land by a group of--for want of a better name--angry, conservative, assault-rifle-toting white men. The question is left begging on the cold lonely streets: what would have been the response had they by been from a different demographic?


Hypocrisy abounds. It is hiding behind every corner, but it also the corner itself as it obfuscates. It is in your face. It is in your heart. It is so abundant, that like air, we hardly know its there.
But we can capture small examples of hypocrisy for research purposes and run tests on them. Put them under the microscope. Take stool samples. Perhaps employ a little vivisection. They can be plucked out of thin air at random and at will. The beast I have chosen though has been plucked not-so-much out of thin air, as from an air much denser with hypocrisy than your average Beijing street is with pollution. It is from the media.
Newsflash: Armed Militia Seizes Wildlife Reserve. A large number of right wing “militiamen” in Oregon in the United States of America have, with assault rifles, taken and retained control over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in protest over the treatment of one of their own, amidst other claims regarding the constitution and general freedoms.
Well, that doesn’t seem so bad does it? It accurately describes the event. But wait? Militia? Armed and organised extremists seizing land and assets for political means? Using weapons as a means to coerce and achieve a certain ambition? Doesn’t that sound like…I mean, it sort of definitely kind of closely resembles some other thing … I just can’t put my finger on it. Man what is the word for it? Oh yeah, that’s right … patriotism. Hang on, is that it? I guess it all depends doesn’t it? Oh I get so confused about all this stuff so easily. No wait I got it. Normally that would get called terrorism. But no, they haven’t hurt anybody yet. Umm. All this thinking is hurting my head. Still, shouldn’t they be arrested for thinking too loudly about the possibility of maybe planning some sort of kind of event that may if seen at twilight on a new moon resemble something vaguely akin to a third cousin thrice removed of terrorism?
Oh, hang on, the pictures show them as being white. Ahhh. Phew! That explains it. They can’t be terrorists. I mean with names like Payne and Bundy and Hammond this is clearly not a terrorist issue. Lucky for them they weren’t black. Otherwise the police would have been all over them like, well, like, heavily armed police on black people. They might have even been shot when they pulled out their phones to text each other about the possibility of maybe doing something, kind of. But the article I read in the Guardian said that the police weren’t even there when they arrived for the interview. Thankfully, the FBI had heard about it though. Is it just me or did the air get even thicker all of a sudden.
If they had’ve been born under a really bad sign, they might have been dark skinned and named in Arabic. Or something that sounds like it. That would suck. Then they wouldn’t be militia. They’d probably already be dead. But it’s OK I guess. They just have assault weapons and have only committed a run-of-the-mill act of American style constitutional debate. Nothing to see here. Certainly doesn’t look like the beginnings of a domestic insurgency. Doesn’t even look that bad. I’m not afraid of white ultra conservatives with weapons of war. Not when there are teenagers sending angry texts, or running away with their hands up. The deer might be afraid, but not me. I mean, if they were a real threat, like a jaded Muslim teenager, they’d already be safely behind bars awaiting justification for their arrest. Not that we’d need it of course. Obviously.
Where was I? Oh yeah, as I was saying there is no such thing as hypocrisy. No wait … what point was I trying to make? And what is that smell?

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