Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thank God for Iraq

I know in your darkest moments, you're glad for it.

When you think about all that empty space. When you watch Walking Dead or some other dumbass dying-world fantasy, or see those kids' bloated bellies in Somalia or some other unlucky place; when you wonder if there's any purpose; when you imagine what it would be like if Russia or China won, and we got put under some kind of occupation or treatment like what all the lesser peoples get. Twenty-year-old kids from another land marching around your neighborhood, kicking in your door and raping you and your family and taking stuff outta your fridge and not learning the language and not leaving, not even five years later, just being there forever, sort of like a permanent police presence of people that think your speech is jabbering bullshit and who blame you, maybe rightfully, for everything else that went wrong for the past hundred years.

I know when you lie in bed at night thinking about the world in which you live, you're glad for it.

When you think about the gas running out and you and everyone you ever cared about starving to a slow, painful death in a pointless wasteland, while four thousand miles away a different place uses the computer and throws out unwanted leftovers and doesn't even give a damn about finding out if someone like you or your family exists. You're so glad about all the dirty things done for you so that you have less a chance of ending up that way.

That's why you're here. That's why you're here with me.

I know in your darkest moments, you're glad for Iraq. We at least own that. We have a little fracking. We have the caribou shitting range and some wasteland in Texas and some other stuff to hit up if we really need it. All those guys in all those uniforms. All those bombs; all those luxurious assholes in Manhattan and LA who couldn't possibly let their primary support system crumble, right? At least, if they're there living it up, it can't possibly get that bad here. Light switch will still work, faucet will still release water, food will still be on the store shelves, and police will still patrol to repress roving gang activity.

It might not run forever. It might be crashing into an infinite void because we're too stupid to give a damn about anything more than a century or two out, but at least during that time, those of us here will still get our allotment, right? At least we'll wring our 70-odd years out of this place, so that when we go, we can tell ourselves, "Hey, at least I got, you know, a standard lifetime; about as good as anyone gets. Had some good times."

Thank God for Iraq. Thank God for the trans-Afghanistan pipeline and the fact that our boys will be controlling it. Thank God for a little bit of leverage to still matter.

Sorry. I'm that sad voice, I know. That's why you're here with me. But don't worry about a thing. Because fretting about it and reading regular critical reviews absolves us of our sins. Feel a little bad and it wipes the slate clean.

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