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Signs of violence

Death to Death Slogans..

We need to talk. Because I don't know if it's just me, or if there is anyone else out there thinking like I am. I really don't like the way this country is handling the whole bin Laden thing. I don't mean the military; they're just doing their job. I mean the citizens.

Clarify one thing: I do think bin should be dead. I won't argue that point. I have no problem with the thought of him no longer existing. What I have a problem with is the glorification of his impending doom. As I drive, I see cars and vans with pictures of Laden taped to the back windows, targets drawn on his face and bullet holes sketched onto his forehead. I see banners hanging on parkway overpasses, with slogans like "Kick his ass, USA!" and "Death to bin Laden!" I hear them in restaurants and schools and grocery stores, plotting the most evil, violent death possible. But I don't see this alone. My children see it. They hear it. They see this country hell bent on revenge and death and destruction, and they see people waving their death wishes around like flags.

Violence begets violence. We know this. It is the basis of all wars. But it doesn't have to be so consuming. It doesn't have to be so bold and in your face. When they say "make a joyful noise" I don't think they mean shouts of war. I don't like the way we are teaching the future leaders of this country that an almost gleeful violence is the way to confront your enemies. That's what the WWF is for.

Don't get me wrong, please. I am not saying that Laden shouldn't be dealt anything less than death. I'm just asking, can we tone it down a bit? Can we not seem so giddy about taking lives? Can we not be so gung ho about the systematic destruction of another country? Can we not be so glib about revenge and war?

Think about what kids are seeing. Think about the signs and banners and posters that promote spilled blood. Think about the fact that this country already has a problem with hostile, angry kids who do not know how to act upon those feeling without reaching for a gun. Think about the message your slogans are sending.

Just...tone it down, ok?

Comments

Michele, I can confidently assure that you are not the only one who feels this way. I think ambivalence about the destruction we're raining on Afghanistan is more pervasive than the media have been letting on. And you're certainly not the only one who is disturbed by people cheering this destruction like they cheer their football team. If we're going to to be outraged by Palestinians celebrating the attacks on 9/11, we shouldn't be so quickly guilty of the same thing when we're turning the tables.

i'm reminded, rather juvenile-ly i believe, of a slogan i heard during a play - blood makes the grass grow, kill kill kill.

Forgive me, Michele, for I have hit-whored with the very same Bin Laden images you mention. I'm sorry, I'm really a peaceful person and you are so right about this glorified violence. sigh

And, I live with someone that rejoices in the death. Today he rejoiced that a child of one of the Taliban leaders was killed in the bombings, saying, "he would have grown up to want to kill us". Right now I just feel incredibly sad about the whole thing.

Does this mean I'll stop the hit-whoring? Umm, just a little more, ok? It's bad traffic, but it's like a drug, you know?

phineas said it well. and i do agree with you, michele, wholeheartedly. the other night john mccain was on david letterman and the first thing he said was "do you know what osama bin laden is going to be for halloween?" dave said, "no, what?" and mccain said, "dead." as much as the audience (and dave too) seemed to hesitate ever so slightly at first, the joke did not fall flat and laughing grew to clapping and then outright cheering. politicians in particular want to make sure we have confidence in them and in our country. they want to keep our morale up, or our "team spirit" and promote working together. the way some people are going about that, or interpreting that, definitely scares me.

problem with all this death thing is that every time a bomb rains down, it ain't hitting bin laden, it's hitting people who have suffered and are suffering from the bullshit of imperlism that stretches back so faar...there is nothing except for poverty left in afghanistan...i dunno, i always thought ppl like mccain and bush were christian, and i seem to recall from my studies in christ-dom that one of the biggies was forgo the eye for an eye mentality, focus on alleviating poveryt not destruction of the ppl of yr enemy - according to new testament at least, god judges, humanity needs to learn and love...the sermon ends now.

i agree wholeheartedly, michele, as usual. the rejoicing in death and destruction is very disturbing and repugnant, anywhere, but especially in a country that tells itself it is fighting against that very thing.

I agree, Preach on Sister.

I agree, Preach on Sister.

Definitely in agreement with you. We attended a birthday party yesterday where I heard an eleven year-old make a statement about one of the birthday gifts (a stuffed doll that sang): "You know what you should do? You should send that to Osama with a bomb in it so that when he opened it-" Thankfully his mother cut him off before he finished.

I'm rather grateful that my little ones are oblivious to this whole thing.

i've been called everything by everybody on both sides. i abhor war. in a perfect world, we wouldn't have to fight. i hate the idea that we will kill innocents in afghanistan, and that their soldiers will certainly die.

but, i support our decision to bring bin laden to justice. i support our soldiers and their support crews.

i just wish we didn't have to do it.

Agreed. What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?"

But I did laugh at the "What will bin Laden be for Halloween?" joke.

Virgins will not be peeling grapes for ME in heaven ... sigh.

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