President MOABA: Mother Of All Bullshit Artists
Bombing as a "final solution" to problems has become a particularly evil aspect of American Exceptionalism. Mr. Trump is suddenly “presidential” because he’s killing "bad guys" en-mass by bombs. It's a major metaphor of power that will assuredly bite us in the ass somehow in the future. We all know by now that one American life can count for much more than the agony of the many anonymous lives we snuff out, out of sight, out of mind. As metaphor, one dead American may equal or even transcend a MOAB strike. After all, it was shock and awe and the US killing campaign in Anbar Province, Iraq, that spurred the pathology of ISIS in Sunni Iraq. As this new reactionary regime finds its footing, how long will the "resistance" hold out in the mainstream? One can only hope the political opposition finds and organizes its real grassroots power as the 2018 mid-term elections approach. It's hard to see much hope in a revolution.
Given the right-brain realities associated with the power of emotions, art and story, maybe it’s time to develop outright, open artistic hostility of the sort we've seen in oppressive regimes around the world. Street theater and art has always been at the barricades. In the United States, we do still have freedoms. True, they may be over-mythologized and contingent on having money and resources; but, still, this is not Soviet Russia or even Putin Russia. Murder isn't a tool of purging, here. Yet.
On one of my trips to El Salvador in the late 1980s, I had the privilege of sharing refreshments and papusas (tortillas stuffed with cheese and meat, a Salvadoran delicacy) with Lutheran Bishop Medardo Gomez. Weeks earlier, he had been snatched off the street by masked men in a car; he was beaten and humiliated as they drove him around the city. He thought he was a dead man. I will never forget the lesson this deeply human, humble man told us he'd learned from this episode. They scare you and intimidate you, expecting you to do the natural thing, to hide and keep silent. But the smart thing, he said, is to do the exact opposite: become as public as you can and make as much noise as you can. Raise the stakes of killing you. It was why he agreed to speak with me and my gringo friends. We had blue passports and maybe we knew US congressmen. The message was profound for me; it made me a better, stronger person facing the less violent, but equally exacerbating politics of North America.