Sunday, October 28, 2007

Peace, a meditation in 4 parts: Two, Dispensing with Doublethink

Many times in our society, things become their opposite. In George Orwell's 1984 the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent authority of Big Brother limited the oppressed citizenry's aspirations by sowing mental confusion through turns of phrase that the author dubbed doublethink. It's a wicked little practice embraced bawdily by the allegedly democratic leaders who mask well their closeted desires for autocracy.

The naming of the Peacekeeper missile was one recent American incarnation of this rhetorical bit of twisted logic, and in this Renaissance period for Ronald Reagan Think we're often told that we must wage war in order to win the peace. I can't argue with the efficacy of armed conflict to dispatch many to that state of physical peace we call death. War's ability to lay the foundation for mental, emotional and spiritual transcendence is much less reliable.

Those youth we enlist to do our bloody handiwork across borders usually come back irreparably scarred by the experience. The residents of those countries to which our soldiers are sent as ambassadors of the missile and bullet, are left with bitter hearts and vengeful minds. Back here at home, where the "enemy" culture has been cast in the role of two-dimensional, brutish villains by the best Hollywood and Madison Avenue image crafters, the domestic gross product is dominated by hate and racism.

Too often we're taught that peace has to come on our own terms or not at all. The concepts of right and wrong become deceptively simple when we throw up divisive walls, but they don't mirror reality. Navigating through the ambiguity of conflicting perspectives is much more difficult, but it's the only way to win a fuller comprehension of our own place in this world and universe.

I've enthusiastically endeavored to participate in and promote this new phenomenon of social networking we see dominating the Internet, and I think that an answer lies within that nebula of interactions. The more we know and understand about each other, across the many artificial divides politicians and clerics like to erect as obstacles in our path, the less likely it is we'll make unrealistic demands of our new found neighbors, and ourselves.

Chicago Punk pioneers Naked Raygun wrote the below paean to the Reagan-era bravado that we need to jettison if we're ever going to break through the barriers keeping us from Peace.

To be continued ...

by Naked Raygun

I am the peacemaker
I'll pound sand right up your ass
Our moral codes differ
You're scum ... that is all

A trail of sh*t follows you around
On the edge, it's a hell of a drop
Your number's up
We've got your name and your middle name

I am the peacemaker
I'm right and you are wrong
I am the peacemaker
You are wrong that is all

A trail of filth follows you around
On the edge
It's a hell of a drop

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