May 03, 2006
Terror A Go-Go
Terror is swirling around our culture on so many levels, I'm not sure I can keep track of everything we need to be afraid of anymore. Our place in history is, unfortunately, ripe with terrifying images, people, holy wars, weapons of mass destruction, violence, and torture. For our generation, the attacks of September 11 will always be the definition of terrorism — just as Pearl Harbor holds that place of distinction for those who fought World War II.
My trusty dictionary has a lot to say about terror. People have been experiencing it and trying to define it for a long time. My favorite definition says that terror "implies an intense fear which is somewhat prolonged and may refer to imagined or future dangers." How timely is that? Another describes "a period when a political group uses violence and fear to achieve or maintain supremacy." Sound familiar? I guess there's nothing new under the sun. The original terrorists were supposedly the French Revolutionaries — you know, the tumbrel ride to the guillotine: that whole Reign of Terror scene. How repulsive. I'll take the Ancient Regime any day.
So, here we are, living in the last great "Super Power," and we're all scared stiff. Will your next gas bill (already a shocker) have anthrax thrown in at no extra charge? Will the bin Laden family move in next door? Will going to an office party above the 20th floor set you up as a target for suicide dive bombers? Maybe. But let's all get a grip. We're not the first Americans to face evil enemies and dark forces.
When our Minute Men faced off against the Red Coats, the British presented a fierce front to our farmers, merchants, and country boys who shakily pointed a musket in their direction. The Civil War wasn't exactly a walk in the park — perhaps that was the worst of all the wars because it pitted brother against brother and was fought right here on our home turf. World War I was a ghastly affair. Our "doughboys" had, for the most part, never been outside of the state in which they were born. They were sent overseas in droves to face tanks, gas, and the horrors of trench warfare. I'm not sure anything could be more terrifying than the Nazis and what they put the world through during World War II. Then came those ill-fated wars in Asia (Vietnam & Korea) where we lost so many young lives and spent vast sums, but gained nothing but terror.
Now, gay people are hardened veterans when it comes to this terror business. The society in which we were born and raised has done its best to send us screaming into the night. The government considers us second class citizens. The church declares us as damned. The medical world vacillates on our sanity. Even the military, though willing to send us to the front lines, doesn't want us to ask any questions or to tell them who we are. It takes a lot to terrorize us. Here are a few things that give us the heebee-jeebees:
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, and Rove.
No access to sportswear separates.
A ban on moisturizers with sunscreen.
Microwavable chocolate soufflé.
An embargo on Italian leather shoes and jackets.
Blue balls in a Red State.
Sushi without wasabi & ginger.
Minivans instead of Mini Coopers.
Lastly, GayView has this to say about terror: a conservative Republican regime with a game plan that includes election fraud, lies cloaked as "faulty intelligence," the use of religion as a wedge between people, and an oil baron/puppet of a President who accuses his people of using too much petroleum while oil company profits soar — now that's a lot to be afraid of!