Watch Out, The Second Half Gets A Bit Political

Sometimes I write things just to kill the inertia. Things like that last sentence. I don’t mean to get too “meta”, but I’m in a philosophical mood this morning. I’m thinking about why I do this. Why is it so important to me that I put words down here every day? I like to think the ritual has something to do with my fear of irrelevance or my desire to combat stagnation. It might just be that I’m self-involved and need people to indulge my fancy in order to love myself properly. I think every artist has a touch of the latter. If this starts to get a little weird for you guys, jump off now. I can’t promise it will get any better.

Comcast came through. Replaced the router and looked at a box in the wall. It took them four hours, but I now have somewhat reliable internet. I keep getting periodic losses of signal, but I can live with those. I didn’t choose Comcast for their reliability, cost, or service. I chose them because Comcast is the only ISP that services my apartment complex. It would appear that in the government’s infatuation with corporate America, they seem to have forgotten the danger of allowing monopolies to thrive.

Allow me a moment to get off my soap box and bow humbly to the state of affairs in the world. We seem to be gearing up for a nice World War III, which could possibly go down in the books as the ‘War of Ideology’, which is a thought that terrifies me. The alt-right has taken a firm hold of both America and the EU, agitating our strained relationships with Islamic-majority nations. Erdogan’s inflammatory rhetoric is pushing people into their own corners of political and spiritual thought as he helps himself to heightened executive authority. He speaks of the West preparing for a ‘War Against Islam’, which is a narrative we are constantly playing into by a constant stream of anti-Muslim legislation engendered by a blind fear of the “Other”.

This is what terrorism is for. None of these terrorist organizations have the capability to stand toe to toe with even the most lackluster of modern military forces. What they do is they tell the people around them that their target is evil. Most don’t buy in, they’ve never seen the target to be evil. In some cases the locals even like the target. So these groups will make some very small, but powerful gesture. They’ll blow up a cafe or shoot up a public square. That’s when the target plays into the narrative of the terrorist. They react and punish anyone associated with the terrorists, whether they draw the line on ethnicity, nationality, or ideology. Then, when the terrorists say to the locals that the target is evil, the locals agree, because the target has wronged them based on an action that was out of their power.

George Bush had one thing right. The only way to beat terrorism is to deny them the reaction they’re looking for. Of course, the man bafflingly went straight to war with an unrelated country under false pretenses right after he said that, but we can’t win all of them.


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