Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I am a patriot

Okay, dudes, let's talk about some real shizz for a change.

First off, I have been thinking about something since going to a Pearl Jam concert with AL last weekend. Some time between getting crushed by the mosh pit and catching glimpses of Mike McCready throwing guitar picks to audience members, I realized that this music was making me downright angry. Enraged angry. The kind of anger that makes your ears feel hot, and you feel like you need to do something. Right now. What set off this anger? These lyrics:
    Medals on a wooden mantle, next to a handsome face
    that the president took for granted, writing checks that others pay

Followed by these:
    It's the same every day and the wave won't break
    Tell you to pray while the devil's on their shoulder
    Laying claim to the take our soldiers save
    Does not equate, and the truth's already out there

I am not going to lie- I do not talk a whole lot about this war, about politics in general, especially since George W. got another four years. Most of the time, I have this jaded cynicism that stabilizes me into a numb state, allowing me to focus on other things that might prove more productive. I have no mind for politics- or should I say I have no mind for political action? Or should I say I have no mind?

At any rate, as Pearl Jam was playing, and as countless frat boys were more interested in downing a Budweiser, I started pondering whether a song can really be a protest song if half of your audience does not even listen to the lyrics? But when I got home, I started thinking about something else entirely, that in some ways contradicts the first question: does war seep into your body? Does war permeate your existence such that it is there, in your subconscious?

To some extent, I think it does. Though I do not read all of the news stories, or watch the countless bombs or reports of the wounded or buried, I am aware that it is happening. And every once in a while, I feel a large wave of revulsion well up inside of me at the thought that this is my country. This is my country; I proudly claim it as mine when someone would prefer to term me according to my ethnicity. It's my country, and it represents me, and yet its actions at present could not be more opposed to my beliefs. That thought made me angry on Saturday night, but usually it causes me to feel like vomiting.

And usually, this is followed by an inconsolable sense of futility. And it is that sense that war seems to have on my day-to-day life. Sometimes, wars, or tragedies for that matter, can have a sense of urgency to them: you feel an increased drive to go out and grab your life by the reins, because you have an acute awareness of how precious and fleeting life is. But other times, times like now, when it's a war you never supported, that never seems to stop, and that never seems to have any hope of ending well, it causes complete and utter hopelessness.

I make everything about me. Maybe we all do, to some extent. And I am losing hope. I still have a lot to do, but I am losing the strength to strive, because it feels like Sisyphus rolling that rock up that hill. To what end? For how long? And is there any point to any of it? I think of all the protests, all the people who have raised their voice against war, and it's all for nothing. I kept thinking that, at some point, a fever pitch would be reached, and at such a point, change would occur. But it feels like we are well past that point now, and nothing has happened.

A part of me knows that the answer here is to let it go. Accept that the world has gone mad, but do not become inured. Accept that the big problems are beyond my control, but realize that I, too, have a small sphere, and in it, I have control and influence. I know this. I am trying very hard to live this. But I'm just thinking today about how current events do play a part in our daily lives. When I think back on the last fifteen years of my life, I can definitely point to how certain historical events tie into how I perceived reality. Is it the same for everyone, subconsciously?

The really pathetic part about this whole post is that I truly was planning to post about real shizz. I was reminded of genomes and the intersection of technology of science after reading an NYT article today. Maybe tomorrow.

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