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The Terror Within

By Angie Riedel

12/11/07 "
ICH" -- - -- Resident bush has been wrong about many things, a great many serious things. When bush makes mistakes innocent people die. One of the slogans contrived to validate his phony war on terror was that we had to fight them over there so we wouldn't have to fight them here. Guess what. He was wrong again and people are dying. Our attention is sorely needed on the home front because they're here. In fact it seems they may be us.

Pick up a newspaper and read about the latest mall shooting; another mother killing her children; another full grown man raping and murdering a tiny child and as these realities settle into the folds of your gray matter you may begin to realize what I have realized: there is more terror here at home than there is anywhere else in the industrial so-called civilized world.

The stomach turning truth is that people in this country are mentally and spiritually imploding and when they do they commit crimes that literally go against nature. This is far from normal, but even more worth your consideration is the fact that the sudden upsurge of unnatural crimes also doesn't pass the sniff test. These crimes supposedly have no explanation. How is that possible? It's not possible. Something is going on here. Something we're not being made privy to. Something that's painfully obvious and yet we're somehow not seeing it.

If there is one thing I've learned in life it's that no one ever does anything without a reason. No one just commits crimes that are so heinous as to defy comprehension without a very serious reason. People do not just snap. No, I'm sorry, they don't. They are pushed. They are failed and they are pushed. Somehow, somewhere, like Chinese Water Torture, they are pushed until they cannot take it anymore.

Do you know what Chinese Water Torture is? It's totally immobilizing someone, laying them on their back, and then letting a single drop of water fall on their forehead, again and again and again and again until it becomes excruciating, until they lose their mind. Don't doubt the power of one drop of water. Over time it can bore a hole right through solid rock.

It's insidious. You wouldn't think of a single drop of water as a weapon of terror and torture. It seems gentle and harmless enough. But when some seemingly small slight happens repeatedly and endlessly for hours, for days, for weeks, months, and years, many things we believe are harmless can actually be boring holes right through people's souls.

Our daily lives are a frenzied repetition of schedules. Running to meet the demands of employers, schools and government becomes our fixation and everything else falls to the wayside, including the very people and things that should in fact be at the top of our priority lists. In our haste and failure to face the reality that our externally imposed obligations wholly dominate us, we form habits in thoughts, words and actions that become the Chinese Water Torture of our society. The system itself creates the teenage mall shooters, the murdering mothers, and the child rapists. It also protects the bottom feeders who get away with it all because they have money, rank and privilege.

It doesn't matter where we fit in the greater spectrum of things, every word and deed affects the people in our lives starting right at home. In our work places, in our court rooms, in our jails and prisons, in our state and federal legislatures, every word and act is a piece of the overall condition we find ourselves in. Do we pay attention to what is said and done and do we understand that the steady repetition of well worn routines can injure others to the breaking point?

Cruel words, harsh snap judgments, demoralizing treatment, brutality, insults, rudeness, apathy, cowardice, humiliation. Our system has a bottomless hunger to punish others, punish them literally to death. It's never about helping and healing, forgiving and lifting, it's only about punishing, and punishing hard. We never ask ourselves if we have failed somehow, we just lay blame, thick and fast. In our entrenched routines we blame the victim. It's a way to never face our own ugliness. It's a way to turn a blind eye to the real issues and problems. It enables us to keep doing it all wrong and to keep making it worse.

Having no time for our children. Letting the state raise them every day from the age of preschool. Someone else is feeding them their values and beliefs. Someone else is feeding their bodies with who knows what. Someone else is making their rules and deciding their fates. Someone else is explaining what the world is, what life is, who and what they are and worst of all what their value as a human being is. Those others may be nice people but they don't love our children, they're just doing their jobs. There's always the possibility that they aren't nice people. How would we know since we're never there? We find out when it's too late, if ever.

We live our lives in an endless rush, hurrying everywhere, there's no time to think. No time for our children. No time for neighbors. No time for friends. No time to get involved. No time to just be.

Expecting ourselves, our children, and everyone else to perform as expected, as accepted and directed by the rigged economic system that owns us all, where nothing matters more than money, making money, earning money, having money, spending money, working for money, being employable, being obedient to the state and the institutions that control our lives, that push to define our lives - it makes no sense. It's unnatural. It's unprecedented. We're all living for the sake of the system and it's killing us. The system is supposed to live for our sake. It does not have to be this way.

Mass produced corporate products are killing us in a million ways too. Small business and local culture has been decimated. Our gathering places are gone, replaced by exact duplicates of corporate city blocks in town after town. The same storefronts, the same chain restaurants, the same big box stores, the same coffee shops, the same hours. The same lack of creativity and uniqueness, the same distant unconcern for your satisfaction, the same workers churning out the same handful of things without love or pride or joy. It's a terrible loss of our identity, meaning and local culture. It's a critical loss of flexibility, self determination, wealth and general satisfaction with life. These are no small losses. They're staggering.

Foods and consumer goods aren't even made here anymore, they're imported from places without safety or purity laws. Places with horrible to nonexistent worker protections, environmental protections, and consumer protections. It's the wild wild west of Screw You Capitalism. The goods are toxic, untested, and poisonous. Our food is not safe or nutritious, our drugs are not safe or effective and neither is our failing over priced health 'care' system. You simply cannot pay more for less than what we're getting in America today. Quality is a thing of the past. It went the way of the Made In America tags and it took economic justice and the American dream along with it when it went.

We're bombarded with toxic overdose advertising every single day of our lives. None of us can go a day without being marketed to relentlessly and repeatedly. Think of that. We can never hope to be free of the endless inane yapping of commercials for one single solitary day of our lives. Not even one day out of the year is free of commercials. Not even one hour a year. Even during horrific disasters the stations break to market products to us. Pills and cars and deadly foods. Toys and credit cards and toilet bowl cleaner. Sold with lies and emotional manipulation. This is beyond degrading. It's insulting. It's turning us into McDonalds eating angry suicidal selfish wussy porn-addicted brain-dead junk food junkies who feel like losers and then become losers. Then the government comes out and shames us for being fat. It's unbelievable.

The media lies to us every single time they open their dirty mouths, and why? Because lies are very profitable. I guess we support that now. That's reason enough to shut off the damned TV sets once and for all and grab at the chance to cleanse our heads and breathe, and learn what really matters again because what really matters won't be found on any TV set.

What happens to a nation of people who are brainwashed out of remembering what truth is and how to think for themselves? How to hold their own ground, have their own priorities, make their own value judgments and ignore the screeching liars selling personal agendas in the name of God and country and medicine and profits? They become irrelevant to a bloated, corrupt, self destructive system. Today we must either join in to compete for some fleeting temporary measure of so called success or we are shamed and reduced and made irrelevant and invisible. There is no sympathy for those who cannot become competitive corporatized success seeking drones. No sympathy at all. There are lots of pharmaceuticals though. You need them when you're not allowed to bring your soul to work with you.

What's missing from the endless stream of reports on teenaged mall shooters and mothers murdering their own children is the screaming silence of the unasked question: "Why?" Why are seemingly normal men, women and children in our country suddenly acting out horrendous crimes of sex and murder that cannot be stomached? Why do they then shoot themselves or end up being photographed, taken away by police with absolute blankness on their faces? They are completely and utterly numb. Could it be because of the way we treat each other? Could it be because of the dishonesty and inequity of our system which rigorously abuses those who cannot defend themselves? Could it be because our rampant capitalistic greed has destroyed our very soul?

Do we ever ask ourselves how we might be responsible for what our world is becoming? We should ask because we are responsible. Who else but us?

Why are the authorities not asking why these things are happening? Is there any doubt that it needs to be asked? What is causing this? It's not normal. It is highly abnormal. The immorality and murder of innocents we're seeing today is new to our era, our time, and our lives. Has love become a joke? Has it?

In the not so long ago past if someone committed rape or murder it made headlines. School and mall shootings just didn't happen. People before now were not so broken down, demoralized, and made insane by whatever it is that's turning our society into a writhing trough of spiritual defecation and death. News of corruption and brutal crime is becoming so prevalent that we, you and I, our entire culture, our whole country can no longer keep up with it all. It's wearing us down.

A woman stabs her children to death in a supermarket rest room; a man sexually molests and kills a nine day old infant and it's not enough to warrant a headline. When these things happen there is a day of media attention and then the stories pass away forever into the netherworld of forgotten human sorrow. We may consciously forget them, but spiritually it's not possible. Spiritually we carry every single one of these incomprehensible crimes inside ourselves and they eat away at us. They diminish the importance and value of life. We become numb to the news reports. We're no longer able to feel the shock and the rage. We accept it as the way things are but that's wrong. It does not have to be this way. We can change all of these things.

We are living without learning. That takes conscious official effort. It also means we're getting screwed.

Our government is corrupt as hell. The fact is they're not protecting anyone's security. They are thinly veiled pirates looting the country in a sweeping, one time only capitalist wet dream. Everyone but the richest few is getting screwed and seriously hurt by their corporate globalist ideology and they know that perfectly well. They just really don't care.

The willful failure to consider the harmful effects on others of our words and actions is what forms the very foundation of what we call crime. Unbridled selfish greed is criminal. It's also the sum total of the bush administration's political philosophy, and look where it's taken our country in just a few short horrible years. It will take decades to recover from the damage their time in office, and those before them, has inflicted on this country. Assuming of course that at some point we decided to do something about it.

Our society is becoming comfortable with the depraved indifference toward human life our broken inhumane systems have spawned. This is profoundly important. Think about it. Think about it deeply. Think what it means to live in a world that casually shrugs off mass murders, child rapes and murders, pedophilia, satanic ritual murders, corruption, official lies and bribes, wars for corporate profit, injustice, racism, criminality and all forms of depraved indifference to human life. What kind of a world are we growing here?

Understand this: none of this is accidental. We are all a part of it. Why are we doing nothing to stop it? Why are we not in the streets every day, flooding the ungodly halls of government and demanding what we all know we must have?

We must have sanity, we must have humanity, we must care for one another. We must have human and economic justice, compassion and patience. We must care about our poor and our sick and our weak and our helpless because if we don't care about them, who the hell will? And what are they to do, die? Be consumed by the indifference of the great machine that only cares about power and money? Is that all there is? Hell no. There is a lot more than that and every bit of it is more important than a few grotesquely rich people getting richer. We have to have mutual respect, and individual freedom and rights for everyone, especially for those we don't like or approve of or agree with. We need to get down off our high horses and start facing the fact that none of us are the betters of those we happen not to admire. We have to hold those in high office accountable for their actions because they are responsible for what they do. No one is off the hook. Why would we accept them having a free ride with the law? Who does that serve? What does it accomplish? Nothing worth having. Our government is not there to use, abuse and accuse us. We are not terrorists. We are not valueless lumps of flesh for corporate use. We are not human capital. We are human beings. They are commodifying us and consuming us and we're letting them. Do we no longer have the capacity to have a problem with that? Are we still human?

Why do we let them poison our minds and our lives with their ceaseless marketing filth and private agenda corporate media brainwashing and political propaganda and why are we not struggling at all? What is wrong with all of us? And if it's this bad now what will it be like in ten years, or in fifty years? Do you really want to live in that world? Do you want your children to live in that nasty world?

At any moment on any day we can overturn this insanity. We can stop it by demanding that it stop and by refusing to cooperate with it. By refusing to accept the rising prices, the cruelty, the bloated prison population, the corporate abuses, the police state, the pandering to wealth, the racism, the wars, the no warrant searches, the spying on everything we do, the state taking our children away, the corporations forcing disease carrying vaccines into our families bodies, the GMOs, the outsourcing, the back-stabbing, double-dealing, tax-stealing government. Life is not about officialdom, it's about us. Officials are utterly irrelevant. Our lives belong to us, not to the state, and not to the dollar. God help us, I hope they still belong to us. You tell me, do they? 

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