Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Mark Morford is COOL

In this ass-clenched, war-torn, Bush-molested climate, paranoia thrives like a virus. The marketers may be getting aggressive, but the government is getting positively draconian. A sickening savageness flourishes in the current Republican regime, a mean-spirited black-souled approach to snuffing the world and silencing dissent and suppressing truth and wrangling up innocents in remote prisons and attaching electrodes to their genitals and raping the women and sodomizing the boys and calling it all-American patriotism.

And, yes, absolutely, they can all go too far. They can publish your address and broadcast photos of your home and invade your personal space like a pinch-faced Lynne Cheney intrudes into your worst nightmares. Hospitals share your health data and decimate your insurance. And it's true -- in a few years, a handful of massive international conglomerates will own just about every brand on the planet, including the one called human DNA.

But here's the thing: They are all merely screaming at the divine gates. They are all pounding on the high stone walls of What Really Matters with their fleshy bloody useless little fists, wailing and crying and thinking they are all-powerful and omniscient, signifying nothing.

Maybe I'm delusional. Maybe I'm like Frodo in that first installment, when Aragorn asks him if he's scared and Frodo says yes and Aragorn says, "Well, you're not nearly scared enough" and Frodo's eyes get all wide and trembly and he looks really really scared. Maybe I'm titanically naive to be so smug, thinking I'm covered in some hard titanium armor of informed wisdom and personal choice.

But, then again, maybe this is the ideal standpoint. Maybe this is exactly the type of energy we need to put out toward the world, not a fierce snarling buffalo stance of rage and dread, but one of calm laughter and fiery perspective and a well-honed Teflon spirit. Choose to wallow, and the world will give you wallow. Choose to believe they can't get to you, not really, not ever, and they never will.

Because otherwise, if we just give in to the paranoia and the anxiety and the credit card companies and Rumsfeld's tiny gleaming black marble eyes boring like poison into the heart of the cosmos, life shrivels into a hollow nub and all is lost. And what fun is that?

Mark Morford

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