One Man’s Opinion.
Making a point here:
In my novel, Three At The Center Of Rage, an FBI agent says to my protagonist, a pushy cop:
“Walk away from all of this. Except for you, hardly anybody cares. I know you now, Frank. You’re a good cop. You’ve spent thirty years cleaning up the streets, a total cynic when it comes to the local crud. But when the flag goes by, it’s God and country and your eyes tear up and you get a catch in your throat. Okay, fine, that’s nifty, but save it for the parades because business has no flag. Its roots are on wheels, and if it’s a business with dirty connections it will run you the fuck down if you get in its way. And God is a Republican and you don’t mess with Him… Okay? Good advice?”
Perhaps it’s my age–in spite of everything I, too, still get a catch in my throat when the flag goes by. So, having established this–
I’ve been asked: What has inspired much of my writing? Well–anger.
While America has had its very good moments, the moral centers of Western countries, including ours, have always been diplomatically shifty and adaptive when indulging in the cynical creation of wars in the name of national interests. Often supporting dictators in the violent suppression of free expression, when said interests were basically the privatization of someone else’s property; with rich old men beating the false drums of patriotism and sending other people’s children into the resulting maelstroms. An old story.
But the essential marrow of integrity and honor of this country turned to ash when the Bush/Cheney administration saw the horror of 9/11 as an opportunity for profit and grabbed this stunned country by its throat. I have lived a long time and I’ve seen administrations come and go, some good, some awful; but every time I thought the Bush crowd had reached bottom, they managed to sink even lower. I am a life-long Democrat but I voted for Ike. I had a brief stint in the military, as had most of my boyhood friends, and we all admired the General’s ability to hold together the major egos in Europe. And Ike, who was hard-bitten and far from his kindly grandfather image, said this:
“…may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America. When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it.”
Was anyone listening? Well not lately. As I recalled the imperfect heart of America, however short of its goal it fell, I believed it always struggled to perfect itself. No longer. Washington has become bank-and-corporate-driven and lobbied to death; a circular self-feeding establishment that has succeeded in executing an enormous shift of our countries wealth from the taxpaying pockets of hardworking Americans into the hands of the elitist few. Money of the wealthy moves offshore untaxed. Members of Congress used insider trading until they were caught–deer in the headlights. Wall Street screwed our public pensions and politicians want to cut what’s left. Whistleblowers are deemed traitors while the NSA is unlawfully tracking our every move, and our Gov employs billionaire contractors who provide deep intelligence and the “security” of private armies. Meanwhile, we “enjoy” a so-called Democratic administration that, no doubt, will soon employ drones to peek into our bedroom windows.
You may think–what difference to me? I’ve done nothing wrong. But excessive surveillance in the wrong hands may produce a point of view that decides, what you’re reading, or who you associate with, amounts to subversion. Meanwhile, much of what we read and hear via our mass media is sifted through corporate screenings. I fear the next step is the control of the internet, which in my opinion is close to the last bastion of our Democracy. I hesitate to think what follows that possibility. Okay? Make you least bit angry? Good.
(To reach my HOME PAGE: hover & click the America, America… title atop this page.) COMMENTS are welcome, below.
Martin J. Ryan
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