The Art of War


The moving images of the governments’ aspiration being depicted from coast to coast. Justified are the premises, no matter what side the station picks. We never stop to think why their isn’t a third opinion on nightly sets that say that there is another way. Flames are just a prop in the pictures, illuminating results of the fireworks of overzealous engines atop the pyramids. Not seen as human anymore; and shouldn’t be if you alter the reasoning. The people lost are marginalized because their lives needed to be forgotten to bring peace… only to the power’s state of mind. The Gaza Strip is just another in the long line of “it’s sad it has to be this way, but it is.”

The media’s role in the apathy of the nation can’t be measured, but it can be felt. If a war is ongoing, it starts off as the breaking story. But as days pass, it is pushed to the back burner of these too-influential nightly melting pots. So as the frequency of the story lessens, the importance of it does too. On one hand, it is depressing. Who wants to see stories of death and destruction everyday, all the time? On the back of that same hand, the news always seems to be depressing. The top story on the 10 o’clock news is always a shooting, a local scandal, or something shady going on in a hood near you. These nightly programs probably give viewers the feeling that the world is a dangerous place because of evil people roaming every corner; not because of establishments voted into their positions. But the way that wars just fade into the background make it seem like there is nothing we can do about them. Persistent, but not something you need to know about. They will always be there. They are the backdrop to an ever changing danger, always lurking, that isn’t really changing at all. It is all fear. The thought that the big picture is explosions in hotel lobbies and nuclear threats, and the possibilities closer to you that are just as bleak create this sense of hopelessness. They say that they are here to inform. That is their function. But not to a point where we are moved to take action, but one to where we are too resigned to the fact that our obstacles are immovable objects. And we are not an irresistible force. Just bystanders. The news is depressing.

We are stuck at a crossroads that we come to every time our soldiers go off to battle. You always hear phrases like “Americans wouldn’t stand for this” or “We are a nation made up of the best people.” Not saying that that isn’t true, but I have to ask why do we stand for it? GITMO is still open and I don’t think many would be yelling out if our President elect didn’t make closing it one of his top priorities (fortunately he has.) We have more important things to think about. You can probably count on one hand the amount of full weeks we haven’t been involved in a military conflict in the past 50 years. There is a faction of this country that is wildly nationalistic; who believe that what we do is right because we are doing it. But there are a lot more of us that can think past the 50 stars and look at a situation objectively. I don’t think most people want war, but I think that 95% of us are ok with it. It’s the way it is, the way it was, and (no one
ever talks about this, but I think in the back of our minds we believe it’s) the way it always will be.

We’re stuck. But only if we choose to be. People get all choked up and annoyed about fiction, imagine if someone showed us images of what was going on in Gaza right now. And not the bombs going off from miles away, but the photos of children sitting next to their dead parents. Or a family lying in the rubble of their formerly standing home. We would be outraged. Incensed. Calling our congress men and woman, telling them to stop letting these wars be funded with our tax dollars. Crying because we see the similarities and could imagine that being us. If they are going to be biased, they should bombard us with this truth until we have no alternative to turn to. Force us to make it stop, as if those families were our own.

Or we would be a little frightened. Mostly indifferent. Use to it. Would change the channel to something entertaining. Not seeing ourselves in their shoes and basically strengthening our “Sucks for them” attitude. When did we become indifferent about lives? I’m thinking when we became indifferent about life. We don’t have control, we have powerlessness. We don’t have any way to stop wars but we have full power over the remote. We don’t make our paths, we accept our fate. That way, hopefully, if we stay out of destiny’s way it will bless us in the end. They bombard us with the trivial and shield us from the finality of our silence. Are they protecting us? Is this the way? Is that their purpose?

I watch the moving lips, of supposed analysts going back and forth all night about two sides of the same coin. Like there is only a right and a wrong to every situation and the television personalities, that happen to give you the events of the day, present to you very neatly. Conservative versus liberal. Right, left. The grand old or the fresh new. All the moving images. They’re hypnotizing. Almost make you forget how human you are; and how that separates none of us. And how that doesn’t include your party, country or anything that is reason enough to justify the deaths. There’s another way, even if they don’t speak its name. Guns must be drawn. But they won’t change if we don’t want them to. And we don’t need them to if we just started remembering what our priorities would be if they weren’t told to us.

All the moving images. They stand as a microcosm for life; saying so little about who we are but so much about who we have been. Their opinions aren’t what’s bothersome, the problem is the amount that they offer. And how those two viewpoints support one idea about the only thing that matters when going to war: Can any gain really make this worth it? Connect to the cable box and you’ll see that it’s ok because… it’s just the norm. It makes me wonder: what is it’s function? And what are they working towards? I think we’d be better off imitating art.

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