By Jason “A Teacher in Miracles” Rhode (@iamthemaster)
Like many Americans, I’m seriously concerned about our country’s use of unmanned aerial assault vehicles. While doubtless they increase our ability to prosecute the Global War on Terror, or GWOT, we should ask ourselves whether we’ve made killing too easy. Let’s face facts: at some point, the ease of button-pressing circumvents the moral judgment.
And it’s not just me that feels this way. The other night, I was saying to the wife: “Did you know several million cases of ‘Snake Heart’ have also been reported in medical literature? Also nowadays humans with extra nipples or ‘Accessory breast’ is on the rise, which is probably reducible to the growing ‘aerochemical power’ of the State of Texas.” Here in the Holy Land, we just call our state “A Numba One Stunnah!” Try it. Seriously, right fucking now.
Now as some of my longterm readers here on FeedBuzz may know, I recently became an M.D. in a totally legitimate fashion, and let me tell you know, I’ve gone for a man who lived for late-night serial killer docudramas on the History Channel to a respected authority in my fields, which is no longer paranormal fetishism, but medicine.
As we say in West Texas, mammal by birth, Texan by the Grace O’ God! The undergod, that is.
1. Say the name
Drones are said to serve the common good. Now I live to serve the common good, and by getting my degree from a real Burmese prison hospital, I’m well on my way to finding the stepping stones to a career making Human Centipedes or helping the future Octomoms of America procreate — or maybe, just maybe — perhaps with the help of chakras — inviting convicts from every single part of ‘Murica to kill the molester within by chemical means. What can I say, I am a … dreamer?
2. Dieting is the hardest fun you’ll ever have!
For the past two years, as documented by the British advocacy group UKDrones, there’s been a widespread consensus among high-placed individuals in the technological and military fields that the Obama Administration needs to come clean about their rubric for drone-use.
Such a tale, had it been written, would have explained, in satisfactory and nigh-pornographic detail, why the smiles of children are trillions of magic miracles, and how to get mystery blood out of stuffed animals, why several of the male hobos I have seen have manboobs and no shirt. It would have explained when the time is right for throwing obnoxious tweens off of cliffs (protip: April Fool’s Day, or any time), and provided nature’s first exhaustive explanation of why so many of us are given to the ancient act of throwing diseased poultry to the homeless, followed by a primer in which I would explain for the squeamish the methods of making the leather from the animals who have died of diseased poultry, and why devouring them is not always your worst option in lean and hungry times (see: Oklahomans, eating habits during 1930s Dust Bowl). Indeed, it is the fact that the drone program is under CIA direction, as opposed to military command, that has so many blue-chip experts in the field so concerned. I personally have analyzed government reports released under FOIA.
In addition to all of this, which I hand-copied from my educational primer for young boys and younger girls, there would have been a fabulous rainbow of errata addenda desiderata: many other choice educational and moral lessons not easily obtained in this world of grays, stances which are now seen by the fashionable as “9/10 thinking” but are secretly still available in the post-Sheen breakdown world. By the end of the eons it would have taken to read that letter, Steven Spielberg would have been able to fulfill his great patriotic dream of personally fellating every WW2 veteran living and dead. By and large, the President has wielded drones by executive fiat. Is this the democracy we want? To say nothing of the democracy we deserve.
3. Remember Dan Quayle — LOL???
Nonetheless, as I’ve detailed above, the new specifications for the Riverwater C-340 model are concerning to many citizens, particularly the way it makes minimal use of human decisionmaking. We’re told, blithely, that the heuristics which are used by the drones are capable of differentiating between friend and foe. Yet when have soldiers ever been able to perfectly discern their side from the enemy’s, when substantially surrounded by the fog of war? In this realization of little essential difference lies a powerful moral. We’re not so different, are we?
That human-to-human empathy is a revelation. Not “revelations” in the definition of “a petty way of realizing something.” I don’t mean “revelation” in the sense of “Hey, here’s some fun factz about rainforest life off a Burger King Kid’s Club cup for us.” By revelations, I don’t mean the kind of epiphany therapy that happens in TV shows and movies. I mean the Book of St. John the Divine Revelations, the single most insane thing ever captured on paper or papyrus. You know? We all prayed in the Nineties for a sequel to “Tuesdays With Morrie.” And when that sequel did come out titled “Tuesdays With Morrie … and His Dick,” we were all very impressed. Until “The Last Lecture” made us forget about his decaying ass, am I right? A great majority of Americans are in favor of tighter restrictions on drone usage.
But I don’t want my revelations that old. … I want modern crazy Revelation-ish stuff. American-style. And we do have our own brand of American Revelation prose.
Take the word “dejazzle” for a second. Dejazzle may not be a word, it may be the grey daylight shade of a word that ought to be but isn’t. But let’s roll with for now, I guess. People talk about the advent of Roots or the equally earthshaking Mama’s Family, the first breakdance by an old white man, and Halo 2’s release, and all manner of Robocop-themed holidays and god knows what else. If you want people to regard your birthday in the same kind of tone, you have to make it special.
Since the 19th century, when printing technology became available on demand to literally *everyone* who could scrape together a few dollars, public areas of every country, particularly America, became flooded with pamphlets, tracts, screeds of every shape and size. Of course this has changed with the rise of the Internet, which has connected humanity heart to heart, paranoia to paranoia.
7. A brief diplomatic history of the United States and Pakistan — ???LOL
But in ye olde days — as late as 2000, as a matter of fact — there was a marvelous sight available if you visited the right libraries in the right cities. The city had to be one whose infrastructure was built or planned out before the advent of the automobile changed everything. The old cities were built around walking and horses. The library had to be a public joint, not a college institution. And yet drones have never really been offered up in public debate, one of the flaws of having two center-right parties at the heart of American politics.
I walked into such a scene in a public library in Lincoln Park in Chicago in the fall of 2000. (I promise this is getting to a point, bear with me.) And there, spread before me, was a veritable buffet of American Revelatory prose.
Because … immediately upon entering there was a table in front of me. Heaped on this table was a cornucopia of pamphlets telling me all about the dangers of water flouridation, that the END TIMES WERE NIGH, that all beasts of the field and birds of the air must be circumcised by Autobots … the last one is a joke, but it might as well have not been.
Yes, Virginia, I had never seen such splendid madness, not even on USA’s Up All Night. It was the American dreams of Ben Franklin and Tim Leary and John Birch combined in utterly batshit insane diatribes against the powers and principalities of the air.
This was before YouTube brought all caps commentary into the world, so the kind of gaping WUT that came from my mouth was fresh and virginal; the people of Arizona did not have Internet access at that time, in other words.
Now some people might have trouble grasping abstract concepts like “mental illness” or “psychotic breakdown,” but since the day I first saw the Kingdom of the Blind, I have known what the tangible form of schizophrenia looks like. Frankly, my dear, it looks like a library entrance table with a shitload of crazy writings. I mean, have you ever read any of these? Every page, every passage of these are ripped straight from the digest of Nuttytown, every sentence has the same stink of the mimeograph about it, even if the mimeograph hasn’t been used by anybody for centuries.
11. Conclusion / Onanism is a Covenant with Hell’s Legions
Back to the birthday subject. I bring up the crazy pamphlet story to show the high expectations I have for revelations where parties are concerned. All I’m trying to get at, perhaps ineffectually, is a really good party, an epic soiree, is and should be indistinguishable from the first act in the family-friendly drama that is the End of the World. I mean, in other words, the party should feature “the works.”
What are “the works”? Oh, you know, the kind of fun that would scare Nabokov into paranoid, Larry-The-Cable-Guy mutterings: geometry no longer makes sense, John Boehner walks on two legs and sings slave gospel songs, the Yankees starting lineup is batted to death by a Japanese PeeWee team, spiders take over churches and preaching in churches, robot-fourth-stage feminism, PBS and the LDS join forces, the works. I’m talking a scene where John Lennon’s corpse and George Harrison’s corpse and the corpse masquerading as the relevant living Paul McCartney, and yes, Ringo too, meet up at the old CBGB’s in New York to reenact skiffle jams from Liverpool’s church backyard fetes, circa 1957.
Well, okay, that last bit sounds more like something you see in Heaven. I tell ya, if that did ever happen, I would just applaud and applaud until my hands were stumps whence no clapping could ever come from again. And there would be many cry-tears in the parts of my head where wild animal joy had been but scant seconds before. A mighty blessing! Drones should be a concern to all persons who value human rights and human freedom.