November 19, 2004

To Form a More Empathetic Union

So if a young kid starts hanging out with the tough older boys in his neighborhood because he has no other male role models and he wants to help mom earn a dollar plus maybe a little bling-bling for himself and anyway he doesn't actually use the products himself, well not much, okay once or twice, but mainly he just helps get 'em where they need to go, know what I'm sayin'?--So if all that, and then some heartless conservative comes along and sees it and says, You know, that boy would have been better off if he'd had a father at home for him, the response is Oh shut up, you intolerant moralizer, You Don't Know What It's Like on the streets these days. Clearly, you need your consciousness raised on this issue.

And if some girl leads the wild, wild life during her young adult years and contracts one or two sexually transmitted diseases and maybe only gets them partially treated because she quit taking the antibiotic once she started to feel better or maybe she didn't even know she had infections at all because like many women she was asymptomatic, and then later she settles down gets married or shacks up whatever and wants to have children and tries for years, tries everything, consults specialists gets secondthirdfourth opinons but they all tell her, that pelvic inflammatory disease you have is really going to make it difficult for you, it's not impossible but it's going to be a rough road and an expensive one besides . . . and some heartless conservative comes along and says, You know, maybe a more rigid moral code of appropriate sexual behavior was actually serving some good purpose all those years, the response is Oh shut up, you prig, You Don't Know What It's Like for young women these days. Clearly, you need your consciousness raised on this issue.

Which I guess means that if a young Marine spends long, weary days fighting in Fallujah, encountering attacks from "noncombatant" zones such as schools and mosques, and in fact he himself gets wounded in the face when an enemy playing dead detonates explosives in precisely such a noncombatant zone, and so the next day, on entering yet another mosque and finding yet more of the enemy lying on the ground seemingly dead and wounded, if that next day the Marine thinks to himself, "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" and up and shoots the guy in the head rather than risk taking more flak himself . . . I guess if that happens, and some intrepid reporter films the whole thing, we should all point at him and say Shut Up, You Don't Know What It's Like, But Clearly, You Need Your Consciousness Raised on This Issue?


Well. I guess we have a ways to go on this whole "empathy" thing then, don't we.

Posted by Ilyka at November 19, 2004 07:02 PM in news

The only question in my mind is whether said marine perceived that Iraqi to be a threat and whether that perception was reasonable. Based on what happened to that marine the day before and based on the tenor in those other marines voices on the tape, I think it was a very reasonable perception. Someone had better produce powerful evidence to the contrary before any action is taken against him. The military stance of "There will be a full investigation" has been a little too weak to suit me. More people should have stepped forward and stated why that soldier may have been justified but that won't happen because we're scared of the Arab street and the Arab street is angry with us. It seems to me it should be the other way around.

Posted by: Rob at November 21, 2004 12:15 AM

It occurred to me (full disclosure: I wrote this in another blog's comment section) that only in the Greedo Shot First world were that marine's actions wrong.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 21, 2004 04:07 PM

Good point Ilyka. I would never have thought of linking those ideas.

Posted by: Screaming Memes at November 22, 2004 01:26 PM