I promise, tomorrow will be Fanfic Saturday, and I swear I’ll stick to happy things and Christmas and joy and lightness for the rest of the holiday season. I loathe political diatribes– I even loathe writing them, although I find myself ranting more times than I’m comfortable with. I wanted to talk about the Force Awakens hat–which came out FANTASTIC, I might add–and pump up Winter Ball which is doing really well. I wanted to chat about the silly season, because I’m enjoying it, and it makes me happy as it always has, and I’m still optimistic about the world in spite of all the “fuckturds driving the world into a tree” (as I put out on Twitter the other night.) But tonight this felt important, and I am going to rant, and just like my other rants, I’m going to ask that this one sit in the void. A “Shalom, Peace,” is welcome. “Namaste,” or “Blessings” is also welcome. Any of the pronunciations of the word “peace” from THIS WEBSITE also a good thing. But when I use the vague “politicians’– I want to keep it vague. As I’m about to point out–everyone is guilty.
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It’s my fault–I train my kids to take their fiction seriously, and if they’re watching something that scares them, I make them go into their rooms or I turn it off.
But we were watching The Hunger Games–and hey! Action, adventure, a love triangle, a really despicable set of villains– what’s not to enjoy, right?
I mean, I knew there were deeper themes at work, and I expected my kids to understand at some point–but my kids are smart, they’re savvy–it would be okay.
It was not okay.
Remember the third installation of that series?
Where we see people in bomb shelters during what our politicians refer to as “carpet bombing”?
Where we see what happens to people not in shelters?
Where we see children bombed in hospitals?
Where we see our hero, the gentle Peeta, tortured in a military facility?
We see poison gas.
We see abuse of the media and propaganda.
We see PTSD, untreated and unpitied.
And children with weapons, told it’s okay to kill.
And those children grown up, distorted almost past humanity.
We see genuine human emotion twisted by people who know how to manipulate, and we see it poisoned.
In fact, we see pretty much every thing my country, the country my children live in, whose politics are broadcast on television and over the internet, seems to think is okay.
My country is proposing carpet bombing. Is teaching its unsophisticated citizens to hate, via the media. Has bombed hospitals. Has given the okay to torture. Has justified and manufactured heinous, hideous weapons in the name of science. Has allowed its heroes to languish, untreated, suffering madness, disease, or worse.
My country is advocating to arm all its citizens.
Is okay with children growing up and spewing hate.
Abuses propaganda for the sake of the show, and ignores the politicians who are not running a circus.
And my children see this. They see the adults turning the news off when the daily mass shooting is reported. They see us turning to the comedy channels because we’d rather mock the monsters than actually contemplate the horrors they could visit on us if they’re given power. They see us whisper, “We’re liberals. We don’t like war. We don’t like racism. Islamaphobia is not okay. When Grandpa says give every kid a gun, that’s bullshit and don’t listen,” because we know that if we speak louder, in our neighborhood that could be dangerous.
It’s dangerous to speak what we see to be true–and even if it wasn’t, the fact that it’s dangerous to speak our opinion–well, that was in the movie too.
Squish got to the end of the movie and realized that Peeta might get better, but that he was never going to truly be okay. And she knew that bomb shelters and destroying cities was real and had happened in her lifetime.
And she cried. Because even a nine year old can see that fiction can be real and painful and frightening, and that we should learn from the fiction so we don’t have to live the nightmare in fact.
How come she can see it, but so much of the rest of the world is blind?