~ by umair haque

TERRORISTS ARE NOT TOURISTS, even if the words DO sound similar.

2020 was a depressing, miserable, grim year. But not just because of the pandemic. Rather, because the pandemic was a kind of eraser. It rubbed away all the artifice and gloss and politesse we play games with. And revealed the truth of us. Of our societies. It was a profoundly ugly truth.

Today was the day that armed fascists stormed the US Capitol, broke the doors and windows, entered the house chamber, where there was an armed standoff. All that, by the way, was abetted and incited by the President and his key political allies. Is that a sentence or two you thought you’d ever read?

The world has long suspected that American are, well, idiots. Backwards, brutal, violent, greedy, selfish. More inclined to shoot a gun than read a book. Only interested in money, sex, fame, and power. Now, the world would say that, and once in a while, someone like me would object, and say, “No, Americans are just misunderstood. They’ve been abused by their society, you see.” Maybe that’s true, but…does it matter? Just because you’ve been abused doesn’t give absolve you from being an abuser yourself.

Because the year 2020 was so depressing, grim, and relentless wasn’t just the natural calamity. It was that calamity revealed the truth about us. And that truth was ugly. We are stupid, violent, brutal, indifferent, careless. Enough of us, anyways, to make our societies that way, period. We added catastrophe to calamity. After we clapped, we soon enough stopped caring at all. “Hey! I need to go to the bar! My kid has to go to school! I need to go shopping!!” Good little consumers and producers, to the bitter, shocking end. But where did the human beings in us go, then?

The senators who voted to object to some of the results of the election (and the states they objected to):

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Arizona, Pennsylvania)
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy (Arizona)
Florida Sen. Rick Scott (Pennsylvania)
Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis (Pennsylvania)

And if you are a sane, thoughtful, decent person — well, how do you live in such a place? A dehumanized, violent, brutal, idiotic one? How do you live in a society of sociopaths? Isn’t it an oxymoron to begin with? Where do you go from there? How do you coexist with the kind of remorseless idiots who don’t care about causing death on the scale of a World War? How do you not shudder in contempt and disgrace every time you see them — which is all the time? But where does that leave you?

That, my friends, is the question for 2021.

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