The Middle East
Tuesday 14 March 2006 @ 10:08 am

In reading “Time” this week, I’ve come to the conclusion that I never want to go to the Middle East. I don’t think they’d really care for my particular brand of whimsy over there.

The region is so fucking volatile, it seems like the crazy dude on the subway you just don’t want to sit near. At all. And yet, said crazy dude needs to be watched by a Transit Cop – ‘lest he start getting all crazy violent on folks in the other cars. At the end of the day, the crazy dude needs to be policed, to keep him from hurting people. I’m just sorry our troops are the Transit Cops in question.

Naturally, I haven’t factored into the equation how the crazy dude is also a fucking geyser of petro-dollars. Maybe it’s a crazy dude on the subway that nobody wants to sit near who needs to be policed… who’s holding pockets full of winning rub-off tickets. And not just the “Free Ticket” rub-offs either; we’re talking $10,000-a-pop winning rub-off tickets. And his pockets are bulging with them, too. And the Transit Cop’s boss is like “Watch that nut-bar and make sure he doesn’t kill anyone on the train…” but his real agenda is to secure all those winning rub-off tickets for himself.

And meanwhile, in the midst of all this, said crazy dude on the subway who’s stuffed to the gills with winning rub-off lottery tickets is building a suitcase bomb that’ll take out a large section of the train, if not the whole fucking thing at once.

This is why I don’t teach Civics or Social Studies.

I don’t know. It’s just wacky over there in the Middle East. And you don’t need Nostradamus to figure out the end of the world is gonna have something to do with that region. For years, this country was deeply afraid of the Russians. Now, the Middle East makes Khrushchev beating his shoe on a podium and telling the U.S. “We will bury you!” seem as threatening as Elmer Fudd during Wabbit Season.

I mean, back during the Cold War, the two “Super Powers” held one another in check with the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction; neither side would rush into battle, because neither side saw the benefit in being dead. But with Middle Eastern extremists, you have an adversary who couldn’t give a fuck about M.A.D., so long as the decadence of the west is wiped out (not to mention all western inhabitants).

Even in their most cartoonish, Rambo-like villainy, the “Commies” still seemed human; and that, I believe, had a lot to do with their investment in this world. As a Godless bunch, they didn’t look to an afterlife for justice/reward; it was all about right here, right now. Now, the U.S. is at odds with a bunch of religious zealots who couldn’t give a fuck about the present, beyond making sure we’re not in it for very long. They look to the next life, where shit’s gotta be better than it is for them in the here and now. And when you read about what life over there is like, who can blame them? I, too, would be looking to run to Jesus (or Allah) if my world was as full of unrest, poverty, hatred and fear as their world seems to be. Fuck life, at that point – “Let’s get busy dying; anything’s gotta be better than this horse-shit existence.”

I’ve got no answers, and I’m too terrified to even ask the questions. And even if I was equipped with all the facts, who am I to tell a motherfucker how to run their kitchen? Even if their kitchen threatens to blow up mine? All I know how to do is make movies (and some would say I can barely do that), so I should just shut my mouth and jot down some dopey shit for Jay and Silent Bob to do next.

Whoever said “May you live in interesting times” needs a smack in the mouth. I’d prefer shit to be PBS-boring over the current geo-political climate any day.





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