[dropcap style=”font-size:100px; color:#992211;”]H[/dropcap]eadline: “New poll finds majority of Americans believe torture justified after 9/11 attacks”
— Washington Post
The US general public tends, vis-à-vis their inundation with and attendant indoctrination by shallow media imagery, to believe that evil evinces the face of Hollywood’s cartoonish villains e.g., glowering Nazis; rage-plangent (wholly imaginary) terrorists; cold blooded functionaries; unctuous propagandists — thus the face of evil could never appear in their own mirror.
Consider this: The reality of having, without reflection, internalized the propaganda of the state constitutes an act of evil, in and of itself. Their very ignorance is an act of complicity. And it is a crime committed not only against those tortured — but the souls of the complicit.
The architecture of evil, its fortified towers and hidden from sight torture chambers, are mirrored in the psyches of the people of empire. Thus, one’s humanity is crowded to the margins. The heart is occluded: Access to empathy is blocked. This state of being inflicts a low grade panic which must be mitigated with emotional displacement and mass media distractions.
Yet one remains ill at ease. Enemies at large must be responsible for these feelings of nebulous dread within me. Those in positions of authority should be dispatched to find them and torture the evil out of these scheming monsters, for they are not like us. They lack remorse; they possess no ability for introspection; they would rationalize violent and dehumanizing acts being perpetrated on the guilty and innocent alike.
You can’t live safely in the same world as people like that. Someone should torture some sense into them.…
Hey, what are you looking me at like that for?
Illustration by Dan Booth not to be reproduced without his express prior permission
Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City.
Yet a bio amounts to dharma for dimwits: It defines a human being in the same manner and degree of veracity as a restaurant menu describes the various slabs of meat offered … commodified things that were once living beings.