Friday, November 24, 2006

Fortunate Wal-Mart survivors of the pre-dawn Black Friday shoppers melee.

I awoke at exactly 5:00 a.m. this morning. I couldn't have been more precise had I set an alarm. As I stared out through narrowly slit eyelids at the clock I was holding at extended arm's length, my very first thought was, "They're unlocking the doors at Wal-Mart this very minute for the thousands of early shoppers vying for one of the twenty-five nineteen inch color TV's for $59.00, to include remote control." (Okay, so maybe I didn't think the "to include remote control" part.)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Forgive me if I'm bit snarkier than usual today. Many years ago I braved the cold and dark to shop one of those impossible Friday - after - Thanksgiving bargains futilely. Arriving about an hour before opening, I was stunned by the line, already hundreds of shoppers long. I had as much chance of snagging one of those below cost color TV's as winning the lottery.

I decided to forgo the thrill of the chase, of the chance to elbow an expectant mom in the ribs for position in the mob, or maybe trample over an unfortunate Grandma who'd fallen in the narrow doorway entrance. All in the spirit of the season.

Back in the 90's in a discussion with the head of the local community college's sociology department, I'd mentioned how desperate Americans are for community. It was the time of the OJ Simpson trial and as I suggested to him, if nothing else, a community of obsessed Americans had developed as a result of the gruesome murders. It was the topic of conversation at the workplace. "Think he did it?" was conversation starters among total strangers.

Around that same time I read of literally tens of thousands of Saturn owners attending Saturn owner's "reunions." Apparently a community would come together for a day of food, games, and story exchanges about the one thing that was the glue of the group--owning a freakin' Saturn!

The professor found my definition of communities intriguing, he said. Today I ponder if those shoppers standing out in the cold and dark across the nation aren't a community also? Collectively they all share something in common. That is, until the doors open when it becomes every man, woman and child for themselves and the tempers and bruisings begin. I'm not sure, if these are communities, how cohesive they are.

But what reminded me of this all the past week was the revival of the OJ Simpson community. With the impending Fox appearance of OJ describing to us all how he would have done it had he done it on air and in his upcoming book, the OJ Simpson murder fans seemed to reawaken. And in the most surprising turn of events, the apparent outrage of the community cancelled both OJ's Fox TV appearances and the book!

Well, here we are with one week remaining in November plus one month remaining in the year. The death toll of American GI's in Iraq is approaching 2,900 and I'm wondering--if we have a really good December--we might not hit the 3,000 killed mark by year's end. Is that an outrageous thought? Absolutely, but it's certainly not unrealistic, right?

Which brings up another conundrum I have with the concept of communities. In that they are supposedly a distinct segment of society which shares a common interest with others of their group, the anti-war community seems to be growing; to now include the majority of Americans.

Yet, unlike Saturn owners who can actually organize a reunion of games, food and fun for a day or an OJ Simpson community that can cancel TV appearances and publication of his book, or a group of shoppers who can come together one grand day a year to kick off a holiday season by elbowing and punching out fellows shopper for a cheap iPod, there exists an even greater community--that of those who oppose the war that is killing our own and others for lies.

Maybe I'm way off base here. Maybe this growing anti-war sentiment does not a community make. Communities often take action or bring about a desired event or result. This doesn't seem possible among this group.

So rather than ponder this at any length, maybe I'll distract myself by joining the community of shoppers today. And if lucky, maybe I'll still score a bargain. And maybe if the next five weeks are really good, the death toll in Iraq will top 3,000 by year's end? Seems all so obscene.


meldonna said...

Actually, there's nothing wrong with the growing anti-war community; except for the lousy choices we have at the ballot box. Don't get me wrong -- Democrats in control of both houses can be nothing but good for the country, but brace yourself for a bunch of foot-dragging when it comes to doing something constructive about bringing our troops home. Rangel may have the right idea -- if it were THEIR kids dodging IEDs in the sand shit would get done.

dada said...

I certainly think the absence of a draft contributes greatly to the seeming apathy of citizenry, but I wonder how many draftees got killed or shot up in 'Nam 'unvoluntarily'?

At least the advantage of an all volunteer military, it's those who want to be in places like Iraq that are.

(Now, let me go remove my tongue from my cheek.)

(I wonder if Poppy Bush ever rues he got Shrub out of a tour in the real military?)

meldonna said...

Too true, Dada...the little rich or connected fuckers got around the draft the last time, huh.

It just all makes me sick at heart anymore. This past weekend was particularily ugly. What fucking has to happen for the media to recognize a civil war anyway?

dada said...

Oh geez, Mel, ya think?! Seriously??

Well, if we don't think up something soon, Iraq could end up sliding down the slippery slopes to (un)civil war, huh?

But not to worry--there's still time. I think one of the parameters required to qualify as a civil war--according to the media--is something like 50% of the population must die first or something, isn't it?

D.K. Raed said...

nah, if they're using the adm's logic, there must be two opposing organized armies to qualify as civil war. so you're right, dada, uncivil war it is! man, just seeing how grizzled, hollow-eyed & jumpy michael ware & other long-time baghdad journalists are looking these days is is a good clue (for those with eyes).

mel, those guys always find ways out of mandatory service. it just inconveniences daddy & mumsie a bit. rangel's draft move seems contrived to me. i don't believe in feeding the kill machine. ~~ D.K.

azgoddess said...

i avoid black friday at all costs...never have gone with the masses and never will...

i guess i don't need stuff as much as others...but i do like the spin you put on it -- some people's sense of community...very interesting

meldonna said...

Sorry, da...been a little weirded out lately. And damned tired of hearing about how Dems shouldn't be 'vengeful'. Which is crap. I just don't think we should be any softer on crime by high officials than we are on the ordinary street-type.

I want to say I meant no disrespect to anyone who's served military, conscript or vol...I'm just catching myself tearing up every time I hear of how many of ours died today, and how bad it's getting to be an Iraqi civvie these days...I hope you've forgiven me about that draft quip...too bad there's no way to force the architechs of this to pay in the old fashioned way.

I guess I'm just going crazy waiting for the "smart" people who run our country to wake up and at least DO SOMETHING! They got the message, now they're just pissing around. And too busy worrying who's gonna finance their next campaign. Fuck the fucking fuckers.

I'm still angry, Dada...just trying not to give up hope. Americans know we can do better; I'm just not ready to cave to the morons, local or national...

dada said...

Mel: I'm so fucking disgusted with politics, politicians and their impact on the space-time continuum that leaves nothing but an endless trail of debt, destruction and death for the victims of their fucking policies.

I'm tired of drinking, eating and breathing their shit along that trail and being expected to pay for its clean-up, leading to their "glorious future" that holds promises of abject misery for us all, save themselves of course, as they mold the world into conformity with their vision of what that world should be.

And from the nanosecond microglimpses that media give us, it's a future all but the lamest of brain dead motherfuckers should be running from as fast as they can. It's 'cowboys and indians' unending.

Either we're a nation of laws (and I'm not talking about little exemptions scrolled in the margins by the president after signing a bill into law) or we're a nation of outlaws.

And I'm sick of hearing pols explain why we cannot afford to enforce the law. A president can be impeached for a lie about a blue dress stain, but not global terrorism? To bring justice to butchers would divide the nation? Granted a successful impeachment/conviction of these criminal assholes has as much chance of success of the U.S. in Iraq--none.

But to not at least attempt some application of our laws, some charade at justice against our lawbreakers because it would destroy the nation only tells me our politicians don't get it. We're already a nation destroyed.

Maybe that's why, these past two weeks or so, I've distracted myself in pursuit of happiness--seeking out a new puppy, some other species I can place my hope for, love of, and trust in.

D.K. Raed said...


This was GREAT commentary.

sidenote: is there a parallel universe we can jump to that is run by dogs, or some species other than human? ~ D.K.

dada said...

DK - Thanks. I guess that stuff was pretty close to the surface this morning and just boiled over.

I'm pretty sure Homo sapiens is doomed (are doomed, am doomed)? Man has such a priapism for aggression, dominance and God, he'll destroy himself just to assure he and His prevail.