Friday, April 13, 2007
I don't really understand the motivations behind suicide bombings. But then I'm an American. We believe that human life is an inalienable right, something to be respected and defended. Our core tenet about the indivisible sanctity of the individual's right to exist is what defines us in opposition to the more corporatist social structures and tendencies of what are seen as even our closest cultural neighbors in Western Europe. The idea of suicide bombing is absurd to us as it is a voluntary abnegation of the most basic building block of a human society in a democratic meritocracy: the voluntary erasure of a person and all his or her associated potential to one day develop into something socially meaningful, like a telemarketer or a night-shift assistant manager at a Del Taco.
These basic differences of self-realization come to the fore in those moments of most extreme pressure, like in whatever it is that drives a suicide bomber to suicide-bomb. That's how that society does things, I guess. It's weird to us to think of blowing yourself up in a crowd and taking random people with us when we go. When checked against our cultural mores and practices, it just seems so pointless and wasteful.
In America, we know that when we are disgruntled, the proper thing to do is to go to somewhere you know while wielding a shotgun, shoot some people you mean to shoot because they have displeased you in some way and then kill yourself after the police arrive and all hope of escape is lost.
Why would I kill some random mother or son in a marketplace when I can specifically rid the world of that douchebag Chad in Accounts Receivable? I mean, he has his teeth capped AND he gets them laser-whitened. Plus he knows I saw Mindy from Payroll first and still I heard he finger-banged her at the office St. Patrick's Day party in the TGIFriday's. Shotgun shotgun shotgun, right? All logical and meaningful.
This is why the suicide bomber phenomenon troubles me. It's just so... foreign to me, in every conceivable way.
When a high-profile suicide bombing occurs, I do try to find out what the message is behind it. I'm not going to lie to you; it's not easy. I admit that sometimes when I'm feeling kind of low or just plain lazy, I usually just fall back on the standard "Death to Israel/America" which is obvious, I know, but man, the sheer volume is enough to tax any imagination, even the one that just came up with the Mindy from Payroll thing a couple paragraphs ago.
This one that happened yesterday, though, for the first time, I was kind of excited about it. No, not the loss of life or the chaos caused or what it means for the security of the fledgling Iraqi state or whatever. That stuff is obviously a bummer.
But the other thing--the meaning--my God, it was so apparent to me what this particular suicide bomber was trying to tell us:
RUDY IN '08!
Poor, poor John McCain. What a personal slap in the face this must have been for him. 2000 seems like forever ago, doesn't it? I think the time is coming very soon when Senator StraightTalk has a very serious press conference where he announces he is dropping out to spend more time with his illegitimate black child.
Man, that's gotta still sting a little.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.4