Byline: Frenzy in the First World

Buford Youthward

I miss the good old days, when a beautiful woman could launch a thousand ships. Civilization has been downgraded. Nowadays a cartoon can lob a thousand Molotov cocktails. Funny, I always thought beauty more volatile than freedom of speech.

Sides are lined up pointing fingers at each other, declaring the other is waging war against civilization. So war, the primary tool of the uncivil, is dialed up.

I try to reason that somehow war is not an emotional response but I end up arguing with myself. In some ways, war is the inverse of art, like a human experience welled up, boiled over, mad with emotion harnessing the intellect of science for subjugation of spirit. Sanctioned terror.

War freezes the soul, numbs consciousness, shakes faith and turns reality surreal. Jingoists hoist propaganda, gripping dogma like trained puppies, prodding the public in Pavlovian manner. "War purifies" is a routinely mumbled phrase by most totalitarians and implied by some radio and television hosts (most of which never embarked on one themselves).

Then monsters get loose and science becomes the infidel to all gods in behalf of none. Taped wires and compromised communications ensure any credibility gaps stay incredulous.

Our love of god goes beyond defense. Beyond tear gas. Beyond nuclear winter. Our love of god is so great that all the gifts of science can be leveraged so that the world will know how great our love is.

Kids in uniforms dig in. Danger and drama fills the air, emotional responses hint of things tragic. Hours of service stack up like so many stock caps on aerosol cans.

Appealing to the better angel in our nature, I pray for all parties to awaken from their narcotic decadence and detox off the stench, restore some semblance of civility and fend off any frenzy in the First World.

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