This header is just hanging out waiting for some thread to pull it together. Silly. No meaning. But wondering, of course and duh, about this line between actual and projected guilt; between accomplished and merely contemplated crime. About why the stealers and murderers of millions are so politely maintained, while the potty mouthed petty dealers are so nearly often the actual targets for our resolved ire.
I guess it's because we can relate to them. Because their ambition is of a scale similar enough to our own. It's the same reason we can't actually feel very much at all about $700 Billion, until it's brought down to how much per wage earning person actually spent. How much in real dollars (my dollars) is that (I think it's about $3500 of real money, which actually does make me steaming mad, or I might just have a decimal misplaced, and my anger needs calibration too)?
Kind of makes you wonder where the money really goes, and how much stimulus the gov is ready to put into my own actual hands. So, alright, if I'm stuck with the really really tough decision to predict harm against actually inflicting harm based on my prediction that my infliction will mitigate the harm predicted to come, even though I'm going to be known as a prick for doing it, well that's why they give me the power or pay me the big bucks, right? There are no easy decisions at the pinnacle. The first emperor of China rehabilitated as the rectifier against chaos; the actual soul of that people and not its sociopathic alter (the jury is clearly still out).
I mean, if GW were screwing someone other than Laura, we'd probably feel a little bit more sure about stringing him up by his Achilles tendons to a lamppost, right? Or if Cheney seemed even capable to enjoy the power he so evidently wields. But Blago just seems like a garden variety scumbag, who you are absolutely certain would never screw someone so, well, plain as the one who snagged Spitzer and certainly wouldn't pay her the going price (why does no one consider the price paid to defend his honor, which it surely does, rather than to prove his chumphood) . Blago seems more intent on doing what we would really like to do but never would, and so bringing him down is an almost entirely post-partisan affair, such as bringing down Elliot or Bush never really could be.
Still, there is that nagging concern that Fitzgerald might be just a legal dweeb, dorked out on some comic book notion of truth, justice and the American Way. After all, he never did deliver real satisfaction on Valerie Plame (What a babe! What perfect casting! Or is she bleached?), nor has he distinguished himself all that completely from the sickly sticky Ken Starr, who really needed to loosen up his underpants.
So maybe he's just a little too quick on the draw to pounce on the unsavory as though it were the illegal. For sure, it will be a cinch to make that the case to be argued in the court of public opinion. Everything as code and metaphor for everything else. I mean, depending on the meaning of is, slick Willie surely never did have actual sex with that woman, any more than Blogo really meant to profit personally. You really wouldn't want to hear my sweet daughter when confronted with nasty drivers on the road, nor is she meant to be heard so. Please!
So, just what is the meaning of wiretaps, legal or extra, if not to get at the truth that would be withheld? Or is it clear by now that the meaning of wiretaps is to preserve the meaning of meaning; the very idea that there is or even anymore could be some perfect inner center to reveal the actual intent or is it character, tricky Dick?
Or what if the withholder doesn't even really know him or her self? Surely I did say that, but it's not what I meant? Or, you're missing the context? Or am I simply hiding out from myself, and could my therapist clue me in to what I really mean apart from my social context if only she would, and it wouldn't put me over the edge?
The meaning of a soul blessed by acceptance of Jesus as personal savior cannot be evil, except when it demonstrably is, which might simply mean that good intentions are never enough, except, of course, in the aggregate, which proof hardly ever requires wiretaps to reveal, and is almost always roundly ignored when it appears in the public record in any case. Viz McCain's bio, where fiction is so universally to be preferred. And who, apart from Hillary, should really care what goes on in private with Bill? Aren't we as guilty for wanting actually to know? Don't we all at least avert our gaze when opening the occupied bathroom door by accident? How about from an actual accident?
The problem is that plans of real consequence can be concocted by people seeming innocent, and the mere pushing of buttons can entail unspeakable doom. McVeigh was hard to profile, right? Or was an entire community guilty and did we let it drift off in that direction? The real problem is that the person inflicting torture might want to be sanctioned for that act, either before or after the fact, instead of accepting as the burden of his position the honor to avert disaster at the expense of his own honor. Surely if I would actually enjoy having sex with THAT woman, who is my inferior in power or generalized ability to reciprocate the actual pleasure, then my guilt has already been established, and the secrecy of the act is that in which the guilt consists. So, it is the enjoyment of the act of torture which is the truly tortuous act, right? The thing that you would do, behind closed doors, so to speak, if you could do it is the thing which defines your soul. Even without imagining Jesus there. Which defines the atheist's self-righteousness, I should think.
Which leaves most of us blandly and banally evil simply because we refrain from the test. Which is likely a good thing, now that Milgram's test passes ethics board muster and in modern terms we can be certain that most of us truly would, if it were suggested to us by someone in authority, do unspeakable things.
So then is the real sin that so many of us, myself certainly included, would never even put ourselves in the position? Standing in the outfield before I actually did quit Little League, I used literally to pray that no ball would fly to my quarter of the park. Driving the highways, I feel absolved by the mandate to call in the first responders by universal cell rather than to take upon myself the extracting of mangled bodies. And in no way would I, VietNam trained, be willing to pull a trigger in anyone's name, which filters out or in, does it not, those who actually enjoy that game, or who have no real choice, to be the ones honored in my name for maintenance of my supposed freedoms.
The only thing really unseemly about, say, Bush, is that he so evidently enjoyed being the "decider." And so evidently had to be kept from the trigger, eventually, when the moment of his decisions became so evident. And his only diminutive honor is that he actually did fire the fanners of the flame; he the James Kopp deflecting back some blame at the ones who made it an angry issue in the first place, and placed in the deciding center a game of tennis among the certain, not themselves being there, to the end that we very nearly did melt down, there being no there there in the center. But a tennis match with Jesus.
OK, so I said it was unreadable. I'm still trying to work this out. That the "there" in the center of our beings is also a shared thing and that there is no sin so complete that it can be pushed out onto any other but must itself be owned up to as a failure to abide by and to impose limits in and among the communities with which we participate. Into which we dissolve. Or having actually dissolved the communities, then we are forced to act individually, without authority, on the basis of honor in the abstract, that thing which only visited the earth once, and whose visitation we still celebrate just about now.
The wiretap begs the question as to why we pay so little attention in the first place. Why we can be so surprised. Why we cast our lot and ballot so consistently with the alpha bullies, and so seldom with the Jesus-like instead.
I think it's because, quite simply, we still believe in control metaphors, and we'd rather have a trustworthy driver at the wheel than a nice person. So long as he loves Jesus. I guess that's OK. I guess that's Merry Christmas!
Or is control the wrong metaphor? Short of orgy and final release, is there something better than wanting? Wanting which we still grip too strongly? Something surely is wanting . . .