Could it be that with the others? Could it be that all war was basically sexual?… A sort of sexual perversion? Or a complex of sexual perversions? That would make a funny thesis and God help the race.
— James Jones, The Thin Red Line
War provides a good fuck routinely. Bad ones too, of course. Very bad. And not just for those who sublimate with missile or bayonet envy (generating mental masturbation), or enjoy the actual wild abandonment with others which mortal engagement stimulates.
Yet, I wanted to come from another angle. And so I almost gave this piece the title (and attendant blah blah) you see directly below. The reason for settling on “Consensual Sex During Wartime” will become apparent once you reach my orgasm at the end of the article.
Fucking Over War Good (FOWG)
(FOWG is pronounced “fowdge” … with the last phoneme pronounced the same as the first and last sounds in judge. A new word, a new sound is called for.)
As a transitive verb, fucking can be used in the imperative as a signal of angry dismissal. It also has the denotation of cheating. Yes, I’d like to cheat War out of all sorts of things.
I wasn’t going to use curse words, for obvious reasons. One loses a lot of potential recruits right off the bat — whatever one’s cause — by employing such language. BUT… this war shit has gone much too far, and it’s slated to get worse daily, forever. In short, however, there’s no fucking word on earth, Hell or beyond that can come remotely close to the unnecessary abomination of War. And I’m going to put a fucking end to it on this planet.
Out of respect to the Berrigan Brothers and their low-profile colleagues, Chief Seattle, Paul Robeson, Ida Wells, Cindy and tons of my known and unknown heroes (and for other reasons, of course), I’m going to put to bed The Horror, and bring a smile to the faces of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jesus, and a helluva lot of common folk. Even with the cursing. For they all live closer to me when I turn in and rise — and throughout the day, every day — than my complacent neighbors, than much of my indifferent blood. And with or without the bad words they will toast me by the time I am… toast.
Yes, you heard right. I’m going to put an end to war on earth . I’ll be glad to say “we” when I come across someone else who’s willing to devote 24×8 heartbeats to the cause. Still — for sure — whatever my language… I’m not going to be doing this alone.
And WE’RE in a fucking rush ’cause — at best — I have maybe ten or twenty years. And without knowing you at all, I can tell you with great assurance that you don’t have much longer either… the way things are going… just in terms of militarization alone.
This FOWG should be considered a branch of TOSCA. Recruitment for TOSCA has been coming along, but not at the pace that’s required for creating a watershed event in history. The arthritic snail’s pace I refer to moved me to come up with a branch of TOSCA which would do something monumental even if TOSCA doesn’t fly. An offshoot which would potentially accomplish enough of the same thing.
The fact is, whatever one’s cause, putting an end to war … U.S. wars for starters … will definitely benefit EVERYONE. Everyone except a handful. And that’s only the negative case if one uses that handful’s selfish, socially psychopathic criteria as a yardstick. No, if you want the economy to improve for the 80% of U.S. citizens who hold only 7% of the country’s financial wealth. If you want to address the environment, you’d do well to pull the rug out from under what’s arguably the greatest single polluter on earth, the U.S. military. Ditto for dealing with industrial agriculture, health care, gender issues, racism and every thing else. If anyone has the slightest doubt about this, I respectfully request that you contact me immediately. I have definitive documentation. In short, you disentangle the Pentagon from our Economy to any degree whilst closing bases and pulling troops and mercenaries out of other people’s land, and you’re well on your way to a New World, without the “order” that works against us .
I was in the San Francisco office of attorney Matt Gonzalez (Nader’s most recent running mate) not too long ago, trying to sell the idea of TOSCA. One of the people present was a young intern from Vassar who questioned my phrase “taking over” … as in Taking Over the State of California. He suggested that it might turn off a lot of people. Of course, his concern is quite legitimate on a very superficial plane. The notion that one could gain access to power in California or anywhere by not “taking over” the reins betrays a dangerous innocence regarding the prevalence of electoral fraud … and much else.
“Taking over” is a phrase that’s begged for … to underscore … where power lies. To spotlight the need for radical measures, a new paradigm for gaining control of decision-making. Ditto for the curse words employed here. For to deny in public discourse what is routinely used in private dialogue is to weaken our cause on several levels, from a number of angles.
Repeated, unnecessary, multifaceted abominations of the worst kind — paid for by hypnotized citizens — MUST begin to be greeted with the foulest language imaginable. We are absolutely obliged to use the same language in public that we would use in private for such horror lest we contribute to smoothing over what is taking place.
It’s kind of the same principle behind asking alternative media outlet reporters to stop referring to President Obama as president… in the name of journalistic tradition, in the name of maintaining objectivity. No, advocacy journalism is now called for in the extreme, and no one with their head on straight or heart in a healthy place can possibly — regardless of what one does for a living, regardless of the setting — can any longer avoid using murderer in lieu of president.
Hence, the fucking murderer Obama.
I’ve got a neighbor whose son works for the military. Has for over a decade. And the young guy is in Communications. Now Papa — sweet soul that he is — didn’t have a clue that his boy might be pushing buttons for deadly drones in Afghanistan … or worse. I mention this because I’m very proud of myself for (tactfully) broaching the subject. And I deeply feel that everyone has an obligation to encourage such confrontations, if possible.
If we don’t do that (at the very least), we’re all fucked.
There’s a negative correlation between polite language and moving toward Peace. The more you respect the parameters set, linguistic or otherwise, the more you buy into WAR.
The roots of our incessant wars are NOT to be found in what’s loosely referred to as human nature. A beautiful essay by Howard Zinn in his Declarations of Independence puts that notion to bed, as far as I’m concerned… even though both he and I, and all well-read activists are very aware of the ongoing atrocities on this earth from as far back as what’s indicated in the following (quoted at the beginning of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian):
“Clark, who led last year’s expedition to the Afar region of northern Ethiopia, and UC Berkeley colleague Tim D. White, also said that a re-examination of a 300,000-year-old fossil skull found in the same region earlier shows evidence of having been scalped.”
Including that excerpt from the Yuma Daily Sun of June 13, 1982 here, I trust will demonstrate that I’m not ignorant about the history of violence on earth. However, I also trust that the reader can make the imaginative leap to entertain what’s possible on this earth, to reach deep down into her/his own immortal soul, and let the Face of Beauty shine through. Beauty being Possibility Born of Love.
No, the roots of our incessant wars lie — obviously — in World War I, where — in the dugouts and funk-holes — the great numbers of what were called Neverendians suffered immeasurably. And planted the seeds for all our subsequent/uninterrupted ferocity, East, West, North and South. Consider what was written about a pessimistic officer in the summer of 1917 who
“roughed out the area between the ‘front’ of that date and the Rhine,… and divided this by the area gained, on the average, at the Somme, Vimy and Messines. The result he multiplied by the time taken to prepare and fight those offensives, averaged again. The result he got was that, allowing for no setbacks, and providing the pace could be maintained, we should arrive at the Rhine in one hundred and eighty years.”
They… we… never will get to the Rhine — not what it stands for (the elimination of Auden’s “trespasser,” the removal of Fuller’s barbarian, independent-minded foreigners, whatever) — the way in which we’re proceeding… ’cause the powers that be have EVERYTHING (of ours) invested in perpetual warfare. It’s all a neverending chase now, or insatiable voyeuristic battle sex with drones and the like.
Some of the scenes of WWI battle — to this day — are the saddest places on earth. Right there in prosperous France! Take Albert, for instance. It’s been restored to its original ugliness, AND appearances of adequacy notwithstanding, it offers up an air which is — forgive the language — fucking unforgivable, unbreatheable. For everything that’s human has been defeated there permanently.
We are headed for that boneyard. We are slated to gas ourselves, and make life more unliveable than it already is. On schedule to become more rushed, more dour, more bitter, and to inflict the same on others with increasing cruelty. Imagine 9/11 — in the U.S. or Chile — with no one interested in cleaning up. That should convey what I’m trying to describe here.
What the Peace Movement needs is a good fucking.
That is, consensual sex.