Language of Violence, Version Virginia 2007

Wielding his glock, camo gear, a sneer, and his triumph, like it or not, he was smart enough to capture himself, posed in all his fury, on film in advance of his mission accomplished.  Images of this guy are probably already hanging up in people’s bedrooms. He’s a poster boy for sure now.  Hell, how many already have posters of Scarface, Taxi Driver, Neo in The Matrix et al, Guns blazing, hanging in their homes?

America idolifies riots of bullet spattered glory.  It’s the Wild Wild West; it’s how this country was brought into its current state of ownership, despite all that confusing language about the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Life, liberty, and someone’s happiness are often found at the end of a Gun barrel.  Life, liberty and happiness were grabbed for white men and their women by use of their Guns.  I remember reading somewhere that, back when we were shooting natives from behind passing train windows, many ‘soldiers’ said they wouldn’t have won their battles against the ‘braves’ without having had Guns…

How many of the films we make and watch center around feasts of Gunfire, glorious choreographies of slaughter?  The stuff little boys grow up on; the ways they get to see themselves dealing with others who don’t share their views, or their blood lines, or their perspectives, or their righteous values, or who just won’t shut up!  Shooting people is the answer.  Having Guns is the answer.

Someone told me they heard a Gun control debate the other day in which some dude said that if everyone carried handGuns the shooter wouldn’t have killed more than a few people, cause somebody else would’ve been able to shoot him!

More Guns…that’ll do it.

Guns Guns Guns…We’re so good at shooting ours off, and we get so upset when anyone who isn’t sanctioned by our government does it.  Bush shoots his Dick off and Iraq is wasted; got that eye on Iran now; and let’s not forget all the dicks in the past – Nixon, for instance…Dicks with Guns…And what great paths they’ve laid into the earth, with blood of someone else’s life, their power, drenching the soil…

Americans are known for responding to – fill in noun here – with weaponry, bombing Iraq being our latest feat of brilliance.  Doesn’t really take much to fire off some destructive equipment; it isn’t exactly problem solving, certainly not creative.

America has made a cult of violence, of Guns in particular.  And I was thinking, oh it’s only America; we alone have the corner on the cult of violence.  We alone have infected the world with this madness…

But then I thought of all the violent European countries who have used Guns and other types of weaponry to plow their way through history: Spain, France, England…It isn’t just in America. It all goes back to Western Culture, which ancient Greece and The Bible are both at the base of – both chock full of Vile-ents.

Take Odysseus for example: he takes a trip, leaves his wife all alone with the kids for 20 years, fucks a bunch of other wimmin – blames them, saying they were ‘temptresses’, “Sirens”, (uh huh, I’ve heard that one before) – lies, cheats and slashes his way through the Grecian world, finally comes back to find his wife being pursued by other men, proceeds to slaughter them all, and we call him a Hero.

Some dude named Jesus tries to talk to people and to feed them instead of slicing them up and look what happens to him…We feel sorry for him, and make him our scapegoat, but we sure don’t call him a Hero.  Most of us think of him as a sucker.  Poor guys: either you go shooting your dick off or you get crucified for being a pansy…

So I’m thinking; it’s Western Civ. all over.  The very reason I avoided taking it in my community college.  It’s boring and repetitive.

And then, trickling into my consciousness come other readings, about other histories: India; China; Japan; Africa, the Middle East; Ancient Egypt…All of them stories full of violence bringing various regimes and dynasties and hierarchies into power, for however long, until the next gang comes up with bigger weapons or better strategies with the old ones…

I conclude: it’s Humanity…We’re a violent lot.  Images of heroic murderous bastards standing on the heads of their “enemies” have adorned our habitations throughout all time.  Who knows what was going on before hierarchies became the fashion.  I don’t.  Maybe nothing has ever been any different.  Maybe we’ve all been spiritually expelled to this planet until we learn to quit being so murderous – until we learn how to stop thinking that slaughtering people actually changes anything.  It may make someone feel better, it may make someone a Hero, but it’s just a temporary measure.  Eventually the pendulum swings into somebody else’s hands.

Don’t get me wrong, if I’d have been in that school building and had access to a Gun, I would’ve shot that guy; and anyone who could have shot him before he continued to empty out his clips would’ve in turn been a Hero.  But to many other disenfranchised people, right here in America and certainly around this world that we’ve tramped our heavy boots on, that guy is the Hero, in full blazing color.

Victoria Larkin

written April 2007

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