Wednesday, 31 October 2018 13:55

Clockwork Orange is the new America

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It's beyond the capacity of most people to be shocked by violence anymore. I once lived in a neighborhood where my grandfather built a house in 1915. Though the neighborhood was still charming, the area became violent in the 1990's, and you could hear gunfire most nights. In the day, it'd been a showbiz place with studio workers, and where Mary Pickford maintained a cottage with eight smallish bedrooms for intimate, private parties. The entire upstairs of that house, a Craftsman like ours, was composed of a ballroom with a lovely dance floor. We lived there for a period of time and, eventually, the shots blended into the neighborhood's ambience so that, instead of shock, it got to be a guessing game about how far away the noise was, and how many retorts were coming, followed by sirens and the noise of choppers, though not always. Sometimes, no one came, probably more often than not.


The greatest outrage, one that fixed our departure for good, was the crazy person who moved next door. He would prowl the property line, on his side of the fence, shielded by fifty-year-old Cypress, and made tiger growls as he marched up and down with a machete. Police, who had more serious problems, nearby, weren't very helpful. The point is that over time the extraordinary can become normal, and that which is fearful no longer shocks, until it's next door.

When it's necessary to arm teachers, ministers, priests, and rabbis, the transformation of society into a Clockwork Orange world is pretty near complete. When racism and fascism can march with impunity, with only mild disapproval at the highest levels, values of leadership are suspect. When truth tellers are branded as liars, if tolerated, the truth cannot long survive. We are in the midst of an anarchy that has few precedents. The attempted transformation of the judiciary into a pantheon of "yes" men (and women) completes the values coup. I believe it's too late to make peace with those who walk like tigers. You cannot reason with them, for they'll never be content with logic, or facts, that challenge prejudices officially encouraged. Ignorance, especially, willful is the real enemy of a free society.


Read 1413 times Last modified on Wednesday, 31 October 2018 19:33

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