Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic

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Thoughts on War and the US in general

The reason I started this journal (not the LJ, but the journal I've been keeping since January 16, 1991 (the day Operation Desert Storm was declared to be started) was so my descendants would know what my thoughts and reactions were during the war.

I sort of missed out on doing much of that, but here...

If I were a good Wiccan, I would be utterly and completely opposed to the thought of war and violence as means to an end. I'm not a good Wiccan; I may not even be a Wiccan.

I was opposed to the idea of the US waging war on Iraq this time, initially because I really do believe in the idea of the UN. I believe in the ideal of a world committed to working together peacefully and talking things out at a boardroom table instead of making people die to work out problems. I believed that the US believed in peace, and cooperation, and I was appalled that the government was even thinking of defying the UN and going and blowing shit up anyway.

I was listening to NPR while walking around, and a calm person was interviewing an expert, and I was ... boggled, I guess ... that the invasion of Iraq was being presented as something already determined, rather than something that was still yet to be decided on.

Doing this shit is only decreasing the world's opinion of the US. I am relatively secure in that I can walk around on the streets in my neighborhood at two in the morning, carrying a pen, and be relatively safe, and only be approached for change, or by someone with issues and a Bible, or the "my truck broke down and I am in the military" scam. I haven't made more than one or two enemies who would want to physically fuck with me -- my ex BJ might try to mess with me, cryuntothemoon might want to offer violence to garnetdagger, who would return his thoughtful gift -- but I'm not used to being hated for who I am. I don't tend to spend time with assholes, anymore, not after Shawn -- I'm not used to being hated for who I'm with, anymore. (People who saw me with Shawn, actually, pitied me after they got to know me...)

I don't like being hated for the place I live. I heard from people, while I was still living back home in and before 2000, that if you're traveling abroad, you're not supposed to say that you're an American -- you say you're an Alaskan. American gets you the scorn and bad service and "all of you are rich arrogant assholes" treatment; Alaskan gets you questions about the weather, about the wildlife, about the daylight.

I resent being associated with an arrogant asshole superpower. I was raised gently, relatively simply. I would not object if MTV, microwave dinners, and Doritos vanished from the planet forever. I would not mourn the passing of McDonald's, though I might miss the occasional burger. I've never shopped at Old Navy or the Gap. I can't remember the last time I watched TV. My strongest connection to the US monoculture is that I'm on LJ and many of my friends are also US-based, and I reside there, I shop there, I attend school there.

I was raised with the core US values -- individual freedoms, honor for the historical heroes and observation of the holidays, freedom to worship as we will. I was also raised Liberal Quaker, and technophilic, with a stay-at-home mother. I believe that ignorance is the root of many conflicts, that hatred is learned rather than instinctive, and that people must be taken individually, not judged by my preconceptions of their culture. I believe that bullying is never right, and that with great power comes the potential to misuse it badly, and the responsibility to take care that this doesn't happen. I have learned that I am happy with things that are simple, and that simple does not equate to bad or ugly.

I like my pampered life, but I grew up without most of the things that my peers take for granted. No toilet. No running water. No TV. No garage. No grocery store within five miles. I also grew up with love and support and education and beauty that I take for granted, that other people did not have. My father never hit my mother. There was always enough money for books. If I was interested in something, I could study it. No matter what I decided, I knew my parents would still love me, though they might be fearfully upset.

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