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Ferguson, Missouri

From the notebook of a visitor to Earth


Dreams of harmony and peace or absurd visions of the end of time are
legitimate constructions of human imagination. If you are dealing with
pure cinema, they are effective. Such spectacles appear to confirm the
implacable universality of violence, the murky origins of terrorism, and
the marriage of reason with insanity. They are primary features of life
on planet Earth. Women and men may satisfy their fantasies by imposing
gender and by speaking of amoral Nature in their own images. They are
free to tamper with Nature in efforts to make a more living-friendly
“world,” and they may succeed for brief periods of time. Ultimately,
they fail. They manufacture abstract and material “worlds” that are
mercurial, that speak back to them of their cosmic insignificance in
visual and audible languages which negate interpretations.

All that is happening in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 is merely a rerun
of tribally-motivated antiquities. A frantic male of one tribe,
believing himself to be authorized by the Holy Bible, the United States
Constitution, and the codified laws of Charles Darwin, murders a male of
a different tribe. People who identify themselves with the dead male
react naturally. They are shocked. They grieve. They enact
counter-violence, the only procedure that is paradoxically understood
and misunderstood in a nanosecond by the American body politic. Violence
is very obedient to folkloric injunctions to increase and multiply. And
American  as well foreign mass media take special delight in the
production of misinformation about how violence procreates. In the
historical tragedy entitled the United States of America, the George
Zimmermans and Darren Wilsons are proclaimed to be  the stars of the
show, the militants who keep democracy safe for those who are wealthy
enough to buy it.  The Michael Browns and Trayvon Martins and the
thousands of unarmed dead who were the targets of tragedy are treated as
 footnotes in the smallest print on the playbill. In the sacred
narratives of universal violence, this is proclaimed to be natural.
According to such logic, the American Nightmare that has decentered the
American Dream; the death-bound mission of Europe; the family
squabbles between Palestinians and Israelis and the diabolic plots in
the Arab/Isamic winter of the Middle East; the progress of environmental
destruction in Asia; rampant neocolonialism and unique ethnic hatreds
on the continent of Africa; outbreaks of such health threats as Ebola
and yearly variations of influenza; the refusal to acknowledge the
humanity of indigenous peoples in Australia and yhe actuality of global
climate change—–according to such logic, all is quite normal on
Earth.

Unfortunately, this superb logic is not a part of the education of
Americans. The majority of them dwell in the darkness of believing that a
meek savior will serve peace and harmony at the  Finality Feast of
Thanksgiving. Our transparent wisdom obligates us to tolerate their
eternal ignorance but to act otherwise.

Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

August 16, 2014

Re-printed here.