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Offbeat – 15 February 2013

http://pierremare.blogspot.com

 

So what’s the point of this riff? The fact of the matter is that politics and issues have gone global, not just between politicians squabbling between one another, over tables at international gatherings, or with terrain and military forces as their playing pieces. Global politics is now the playing field of the ordinary Facebook or Twitter citizen.

It takes a while for me to settle down and think things through. I think I am finally willing to confront the big 2012 US election issue now.
I’m totally happy that it is over. It almost killed my enjoyment of Facebook. The moments that should have had me in stitches had me clutching my stomach with nausea instead. The rape apologists had a surreal feel to them that frightened me far more than any horror story or film could (and I must admit here that I don’t watch movies like ‘Saw’).
The thing that frightened me was the ‘Stepford Wives’ quality to their beliefs. They really believed what they were saying. That or they were willing to knowingly abandon decency and human rights to achieve whatever it is that they wanted from the power.
I might have written it off as an American thing, but it’s not me. Regardless of borders and passports, people are people and everyone should have basic rights. If you want to channel the feeling , head over to Youtube and listen to Solomon Burke’s awesome song, ‘None of Us Are Free’. As long as rape is out there, none of us are free.
At this point, I feel the need to reference the recent incidents in Delhi and South Africa. I also need to say that gender violence is a fact of life in Congo, one of the most revolting places on earth simply by virtue of the fact that it is so commonplace. Sad that only a medical student in India gets all the attention. The outrage needs to be more global.
The same thing applies to US gun violence. Kids are being shot by other kids. Kids should have the right to live in environments in which they are free from gun violence. Once again mealy mouthed spiritual paupers argue in favour of guns. The USA must be a terrible place if citizens need a constitutional license to bear arms in order to defend themselves from government. In spite of the fact that US citizens elect governments in democratic processes, they still need the security of knowing that they can shoot them.
This probably comes across as gratuitous US bashing. Actually it is. It’s just not gratuitous. Influence has a way of spreading. Behaviour patterns are repeated. If my neighbour waters his lawn during a drought, what incentive do I have not to water my flowers? The US produces huge amounts of news and influence. What happens there is tacit consent for what happens everywhere else. Rape happens everywhere. The shooting sprees seem to spread like a virus through the States and over the world.
In both the cases of the rape apologists and the shootings, I found myself becoming quite overwrought, and involved. I wasn’t the only one. The international responses on Facebook vilified the things that happened and were said. In fact, I had to stop myself from jumping on a plain, applying for US citizenship and starting some kind of movements there. I didn’t get on a plane to India or Congo either.
So what’s the point of this riff? The fact of the matter is that politics and issues have gone global, not just between politicians squabbling between one another, over tables at international gatherings, or with terrain and military forces as their playing pieces. Global politics is now the playing field of the ordinary Facebook or Twitter citizen.
During the 2012 US election, US citizens on Facebook who supported Romney and the rape apologists picked up a lot of flak from people across the world, who weren’t so friendly. They were quick to point out every minor detail about the Republican field.
In the wake of the shooting at the school, those who stood behind the NRA and whatever constitutional amendment that allows US citizens insane amounts of firepower, got hammered again, especially with reference to the chocolate eggs which are banned.
Personally, I won’t be looking for another passport. Namibia is a relatively peaceful place compared to those other places. Perhaps I can still vote elsewhere, by the proxy of pointing out to foreign voters, just how wrong things really are.

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