The OK Corrals in the foreground, where the hate is fresh, turn our media-dulled heads. But we ought to ignore Sarah Palin and the NY Times op-eds equally – when they deny that our entire culture pressures the border between passive and active violence relentlessly, (and then one poor soul falls through and is quickly isolated as a sicko.) Palin and the Times, in their respective ivory towers, share the assumption that the edge of our corporate markets is an unchallengeable frame for their tabloid scandals.
The traditional westward ho! violence that opens the frontier to both these opposing styles in our consumer democracy – is current and on-going. There is a causal line (well hidden but there) between the Black Ops video game, and, say, deforestation. Our job is to seek out the places where the Earth breaks the fences, where bacteria in outer space ignores the shuttle, where an unknown species of eel retakes a dead coral reef. Or, put another way, where feasts are made from dumpsters, where a local song carries real meaning into the heart of commercial pop, where a Wal-mart is stopped. Our hero-guides would be men and women who risked all by going to the far reaches of American power, to parry with the conflicting forces there. Goyahkla – “Geronimo” – is the great example from Congressman “Gabby’s” home district.
The violence against Goyahkla and the violence of his response – this is violence that might be instructive in a fundamental way. This is where our own violence began. That is at the very edge of Earth culture and the expansionist USA, and is violence whose study might result in peace. And, this is where we are not once again reduced to the role of consumers, whether of right-wing hysteria or of the dishonest moderation of liberals.