been three weeks since America was attacked, and though most of the
ashes have gone to dust, for the most part, the terror has not. If anything,
it has increased and multiplied into a complex network of fears, phobias,
anxieties, questions. Who did this to us? When will they strike again?
Where will they strike again? How will they strike again? What kind
of people would do this? Who's behind it? Who knows about it? Who's
paying for it? Who's willing to die for it? What aren't we being told
about them? And why oh why, do they hate us so?
And what about us? What do we do now? How do we protect ourselves, defend ourselves, avenge ourselves, heal ourselves? Just how much of our freedom will we exchange for the illusion that we are keeping the terror at bay? How many more people will we imprison? How many rights will we give up? And how the hell do we fight back? How do we fight the terror? These are the questions we see in the media, mainstream and underground, not to mention the anxious eyes and bitten lips of everyone we know.
there's another question that always nags at my horny heart whenever
something important happens, and the current disaster is no exception:
What does SEX have to do with it? Oh, scoff if you will, but sex has
a lot to do with it, and I'm not talking about sex scandals à
la Gary Condit (Gary who?); I'm talking about sex as the essence of
life, the supreme motivator, the greatest good and the evil impulse,
the dirtiest alleyway and the holiest temple, the Bonobo Way versus
acting like a Baboon.
What does sex have to do with America attacked? What does sex have to do with a young man in the prime of his life who believes that his wife--if he can afford one, or four--should be shut up in a tent, uneducated, unseen? Who thinks that if he expends his righteously raging libido in a terrible violent, homicidal-suicidal act in the name of a macho male God, that he will be rewarded in heaven with a harem of beautiful virgins, there to serve his every desire in an erotic eternal paradise?
does sex have to do with America attacked? What does sex have to do
with having our two tallest phallic works of architecture--our biggest
dicks (the biggest in the world?)--Dick One and Dick Two--blown up before
our early morning eyes on international TV, over and over again, wounding
us where it really hurts, using our own planes like the castrator's
boxcutter to slice into our soaring symbols of virile trade, forcing
a ghastly, fiery sort of ejaculation, a gush of smoke, body parts and
pain, a volcanic eruption of awful beauty (beauty has no morals), a
castration, a degradation, a humiliation beyond death. Though the deaths
of the 6000 are painful enough, this international, multi-billion-fold
humiliation is a bitter salt on our wounds, the humbling of America,
the lone superpower, Master of the World, the Man.
We are all men in America, all strong compared to the poor of the world, and we have all had our big dicks cut off. Suddenly. Without warning (well, we didn't feel warned). And it hurts. Real bad. And we cry, oh how we cry. And we pray, oh how we pray. And we're scared, oh so scared. And we talk stupid when we're scared. We're a bunch of raving castrati. Our leaders talk about crusades, wanting someone "dead or alive" and ridding the world of evil. Our politicians beat the drums of war, against whom, we're not quite sure yet, but war is on the horizon. And this is a "different war," yes, a war being fought by civilians taking planes, going to work, chaufeuring the kids to school, buying stocks, having sex, braving the terror. A different kind of war where the casualties are civilians, and not just any civilians, but American civilians.
least, we haven't bombed anybody…as of this writing (10.1.01). In these
weeks after the public, painful slashing of our manhood, America has
not gone off half-cocked; indeed, we have shown admirable restraint…so
far. Of course, using medieval slurs and cowboy taunts to express our
efforts to combat world terrorism doesn't help us Wounded Warriors get
the international support we so desperately need right now.
the other hand, we've also got some ravers on the other side, people
trying to cauterize the wound by saying America deserves this. Nobody
deserves this. Then there are the too-hip lefties romanticizing the
Taliban, a bunch of small-time fascist, woman-hating thugs. Having spent
a month in Afghanistan, I can personally say that I have long admired
the Afghan people, and anyway, they're just people. But I put the Taliban
ideology on the same level of the food chain as Jerry Falwell who I'm
now calling Jerry bin Foulwill, since he's clearly shown us whose side
he's on by saying that the attacks on America were the will of God.
Hey, with Gods like this, who needs Satan?
the outlandishly violent baboon, Jerry's, the Taliban's and the warmonger's
response to attack is to attack back--even if you attack the wrong people--which
creates the need for another attack and so on. For years, America's
had this double-oceanic cushion that seemed to keep us mainland civilians
out of harm's way, so we could attack without being attacked back. But
those oceans are worthless now. The enemies are among us. If we attack,
we'll be attacked back from within.
this "different kind of war" needs to be fought in a different
way. Not according to the more typical military paradigm of the baboon,
but according to The
Bonobo Way. Unlike baboons, common chimpanzees and humans, bonobo
chimps (who are 98% genetically similar to humans) don't make war, and
they've never been seen killing each other in the wild or captivity
(so far; we've only just recently discovered them). They do fight, but
they seem to resolve most disputes by exchanging sex. Sexual pleasure
reduces violent tension, mollifying the less powerful as well as paying
obeisance to the more powerful. The Bonobo Way is to spread the wealth,
sexually and otherwise.
course, sex is always a great healer, a comfort, affirmation of life
in the midst of death, a much-needed release of tension, and a great
way to share the wealth of pleasure. In the midst of wartime or other
disasters, people tend to crave sex more than ever, partly because fear
is a great aphrodisiac (see Fear
& Sex for more on that subject), and partly because there's
a primal instinct within us to procreate when we feel our world might
end, and that instinct remains even when we're on birth control. As
the bonobos might say if we could speak each other's languages, when
all seems hopeless, sex gives us hope, helping us to make a positive
human connection, however fleeting, superficial or "sinful"
some say it is.
course, we can't send a battalion of beautiful, sexually compliant virgins
over to mollify all these desperately poor, horny and angry young terrorists
so they won't even think about killing themselves to get some heavenly
action (or could we?). But we can send good stuff, food, medicine and
other forms of aid to the people, especially now that our warmongering
has created a refugee crisis on all the Afghan borders. We can replace
our occupying forces with bags of grain and winter boots. Personally,
I'd like to send over a few boxes of vibrators (batteries included)
for those poor, shut-up Taliban women, or just drop bags of lingerie
along with the food drops, but I guess I should be more respectful of
their taboos, just as I want them to be respectful of my trade centers,
not to mention shopping centers.
Americans can be raging castrati, or we can show ourselves to be world
leaders in greatness, generosity, courage and wisdom. We can let all
the caring countries of the world, as well as all the jeering countries
of the world, know that yes, we're hurt (who wouldn't be?). And yes,
we need your support. And yes, we acknowledge that America is not the
boss of the world. No one is, not God, not Allah, not McDonald's, not
Mammon, not even Eros. It's a small, small world with a lot, a lot of
people, and we all have to try to get along. In a world where the underdogs
practice military aikido, skillfully using one's opponent's strength
and size against him, the biggest kids on the block have to try the
hardest to get along.
We can do this, at least we can try this, and I continue to hold a candle in hope that we will. Though my terror of the next attack--ours or theirs (what difference does it make when attack follows attack?)--remains.
SUSAN BLOCK'S JOURNAL ENTRIES