Fa, fa, fa...

>> Friday, September 01, 2017

source: Wikipedia
The hillsides ring with "Free the people"
Or can I hear the echo from the days of '39?
With trenches full of poets
The ragged army, fixin' bayonets to fight the other line
- "Spanish Bombs" (Strummer, Jones)

I don't like violence.  I'm not sure if I'm still the pacifist I was when I was young, but I'm still not a fan of the real stuff.

But.  You know, I've seen a lot of folks, including folks on the left who probably mean well but should know better, drawing all these dubious equivalencies between fascists and Antifa, the leftists and anarchists who have been turning up at so-called "Alt-Right" (i.e. white nationalist) rallies to engage in the once-popular and revered hobby of Nazi-punching.  And if I can't quite, quite, quite condone throwing rocks and fists as a general proposition, I have to tell you that I cannot, will not, absolutely won't condemn anybody fighting fascists even if their methods hurt my heart on the general principle that there is already too much grief in the world.

Because.  Oh, for all sorts of reasons, because.  Because there is a noble and romantic American tradition of fighting fascists going back to the 1930s and Americans crossing the Atlantic Ocean to take up arms in Spain against Franco and his Nazi string-pullers years before the United States and Germany declared war on one another on December 11th, 1941.  And then, of course, when America and Germany did go to war, the United States went toe-to-toe with German and Italian fascists and handed them their asses before we hanged the ones who didn't conveniently off themselves first (well, the ones who didn't know any good dope about rocketry, anyway; we aren't perfect).  Because Captain America punched Hitler.  Because our grandparents crossed the waters to liberate Europe or stayed home saving cans and planting Victory Gardens.  Because our grandparents reunited and said, "Never again," and held trials in Nuremburg, signed treaties and enacted laws proscribing genocide and protecting human rights, and established the United Nations.  Because it's a national shame that even the smallest few of their grandchildren are shaving their heads like morons and spouting off rhetoric that we tried to carpet-bomb into oblivion, that we toiled and suffered and sweated and bled so that no one would hear it outside of movies about archaeologists and basterds and indestructible Brooklynites punching Nazi faces, carving Nazi faces, melting Nazi faces, throwing Nazis off of trucks and trains and out of airplanes for posterity.

Because.  Because I agree with whomever it was on social media who pointed out ever-so-aptly that if you ignore a fascist, he'll be recruiting and kicking in your doors and killing you as soon as he's able, but if you ignore an Antifa, he'd rather be eating chips and playing Pokemon GO.  Because I think it's really fucking stupid to compare somebody who is actively trying to create a dystopia with someone who would frankly rather be at home but there are fascists infesting his streets and parks.  Because if you really don't like Antifa, you can't actually have Antifa without "fa," so why don't we get rid of "fa" and then Antifa can go back to posting Myers-Briggs memes to tumblr or whatever would be a better use of not just their time but anybody's?

Because.  Because I hear liberals saying that you shouldn't throw rocks and punches at people who are peacefully protesting even if you disagree with them, and when you put it like that it certainly sounds terrible; except I don't believe for one moment that the fascists are peacefully assembling for anything.  Because even if it appears that the stories about weapons caches being found in Charlottesville have been debunked, I nevertheless see guys walking around with riot shields and their ARs, and I don't care if they have fucking permits to openly carry their God-given Second Amendment firearms, it looks to me like they're out to intimidate, minimum, and maybe shoot someone, maximum.  Because it wasn't Antifa that was posting videos about driving through crowds and then, lo and behold, will wonders ever cease, here's somebody--not Antifa--driving through a crowd and murdering a young woman.

Because.  Because I also hear some of those same hand-wringing liberals saying that if, if there are bad people showing up in the white supremacist throng, we ought to let the police handle that, etc.; and I agree with this in principle but I'll be damned in practice if I can see any reason anyone ought to think that law enforcement is prepared--or even, terrible honesty, willing--to take on armed white nationalist thugs in our streets.  Because it seems to me from recent incidents in which African-Americans were shot by cops for being lawfully armed with handguns while white guys are romping and rallying while bedecked from tip to toe with paramilitary hardware and cops are just quietly milling, you might reasonably wonder whose side the police are on.  Because I'm not a fan of people taking the law into their own hands and yet I can't really fault anyone who might be thinking the law isn't protecting anyone, or worse yet isn't there to protect them from people who are infatuated with treason and a betrayal of the bedrock American values of liberty, justice, and equality.

Because.  Because I think some of those hand-wringing conservatives aren't actually upset in principle by people arming themselves and claiming violence as a prerogative that isn't reserved to the state in a form of public trust.  Because I think what these hand-wringing conservatives, some of them, anyways, are really upset about is the unpleasant (for them) discovery that the mental image they'd assembled of the left being a bunch of faggy intellectuals obsessed with self-abasement and apologizing for their own existence turns out to be not so much.  That it turns out, you know, that some liberals are in fact willing to arm themselves and/or throw a punch or a brick, and indeed always have been.  That what really upsets them is they had this idea that they could strut around with their guns and body armor sneering at the quivering libtards and snowflake SJWs, it never having occurred to them that the reason we are so loath to resort to violence has nothing to do with incapacity or impotence, and everything to do with a deep philosophical belief that the last resort actually comes last.  That some of them never imagined, I think, that we might not be opposed to guns because we're cowards, but because we're actually opposed to guns, and we didn't want it to come to this, but if you're wanting to see how far you can push it.  That there are not just a few, but a few million of us, who could be stealing that famous old line from The Incredible Hulk TV show: don't make us angry... you wouldn't like us when we're angry.

And thus and so: no, I'm not sure I can approve.  Leastaways, I didn't want to approve.

But I'm not, I'm surely not, I'm truly not going to condemn.

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