July 1st, 2010 23:14 EST
Terrorists Are Really Waging War Against Half of the Human Race
Whatever the pot calls the kettle
When it comes to politics at home and abroad there is one constant, one true north societies keep losing and have to find again: whatever the pot is calling the kettle belongs to the pot, and the commotion is about how well the pot dodges that truth.
The United States has been vociferously calling messianic Iran evil and calling the U.S. and Israel bastions of democracy, ignoring the plain fact that politics in Israel and the United States is driven to a large extent by apocalyptos who hardly give a damn for what happens next in the present because they believe the end time is approaching.
The pot is bouncing apoplectically on the fire because the Shi`ite Iranians, or at least their clerical leaders, are awaiting the Hidden Imam, the Mahdi. All the while politicians are catering to a noisy minority here and in Israel who share the Iranians` millenarianism.
In each of these three countries reform, rooted in a concern for here and now, for human suffering, plays second fiddle to religiosity. And in each country politicians use messianic thinking to block reform and impose implacable regimes based on received ideas rather than the facts on the ground, " as a former president was fond of saying.
If you`re willing to entertain this notion, consider this: women are always crushed between messianic fervor and political and cultural repression.
Women represent reform, change. So they are considered dangerous by people who prefer their truths " handed down and free of scrutiny. With messianic impulse and the governments that use them comes repression of the feminine principle. Women are perceived as agents of intervention.
Helen of Troy was demonized historically because she represented a wild card, an element of unpredictability that control freaks cannot tolerate. She had the unthinkable audacity to go her own way. She had no shame. Can you imagine that, a shameless priestess? What was the world coming to? We are today as scared of women as Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon were "and they lived in an age, the Bronze Age, when women were often in charge of religion. How far have we truly advanced?
It is said all too often that the Trojan War was fought by heroes on both sides, but I think anyone who fears women is no hero, but rather a well disguised coward. Heroism is not all about the clank of swords on armor, medals and flag-waving. We cannot honorably speak of civilization as long as we continue to oppress half the human race. The pernicious abuse of children is a hallmark of this disgrace. Institutions that drag their feet in this regard cannot and should not be trusted. They are but half human, if that.
Institutions, like various churches, have come into existence largely to suppress women and the reforms they might bring. It may be called religion or something else, but fear of women is the dank odor in the basement.
We will witness fear of women at work this week at the Senate confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. She is ridiculously well qualified, but the good old boys will work themselves into high dudgeon with all kinds of used-book notions simply because she represents a wild card, a woman, God forbid, who might just represent reform. The grand inquisitors, Torquemadas in neckties, will grill Ms. Kagan as they grilled Anita Hill. In fear. Cold fear. No true egalitarian should have respected the now set-aside Arlen Specter after his disgraceful treatment of Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings.
They are unqualified for any club that would have them, but they will make the case that she is unqualified, and they will not for a minute fess up to the plain fact that three women on the high court is three times as unpalatable to them as one woman. And their messianic base will be at home rooting for them all the way.
The messianic pot always means to scald women as it sputters about the axis of evil.
Our apocalyptos and Israel`s share something in common with the Muslim terrorists who have succeeded in moving us to warp our glorious democracy into a federal security state "they all fear women. And so does the church that is now furious with Belgium because it is trying to protect its children from predator-priests.
Abuse of children goes hand in hand with suppression of women.
Never mind the kettle. Watch the pot. Whatever it calls the kettle defines its own worst evils.
Djelloul (jeh-lool) Marbrook was born in 1934 in Algiers to a Bedouin father and an American painter. He grew up in Brooklyn, West Islip and Manhattan, New York, where he attended Dwight Preparatory School and Columbia. He then served in the U.S. Navy.
His book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal LattÃ© first prize in fiction in 2008. His poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, poemeleon, The Same, and other journals. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.He worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal and as an editor for The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, The Baltimore Sun, The Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel and The Washington Star. Later he worked as executive editor of four small dailies in northeast Ohio and two medium-size dailies in northern New Jersey.
Del`s book, Far From Algiers: http://upress.kent.edu/books/Marbrook_D.htm
New review of Far from Algiers: http://www.rattle.com/blog/2009/05/far-from-algiers-by-djelloul-marbrook/
Artists Hill, Literal LattÃ©`s fiction first prize: http://www.literal-latte.com/author/djelloulmarbrook/
His blog: http://www.djelloulmarbrook.com
His mother`s art: http://www.juanitaguccione.com
His aunt`s art: http://www.irenericepereira.com
Far From Algiers Video Trailer #1 from Brent Robison on Vimeo.