Daniel B. Silver


Je Suis Oliver Queen

 

Once again, my fellow citizens of the Western World, Islamic extremist terrorism has reared its ugly mug in our faces and caused violence and death in a major first-world metropolis, one filled to the brim with somber reporters from major American news networks like CNN whose editors relish in the opportunity to plaster the airwaves with images of black-clad special forces troops, grainy cell phone videos of bystanders running for their lives from gunfire, heart wrenching sidewalk memorials for the murdered and candlelight vigils of solidarity in the face of fear. And there are also news networks like Fox News covering the story, which show similar images of horror and tragedy in small boxes next to angry, white television personalities with nice teeth who sternly converse with paid pundits and republican politicians staunchly towing the party line, all finding ways to blame Barack Obama for his failure to prevent these attacks from happening. And let us not forget MSNBC, a network that apparently exists for the sole purpose of offering some sort of balance to Fox News’ right wing political slant via parading out haughty, intellectual windbags to condescend about the ignorance of non-liberals.

Before you ask, I guess I “prefer” CNN but do my best to avoid all American television news for fear that it will make me dumber with the NONSTOP OUTRAGE PORN that network news has become.

I could go on and on about the tragedy in France and the importance of free speech, but I could also note as an aside that many of the Charlie Hebdo “satirical” cartoons do seem to border on being racist as shit. I could make the point that a sweeping indictment of Islam is also an indictment of the Big Three monotheistic organized religions as a whole: they all have countless killings committed in the names of their prophets. I could also blather on and on about the fact that Muslims are they themselves the primary victims of Islamic terrorism, and that the Islamic terrorist military force, Boko Haram, massacred approximately 2000 people in Nigeria as the drama in and around Paris played out. I could mention that the victims of the Nigeria massacre are poor and black and maybe, just maybe, this is why the news isn’t giving this horror the attention of the OUTRAGE MACHINE that it deserv-HEY, why is that, anyhow?

Perhaps it’s because it fits into the narratives that people have in their minds, narratives that proclaim poor tribesman are doomed to die horribly in Africa by violence, famine or epidemic and nothing can be done about it because that’s the way it’s always been. Narratives that tell us the police are a bunch of jack-booted storm-troopers born of institutionalized racism seeking to murder or lock up people of color because that’s “what The System does, man”. Narratives hollering that Barack (HUSSEIN!!) Obama’s reluctance to invade the Middle East for the umpteenth time to fight the latest group of Islamic terrorists will somehow prevent them from doing to us what random American maniacs with access to firearms have done over and over again in the US, in our streets, elementary schools, malls, and universities.

But I’m not gonna talk any of this. Instead I’m going to say this, because I think it’s important and generally ignored in our current social climate:

  1. The world in all of its horror and injustice is a better place than the Big Three news networks want you to think. They are shock-jocks who use images of suffering and injustice to keep you tuned in. They want you to be afraid, so that you will hang on their every OUTRAGED report and editorial, and then buy whatever bullshit thing you don’t need that is advertised during the commercial breaks.
  2. Humanity, despite all of its flaws, is more functional than the OUTRAGED voices on both sides of the political spectrum want you to believe. Take time to unplug from being bombarded with blood-red faces screaming about violence, intolerance, and/or injustice and look at the people around you as you go about your day to day life. You will see that humans are not all racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, homicidal maniacs. Yes, those hateful people exist and these tragedies exist, but they are not the norm.
  3. There were never any “good old days”. Shit has always been awful at times but has gotten, and will continue to get, better. It won’t happen overnight, but it is always happening. Life on earth is better than the OUTRAGED voices depict.

If you need help unplugging, by the way, might I recommend watching Arrow on Netflix, as I have been doing as of late. There are a number of reasons I recommend this show. First off, everyone is hot. Green Arrow? Hot. His sister? Hot. His love interest(s)? Hot. His mom? Hot. His best friend? Hot. The nerdy-nerd computer lady? She’s hot too. That pulled back hair and those glasses don’t fool me, Missy!

High level of hotness on that show, let me tell you.

Chiseled abs and large bosoms aside, the show is rather fun. The writers have gotten to go buck-wild on Ol’ Ollie Queen’s origin story and have done a fantastic job at it. Nobody in comics ever really delved into the Emerald Archer’s training. As a dork, it gives me closure to have that blank filled in. It calms my neurotic, obsessive side.

Arrow is also the least annoying DC superhero show I have ever watched, in that the family drama, relationship drama and curious penchant of having to use the goddamn set for the hospital in every episode like they did with Smallville is kept to a minimum level of schlock. Seriously, was the Smallville General Hospital set like the cheapest one for the studio to rent? Every freaking episode, man. Between Clark’s wishy-washy, on-again/off-again relationship with Lana and that hospital set, I wanted to commit acts of terrorism in the writer’s room on a weekly basis.

But I didn’t.

Because I’m not a violent maniac, nor is anyone who will read this.