Worse Than Not Brushing Teeth

Worse Than Not Brushing Your Teeth
by Lisa Massaciùccoli

See http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/19791 for a straightforward treatment of much of what I am addressing here. Ditto for http://www.counterpunch.org/fitzgerald12032008.html. And ditto for http://www.zmag.org/zspace/commentaries/3695

“‘Fixing our economy’ will do us no good if we continue kill innocent children in Afghanistan and elsewhere. We may save the houses of a handful here, enable the rich to continue to eat items from abroad out of season, and have money secured for more incendiary devices, but… apocalyptic chickens will come home to roost in our rotten nest.” — U. S. supporter of RAWA

I had a dream that people finally learned how loving, nonviolent Christianity — having embraced the fish as a symbol early on — only adopted the cross for battle (and all else) after bloodthirsty Constantine crossed the Tiber to confront Maxentius… over three hundred years after the death of Jesus. And that, subsequently, all peaceful Christians wore, neither fish nor crosses ’round their necks, but, rather,… toothbrushes. I know, but that crazy dream inspired this article.

This is about you. And what you can do… about those severed preteen limbs, and those gaping parental mouths… from which no sound emanates because the horror beheld, the loveless body held, had been so sweet moments before… and now feels/falls still… still essential, but gone, dreams no longer possible. And laughter in the face of the faceless, the unfaceable.

It’s not always easy for a father to understand the interests and ways of his son. Ditto for daughters, of course. It seems the songs of our children may be in keys we’ve never tried. The melody of each generation emerges from all that’s gone before. Each one of us contributes in some unique way to the composition of life.

That (acknowledgment of contributions) is not the same as saying that a level playing field should be provided for both the father brushing his teeth, and the child not making any effort in the area of dental hygiene. That’s not a matter of tonality. No, that example is a far cry from merely disagreeing over the value of one brand of paste over another, or even an agon over paste vs. no paste. One half a dozen six of the other syndrome doesn’t apply to not brushing; that’s radical, not a legit matter of choice… in our society.

What’s worse than not brushing your teeth, however, is growing up being taught, and embracing the idea that it’s okay to bomb foreign people’s children.

Even though our Obamanistic progeny are lovely, lovely, lovely to look at and listen to, and probably have many other sweet qualities, Malia and Sasha… if either one were to grow up to be president… and bombed Afghanistan… for any reason… they would be horrors to behold.

And if any adults stood by without comment while they did so, or — worse — supported or applauded such murderous molestation… they would be committing an act that was infinitely worse than not brushing their own teeth, or simply keeping others from doing so… nonviolently.

Ditto for all people who act as if they have no connection to the unjustified abominations wrought by us abroad. All such atrocities are unjustified, yes? Ditto for those who embrace a “wait and see” attitude… which certainly provides temporary support. Ditto for people who claim to have no knowledge of such cruelty, inhumanity… who are reading this.

For people — all people — have an opportunity to engage me in conversation if they disagree. Nay, are obliged to do so… if they read this and, somehow, are rationalizing our continued use of extreme violence overseas, not speaking out against it daily.

Perhaps some citizens still have no real clue as to exactly what’s going on abroad with our support. And/or why. What’s slated to get worse there. And/or what’s likely coming home to roost… additionally. Maybe they’re not clever about what it means to be a citizen… beyond pulling a lever.

Fine if Malia and Sasha have a father who refuses to push for charges respecting our clearest cases of war criminals. In the name of what excuse? Unity, is it? Regardless, we have the power to inform the authorities that our president-elect is involved (up to his lovely neck) in child abuse of the worst kind.

Worse than intentionally hiding his children’s toothbrushes every night in a mean-spirited fit.

Worse than stabbing Afghani children to death with a toothbrush.

Much, much worse than not brushing teeth.

This is about the decomposition of life.

Call child protective services! The Obamas will be living in D.C. shortly. Or talk about this with me… or your friends… or your family… or your acquaintances. Sever relationships. Open your mouth.

But don’t think/pretend for a moment that there isn’t blood dripping from your American fangs each night because the new administration closes Guantanamo… or because you brush before dreaming.

A last resort might be to hang a toothbrush around your neck as a symbol of the silence and sickening patriotic support that begs to be cleaned out.

Or to write silly (unseasonable) words such as these.

Lisa Massaciùccoli, who has spent some time in Afghanistan, can be reached as massaciu@yahoo.com.
Omitted from the article: “Each and every day I imagine what it might be like to walk along a trail, hand in little hand, with drones overhead… or rushing the little one to the dentist, cluster bombs ablaze… incessant trauma, ever-present pain for formative years.”