Hawking Up Hairballs

Monday, July 16, 2007

We're All Named Mickey And Goofy

A few weeks ago, I commented upon the naturalization ceremony for new citizens that was held at Disney World. Perhaps it was even more emblematic than I had thought. Here's a passage from an article on the http://www.tomdispatch.com site by the journalist Dahr Jamail. He has reported extensively on the war in Iraq.

"Having spent a fair amount of time in occupied Iraq, I now find living in the United States nothing short of a schizophrenic experience. Life in Iraq was traumatizing. It was impossible to be there and not be affected by apocalyptic levels of violence and suffering, unimaginable in this country.

"But here's the weird thing: One long, comfortable plane ride later and you're in Disneyland, or so it feels on returning to the United States. Sometimes it seems as if I'm in a bubble here that's only moments away from popping. I find myself perpetually amazed at the heights of consumerism and the vigorous pursuit of creature comforts that are the essence of everyday life in this country -- and once defined my own life as well.

"Here, for most Americans, you can choose to ignore what our government is doing in Iraq. It's as simple as choosing to go to a website other than this one.

"The longer the occupation of Iraq continues, the more conscious I grow of the disparity, the utter disjuncture, between our two worlds."


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