February 15, 2003

And Another Thing

That SUV/Terrorism ad had a fundamental flaw beyond its backers’ cultural superiority. That being it’s assertion that we are morally responsible for what people do with the money we give them in exchange for goods and services.

Let’s follow the supposed trail of guilt: 1) Bougie American buys SUV, 2) the same nouveau riche yokel fills said monstrosity with gasoline (maybe even premium, the hedonist!), 3) “big” (i.e., evil; since nothing gets big honestly) oil company buys crude oil from corrupt middle eastern regime, 4) corrupt middle eastern regime (which shouldn’t be opposed militarily, and is no real threat, mind you) passes some of that money along to terrorists, and finally 5) terrorists terrorize.

So, why is the SUV owner responsible for any steps past 1 and 2? Those are the only times they decide what to do with the money. It’s all an expression of perhaps our most disturbing pathology, the one that says we’re all guilty for other people’s sins, while other people are guilty of our sins.

I certainly hope I’m not responsible for how folks four and five steps along the economic ladder use what was my money. If so, I suppose I’m guilty of supporting a horde of musicians’ drug habits. Not to mention what their managers and record execs did with their (lion’s) share. I used to love “Peewee’s Playhouse”. Does that make me a supporter of public masturbation? I really dug that R. Crumb documentary a few years ago. Does that mean I’ve contributed to the fetishization of big-legged women? I’ve enjoyed a few Alan Moore comics, does that make me an occultist? (If so, please don’t tell my priest.) If this moral line holds, then the implications of my diet are frightening. I mean, who knows what nefarious middle eastern radical is taking a cut from all my hummus money?

Posted by at February 15, 2003 8:19 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

This piece, if you have not yet read it, speaks to the westerners propensity towards guilt, and Islam's complete incomprehension of it. I think we are all driving ourselves mad trying to get a handle on the unfathomable, i.e., the left and islam. They all seem to be cut from the same cloth at their core.

Posted by: zee at February 18, 2003 6:43 PM