Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ding Dong

Zarqawi's dead.

Bombed his house.

Smashed his head.

Ding dong, Zarqawi's really dead!

So sing various online munchkins this fine day. I'm glad that they have something to sing and dance about, however fleeting the moment, and fleet and flit it will. Soon, it's back to the steady inescapable carnage that is our present world, where yellow brick roads run red with Oz's many corpses, and talking trees throw grenades at the crawling survivors.

Zarqawi's death was a celebrity hit, nothing more; and it reinforces, to a small degree, the fictitious veneer of the endless, holy War on Terror. That some liberals buy into this is no surprise -- part of the contemporary lib pose is to place hand on heart and loudly state, "As a proud, patriotic liberal American, I, too, celebrate the death of the arch-terrorist Zarqawi," followed by glib cracks about blasted bodies, etc. For some, it's the price of admission to "respectable" debate, though I've no doubt that more than a few seriously believe their rhetoric. The American penchant for not only bullshitting others but also yourself knows no ideological boundaries, and in a weird way, it forms an ideology of its own. Some call it the Mainstream Media; others, the Liberal Media; others still, the Blogosphere. But like Al-Qaeda In Iraq, these are marketing labels devoid of actual meaning.

If you want a non-munchkin take on Zarqawi, consider what oil analyst John Kemp has to say:

"Zarqawi's termination is a very big propaganda coup for the coalition, but I don't think it's going to have much impact on the ground. It isn't that significant from an oil market perspective."

In other words, the Wicked Witch of the East's demise means pretty much nothing in the real world of global capital, the world that really counts. But don't tell that to those online munchkins trying to drown out grim reminders like Haditha, their high-pitched voices straining to find a steady, soothing note. To them, dead Arabs don't mean all that much, but it would be crass to take pleasure in popping rounds into children's heads. Killing celebrities like Zarqawi gives them the raw release they desperately crave, which is why the air is filled with their helium-coated cheers.

A couple of weeks back, much fun was made by libloggers about rightwingers looking for rock songs that express conservative pieties. Plenty of laffs were had, but those reactionary rock freeks aren't completely off-base. When you think about how the WOT is packaged and sold, a song like Pink Floyd's "Us and Them" from "Dark Side of the Moon" (an apt title for these times) might be stretched to fill that musical/political need. And when you lay it over footage of munchkins celebrating the death of their Zarqawi (with Judy Garland playing the Liberator -- and Margaret Hamilton Osama?), "Us and Them" could serve as a national anthem.