Predator: A Portrait of America

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Would you like to see a symbolic self-portrait of America, circa 2009. Here it is. I give you the Predator:

Ugly, isn’t it? But it wasn’t designed to be pretty. It was designed to kill without warning – cheaply, efficiently, and at no risk to the operator. That’s a Hellfire missile under the wing. It can destroy any armored vehicle or demolish a small building. The little sensor globe under the nose allows the remote pilot, sitting in a cubicle somewhere in the good old USA, to deliver sudden death to America’s enemies on command. There is no defense against the predator, and no warning.

This is who we are now. This is our new national bird. We thrill at the killing of victims who never know what hit them. Aggressive violence has become a perfected perversion in America, and its ultimate expression is the ability to kill with absolute impunity. American industry and ingenuity have supplied this perfect remote killing device, and for this they have the thanks of a grateful, bloodthirsty nation.

Predators and predation are terms used increasingly to describe the miscreants of Wall Street, but these are only the best-paid of America’s predators. The whole “success” culture of America has morphed from a value-based model to a smash-and-grab, quick kill paradigm that equates to predation.

This transformation is perfectly represented in our mass culture. The measure of progress in the American popular cinema is the intensity of stylized violence in our beloved “action films.” Each new Batman movie, for example, shows the (progressively “darker”) costumed protagonist unleashing sudden, unexpected violence on the villains. He strikes with overwhelming force, out of nowhere, then vanishes completely.

So what’s so bad about predation? After all, nature is full of predators and prey. It’s a jungle out there. The problem is that civilization is based on value exchange. Giving fair measure in return for fair payment is the foundation of all commerce, and, arguably all human relations. When we adopt predation as our model for living, we regress from the civilized state to animalistic behavior. When predation becomes a society’s behavioral paradigm, businessmen become gangsters, government becomes brutal, and trust vanishes.

If you want to experience cognitive whiplash, ask any young adult what they think of Goldman Sachs, then ask them if they would take a job there. The fast hit to make a killing is now the American Dream. We are now a nation of predators.

13 comments

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    • Diane G on October 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    for another essay, but consider them a gift for your use as well.

    Next? Nano-drones.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl

    http://www.reuters.com/article

    We are truly a blight on the planet.

    • Edger on October 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    …the United States is building the largest embassy in the world. When completed, it will feature all the amenities Americans have come to expect: pools, tennis courts and movie theatres. Many critics see the sheer size of this embassy as a sign that it will be a major element of an American “reordering” of the Middle East.

    The massive use of depleted uranium in American munitions has made this reordering invisible, microscopic and eternal. It will forever be re-constructing the very architecture of human beings and their environments, both in the Middle East and around the world:

    Most American weapons (missiles, smart bombs, dumb bombs, bullets, tank shells, cruise missiles, etc.) contain high amounts of radioactive uranium. Depleted or non-depleted, these types of weapons, on detonation, release a radioactive dust which, when inhaled, goes into the body and stays there. It has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Basically, it’s a permanently available contaminant, distributed in the environment, where dust storms or any water nearby can disperse it. Once ingested, it releases subatomic particles that slice through DNA.

    At the Uranium Weapons Conference held October 2003 in Hamburg, Germany, independent scientists from around the world testified to a huge increase in birth deformities and cancers wherever NDU and DU had been used. Professor Katsuma Yagasaki, a scientist at the Ryukyus University, Okinawa calculated that the 800 tons of DU used in Afghanistan is the radioactive equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The amount of DU used in Iraq is equivalent to 250,000 Nagasaki bombs.

    The results have been devastating and heartbreaking. As Dr. Jawal Al-Ali revealed in his presentation to the 2003 World Uranium Weapons Conference, Iraqis have been suffering from massive tumours and lesions, but also giving birth to horrifically malformed babies — babies born without heads, or deformed to such an extent that they bear little resemblance to human beings.

    The U.S. and Canadian mass media have been reluctant to address this issue, but it is a story that will literally never go away: with a half-life of 4.5 billion years — much longer than life has lived on planet Earth — DU will continue to swirl through the atmosphere and destroy the DNA of every living thing it touches, for as long as there is a planet Earth.

    Clearly, this is an environmental catastrophe of the first order: there is nothing else save an actual nuclear war that can compare to it.

    — Depleted Uranium and the “Unbuilding” of Iraq

    4.5 billion years is about one third of the estimated age of the universe….

                               

    • Inky99 on October 22, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    are doing so from the worst of the strip-mall culture in places like Nevada.

    You can kill a village of brown people, step outside and get a slurpee and a pack of smokes at the nearest mini-mart.  

    It’s causing a lot of PTSD in the operators, as it SHOULD.  

    The rest of the country needs to share in the PTSD.  

  1. I have pictures of the WWII “Candy Bomber” famous for dumping candy on the rubble of Nazi germany.  We have gone from benevolent action to the fuck em all up impersonally via remote controlled drones.

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