Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mark Morford on Violence

For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Mark Morford is a columnist for SF Gate. Twice a week, he rips a new anal fissure in the concrete butts of power, fundamentalism, accumulation, and government by violence. He regularly deposits gems of insight into that column of his—you can check for yourself by hitting the link at the top of my blogroll and perusing his archives. All I can say is that when a writer of Morford's quality casts pearls, you don't mind being the swine.

Recently, he wrote a piece on violence. It's 800 words of pure, effortless, intense perception; it deserves to be read and re-read. If all goes well with our world in the coming generations, I'm betting that people—especially the young—will be reading and quoting this column for a long time. Here's an excerpt:

Violence no longer informs me. It no longer has the power to teach. It is a one-note song I've heard so many times it has lost its power to stun or impress or delve deep. It now merely tears at the fabric of the soul, punches holes in the anima, scrapes its knuckles on the pavement of hate, and you can shrug and roll your eyes and go watch "The Hills Have Eyes" or "Saw II" or even play some hi-res shockingly ultraviolent video game and enjoy the brutal escapism and wallow in the bloodshed while pretending it's not slowly, quietly blackening your world view like a smoker sucking down another carton of Marlboro Reds, but deep down, where the meanings are, I think maybe, just maybe, you might be seriously mistaken.

Maybe, deeper down, you can also choose to try and cultivate that seemingly impossible Buddha-blessed, Christlike ideal so completely forgotten by the rabid pseudo-Christians of this country: Forgiveness. Wisdom. Turning the other cheek. Rejecting the Bush-fed all-American kill-'em-all, eye-for-an-eye thug mentality in favor of actual ... I don't know what. Subtlety of mind? Nuance of intellect? Elevation of spirit? I know, it's completely crazy.

Completely crazy indeed. If the world could just breed more lunatics like Mark Morford, then I think we might have a chance of seeing ourselves and this planet survive the current century. Tomorrow at Daily Rev, we'll get back to examining the real psychotics of our world—the ones who are leading its nations and institutions.

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