Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Wild West Wild Card

When Ronald Rawhide Reagan became president the Wild West moved into high office and the world of show bizz and politics started to become blurred. Terminator Arnie followed into his footsteps. With Bush junior, too dumb to make it in Holloywood since he would probably not remember even the easiest of lines, the scenario has taken an even more bizarre turn: forget the movies, reality is stranger than fiction, the whole world has turned into a grand theatre of playing out high-tech computer games and half-baked movie scripts.

Just like on the flickering screen the effects are short-lived and new releases are almost greeted with apathy. The directors want to make their mark in epic proportions whilst the overloaded public yawns through the uncomfortable feeling of deja-vue, the sequel. It's hard to get people to go to the movies these days, and even harder to make them play part in the grand game of power. The impressions of the twin towers (both the Lord of the Rings and the New York variety) have worn off; Desert Storm and Back to Baghdad (the video games as well as the two Iraq invasions) are gathering dust on the shelves of adolescents as well as politicians and journalists who would like to move on. The script writers have run out of ideas, and nobody is queuing up to buy preview tickets for Toppling Tehran.

The Wild West of old was a rough place where gunfighting outlaws competed with each other to make a killing in order to eventually retire as respectable saloon owners or even lawmakers. Turning the poacher gamekeeper has been an old custom. And, as the French say: the more times change the more they stay the same. Enter the world's self-styled sheriff, the United States of America, ready to shoot from the hip whenever anybody questions his absolute authority. I am the law, he says, the truth springs from the barrel of my gun. Yesterday he watched the hanging of his former deputy Saddam with glee. Today he is firing a few shots at Somalia, a far off rival who hurt him badly when he was still an ordinary bounty hunter.

Since the respectability of his office demands it, he attends church services. He loves the apocalyptic stories, but makes his excuses should the preacher talk about loving your neighbour or that those who live by the gun die by the gun. He thinks he's got it all under control. He manages the crime gangs to avoid a major show-down. All he has to do is to now and then sort out the odd wild card and make an example of a weak but foolish contender. Gone are the rough days and he's started to enjoy the trappings of office whilst, unbeknown to him, he is growing old and weak.

There is a new gang in town, the Alqaidas. He used to help organise and train them when he was young, but they have since gone separate ways. He used to overstate their courage and strength in order to spread fear amongst the people and enhance his own importance in keeping law and order. Slowly, the old sheriff is losing his touch and can't keep up with challengers to his undivided authority popping up everywhere. Some are just meekly testing the limits, but others have managed to wound him deep.

He's determined to show them who's the boss, yet for the town he's slowly becoming a liability. "It's pretty hard to quit our old trade and go into a business that don't pay any better than this", is what the old gunfighter and racketeer Sam Bass said when he found ordinary trade a burden and returned to plundering other people's resources - train robberies to be precise, ordinary gold in those days, not the black gold of which today's fortunes are made. His new gang (or coalition of the willing) was a bit of a flop and his game was soon up. Bush should have learned from his Texas forbear: Bass played it big and made history with the Union Pacific robbery, only to bite the dust soon after.

The world stage has become the playground of armchair cowboys firing missiles from afar. Their arrogance and over-confidence has made them unpopular anywhere but in their own minds. They're still trying to keep control in the neighbourhood, making more enemies than friends, and everybody knows that their days are firmly numbered. Maybe some day soon, when they've cleared the stage, we can all watch a blockbuster film about them.

6 Comments:

At 9 January 2007 at 17:12, Blogger Matthew said...

You sure you're not talking about those who live under Sharia Law? Afterall, that is what the Islamists desire...right? This sounds a lot like what the Somali's were living under, and what Iran and Iraq under Sadaam were living under. Look in the mirror buddy. When you speak of corruption in the West, you are mirrorring your own people.

 
At 9 January 2007 at 17:33, Blogger Mustaqim said...

Hi Matthew, pain in the neck. You should have got some clear fresh air into your head on the journey from Greenville to Tyler but obviously didn't. Now do me a favour: Clear off and start your own blog if you've got so much to say. If you're stuck for a title, maybe you could use "Stars and Stripes forever"; you don't have to tell anyone I helped you out. Seriously, your incessant griping comments on other entries of this blog may have been relevant to the topic, but carrying them over to every new item (just because you've got nothing better to do or suffer from some kind of mission or vanity or both) borders on the insane. This piece is a satire about Wild West fiction and reality and probably well above your head, so give it a break.

 
At 10 January 2007 at 11:00, Blogger MAHARAJADHIRAJ said...

9/11 has been compared to the Reichstag Fire of 1933 and the comparison is not too far-fetched. Because it gave Bush & Co a larger-than-life enemy in whose name they could bomb any and everyone they didn't like. We are living in times very similar to the Germany of the 1930s. We are also living in very dangerous times. Because most of us don't even know who the real bad guys are.

America has begun a process of sinister Ahnenerbification. First create ghetto nations, using a fast and effective public opinion machinery. Then use your vast and unlimited powers to bomb the hell out of these ghettos.

So till yesterday if you thought Somalia was a poor country tottering on the edge of survival, today you stand corrected. It's a country of terrorists. How long before the world's Muslims have to wear star and crescent armbands!

More at: http://bodhishop.blogspot.com/2007/01/blond-ambition.html

 
At 10 January 2007 at 14:40, Anonymous Londoner said...

What a brilliant article. very informative whilst amusing, thank you.

Yes I agree it is time you kicked Marine boy Mathew's yankie butt off this blog. Had this been his blog he would have done so ages ago. I am tired of seeing his pethetic, twisted and freaked out views on here. It wouldn't be so bad if the halfwit actually read others peoples comment or even tried to understand a view other than his own. I mean, just loook at his last piece of crap(second line) where he says "Iran and Iraq were living under Saddam"...You sir have been more than fair tolerating his pathetic futile attempts to justify his murderous leaders and soldiers. I also suggest he sets up his own blog and perhaps you ought to keep an eye on ISU "Isreali Supporters Union" also

You share your information and views with these chaps, give them the platform and what do they do ? Bite the hand that feeds them and INVADE ..
The art of theft, murder and deceit has been perfected over generations. It is not without reason the yanks, and now the Brits also are among the most hated and distrusted people worlwide. Marine boy is a prime example of why.

 
At 10 January 2007 at 14:54, Blogger Mustaqim said...

Having received another patronising comment by both Matthew and LSU lecturing me that blogging means putting up with comments like theirs or disabling comments altogether, I have for once listened to their valuable advice and decided on comment moderation from now on. Comments are welcome, even if disagreeable, if they enter anything new to the discussion. If they are just tired repeats of the same thing or abusive they will be deleted. Go look for a different playground, Matthew!

 
At 21 January 2007 at 01:24, Blogger M Z said...

You know what, I really enjoyed reading this blog entry. It's been years I've read anything other than news/history, and this wild west story, with all its analogies to today, was entertaining to read.

Mustaqim, you don't seem to get many comments other than trolls, so let me say this: Thank you.

Keep up the good work, you've got a guy here who enjoys reading your prose.

 

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