14 April 2009

Showdown At The No-Where Corral(poem)

This has been inspired by what have read about various mass shootings and the like over the years, especially recently, the descriptions of the personalities of their perpetrators that have read in various news accounts, and also a bit of lookin' into myself. Can see where I've a fair degree in common with such folks, the anger, frustration, puzzlement and wondering why am not doing better in the world, feelings of entitlement and self-pity, and so on.

By stating this, does that mean that am going to do of the same??? Hell, no. To the points that have worked it through, the end results don't justify the costs, to others or myself. Rather, am trying to do what the late Yukio Mishima put it, when asked why he wrote his novels, plays, etc, as he did, because he otherwise would have been a mass murderer. Not the most pleasant reason, surely, but it worked for him for a long time. His 1970 suicide doesn't entirely abrogate the logic behind that notion, I think. He did that for a variety of reasons.

As for me, well, suicide, even for political reasons, is a mug's game to me. Sure, you get your name in the media and some people will remember you after you're dead. But, being dead's just that, and there's sweet fuck-all one can do once one's in that state.

We all die at one time or another. But, the important thing is how one lives while one's here. I know, big talk comin' from a poor autie-boy who lives with a cat. Well, even poor autie-boys with cats occasionally get it right.

Enough blather. Let's do it to it, and hope you like this.

The sun beats down, yet another day, on yet another part of the world and the poor creatures under it/

Big city, suburb, small town or village./

The difference matters not./

The sun beats down, like it did on small towns like Tombstone, Bodie, or Lincoln in the Old West./

It beats down, just as it did on Western movie sets, from Bronco Billy Anderson's to Clint Eastwood's./

It beats down, just as it did on places like Austin, Texas, San Diego California, and little towns and villages in Finland and Germany,/

on the days when ill-raised human kittens picked up a weapon or two, or four, or however many to do the job,/

and had themselves a gun-fight at the No-Where Corral./

Picked up a weapon, and were far from the only ones in history to do so,/

to go settle some long-standing disputes they'd with the world,/

bosses, co-workers, school-mates and family,/

and with themselves./

Picked up a gun, knife, or whatever else struck their fancies./

One even used a flame-thrower, made at home with his own two hands./

All to settle some long-held vendetta or blood feud with the world around them./

Not that others haven't ./

Oh, they did, usin' politics, economics, race, religion, whatever, for their reasons,/

to do cheap and nasty deeds in foul and stinking wars, feuds, vendettas and such./

And all of the dead had it comin', but we've all got it comin', dependin' on whom ya talk to./

No-one's immune from hatin' bad enough to kill,/

and no-one's immune from bein' hated bad enough to be killed./

Yet, we're always surprised when Showdowns and Gun-Fights at the No-Where Corral happen./

We're always shocked, shocked, shocked to High Heaven when this happens./

But, we're never shocked enough to do somethin' about it,/

or the poverty, desperation, alienation and loneliness behind it./

Never shocked enough to knock off glorifyin' the shameful./

Never shocked enough to put enough of a check on our assumptions and appetites./

Never shocked enough to really examine ourselves and see the potential mass murderer, serial killer,/

nasty murdering button man inside us./

The part of us that, like a tom-cat killing kittens to bring a queen cat into estrus again,/

can and will use violence if felt necessary or pushed hard enough./

Shocked, my arse, we are, by all this./

We're long past shock and into deep numbness, if not coma./

There is only so much bad news that one can take,/

before we slip into the waking dreams of complacency, fear or anger./

Just as the doers of such deeds live in a waking dream of anger,/





and loneliness./

The long waking dream time born of frustration after frustration,/

failure after failure,/

humilation after humilation,/

all of which builds,/

piece by piece, link by link,/

second after minute after hour after day after month after year after decade,/

until some folks run amok, whether with a kris, pistol or rifle./

The weapon matters not so much, as the result./

Dead and wounded strewn about the field of massacre,/

like so many store dummies scattered by a tornado or hurricane./

Just like when 19th year olds play at armed diplomacy,/

on the orders of older "betters" who never have and never will./

Just like kids shoot each other over slights and insults./

Just like when dealer kills dealer over turf./

Just like when husband beats wife, or wife husband./

Diffferent people, different causes, and same sorry results./

Everyone has their reasons, I've mine, you've yours, he's his and she's hers./

Everyone can kill, man, woman, child, adult and ancient./

Everyone can die for no good reason./

It's what in our heads and the world around us, as much as the instruments at hand,/

that can kill./

It's the voices from inside and outside that we let dictate to us that can kill./

It's the stupid assumptions, pre-conceptions and prejudices we have that can kill./

It's the anger, fear, indifference and self-indulgence we have that can kill./

They are the motive force, the weapons are the instruments,/

of the longing to butcher./

But, this is forgotten, usually, in the debates and dramas that arise in the aftermath./

Debates driven and dominated by monists, some saying it's guns that are responsible, others saying we need more guns in every place and in every hand./

They are both wrong, because in their maniacal monism, they don't see that/

neither unarmed nor armed societies are polite ones, if the ground rules aren't changed./

If more emphasis isn't given to Mercy, Hope, Charity and the better qualities of our nature,/

If people are seen as dolls or objects, and the ethic is what can you do for me,/

If stupid arrogance is given its head,/

there is no meaningful change,/

and no peace, merely truces until the next blood-bath./

Some blame the media and others blame drugs, licit and illicit, and alcohol./

They play their parts, sure./

But, they aren't alone in this./

There is no one sole cause, and no sole solution./

This isn't the movies or a television episode,/

with everything neatly wrapped up by the end of running time./

This is life, as messy and complex as it gets./

This is death, with all its stink and rot,/

and this is what comes of the thought that using a weapon solves all./

There are no quick, easy, simple solutions to this,/

just add water, mix and pop in the oven./

There are no guarantees,/

and if one wants one, better buy a toaster instead./

There are only us poor creatures under the sun,/

that shines down on us all alike,/

on scenes of beauty and horror,/

as it has before we came and will after we've gone./

One day, perhaps, it won't shine down on Showdowns at the No-Where Corral./

But, that's up to us, 'cos the Sun's just a star in the sky,/

and like God In His Heaven, Or the Czar of All The Russias, is very far away.

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