Thursday, September 7, 2017

Washing the Blood Off My Hands

I've had blood on my hands twice in 24 hours. I was dining last night with author Rick Skwiot in a Brazilian churrascaria when the first blood spilled. We were just finishing our salads. I dipped broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and mushrooms in succulent olive oil swirled with balsamic vinegar, which looked like the separated red cells and plasma that flowed from the spear piercing of the crucified Jesus. Rick queried about the wine list for more sangre de cristo, but they offered only Sangre de Toro. Not good enough to wash away sins, but good enough to wash away the memory of sins.

Our waiter returned with skewers piercing through flesh like nails driven into a Roman cross. He thin sliced the carnage onto my plate. I gave the server a double-edged compliment that the meat tasted as sabroso as his sister, then Rick promptly reminded me of the sharp-edged blade in the waiter's hand. A breathless pause. Our server's smile reassured us there would be no further butchery, beyond the cows and pigs whose sacrifice was memorialized in this last supper before Rick's departure from town. Yet, not all the night's bleeding was done. I sawed into a chunk of grill-charred filet mignon with a mustard crust and released a crime scene pink pool across my plate.

Still, last night's lurid dinner was an elegant civilized affair compared to this morning's commuter bloodbath. I took the bus to work. Though a brand new motorcycle sits in front of my house, I'm getting accustomed to it before taking longer rides. Motorcycles are dangerous. At least, that's what every decent woman I've ever met has cautioned me from behind a motherly wagging finger. And that's why I bought a motorcycle: to notify every woman on the planet that I adore their hearts, minds, and breasts, but won't be needing any more breast milk. I'm a fully-grown alpha male prowling the streets without supervision. Deal with it!

Thus, an expectation of safety is why I was on the bus this morning when the bloodshed began. The reason Rick wasn't sitting next to me is he recently turned down an offer of professorship from my university, because he didn't think the daily grind of a commute would give him thrilling material for his next book. We were both so bloody wrong. The best laid plans of brownies and even gringos oft go astray. Life is somewhat unpredictable and folks who refuse to relinquish some control oft go wacky. Back to my story.

The bus suddenly darted to fill the passenger-pick-up zone in front of a high school, where another bus driver (who felt cut off) hurled himself up the stairs of our bus to begin beating the driver's face into a bloody pulp. The chaotic slugfest spilled down the aisle. Female nursing students in white uniforms were splattered with blood, while my position as the only adult male in the front half of the bus made my primal unwanted duty clear. I rose to intervene.

Thrusting my arms between the two combatants but keeping my head as far away as possible, I repeatedly shoved them apart, dousing my hands and shirt with someone's blood. Finally, the attacker fled. I now sit typing in my peaceful office on the bodily-fluid-free internet, but the blood of an unknown person stains my shirt and pants.

Why do I relate this gruesome content? Do I relish such gore? Hardly. Because more and more of the world's privileged decision makers live in cyber spaces and safe spaces totally divorced from the world's flesh and blood realities. Even folks who believe in the human soul and the divine spirit as I do can see that animal nature is a prime component of human nature, if they get around enough and pay enough attention.

Elegant academic talker Barack Obama frequently responded to hostile aggressive dictatorships like ISIS and North Korea by doing nothing then insisting smugly they would pass, because the arc of history was against them. Not surprising. Statists and socialists usually have a religious faith that humanity is progressing unstoppably toward bliss thanks to centrally-planned education and organization. A belief much easier to hold looking out from a Vermont breakfast nook. Yet, history veers far closer to the Maya conception of cycles with technological advancement and economic prosperity followed by swings back to regional scarcity and tribal war.

When left-wing politicos stoked American tribalism for political gain, making promises to undocumented Mexicans who vote Democratic but not Cuban immigrants who vote Republican then screaming Black lives matter because they too vote Democratic but whispering that Republican Asian lives kept out of universities by racial quotas do not matter, they gave little thought to the consequences of their quest for power pursued in rebellion against almighty God, who created all of us with equal value and rights.

When I wrote frequently about Clinton and Trump being grossly unqualified as candidates, I meant candidates for president. If Americans were only choosing a warlord for a tribal rumble, Trump may be a shrewd choice. Donald the barbarian certainly has twice the balls and hustle of Clinton and Obama combined. America only has two choices: embrace the divine perspective of human rights (where color and gender are irrelevent to morality and policy) or embrace a human perspective (where tribes war for the rights and spoils that go exclusively to the victor).

Those who despise Trump (or impotent tribal warriors like Pelosi, McConnell, and Clinton) should fully embrace the nontribal divine perspective of God's children having equal rights and value. Still, humans are both spirits and animals. If it's tribal war they want, it's tribal war they'll get. And from where I'm sittin' in flesh and blood land, American fascists and marxists both look like traumatized little sissies. They could easily lose, but they'll certainly get blood on their hands.

I wash my hands of anyone who chooses the pursuit of tribal power over the pursuit of moral decency or group rights over human rights. Civilization is upheld by the freedom to speak, vote, and live your spiritual convictions. Barbarism is promoted by censorship, violence, and tribal divisions. When fighting breaks out, we must all choose our ground and stand our ground. Whether you live or die in a time of tribal war, I hope you'll do so with honor (and with me) on the high ground.

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