Saturday, August 12, 2006

Eye-pecking crows...

It's troubling. There must be something deeply symbolic about blowing up airplanes. I mean if the goal is simply terror, or to hurt us, there are a zillion options besides commandeering and destroying mid-flight passenger jets. Surely more people could be killed while waiting in line at the airport - BEFORE passing through the security check. But somehow planes make a statement. Our fear of flying is right up there with our fear of snakes (two motivators that will surely make "Snakes on a Plane" several cargoloads of cash at the box office). Plus the act of taking down an airborne plane now carries extra-allure since it would imply the ability to sneak by the TSA, thus making a mockery of all the desperate and after-the-fact security measures we've come to rely on for peace of mind. Those who mean us harm have clearly decided that fear is their currency and that randomly exploding planes are the most effective delivery systems. They are hoping that these images will sink into our nightmares and corrode the foundations of our society from the inside out. Personally, I think the American psyche is more resilient than that.

Planes may tap our individual fears, but it's consumer culture that fuels our national pride. Any real or fear-based interruption to our daily lifestyles, the shopping and devouring, the choices we covet and feel entitled to as Americans, would likely be a far more immediate blow. I hope the folks at the Pentagon are up on this stuff.

(Crow painting by Mary McAndrew)


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