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Drive the devil

  • Published at 12:41 pm August 21st, 2017
Drive the devil
Desperate times call for desperate measures. But, as the world spins itself into a state of reactions and counter-reactions, which produce further reactionaries and counter-reactionaries, what has become evident in an almost day-to-day lulling, a normalisation of death, is the existence of a breed of frustrated individuals who can’t see either side of the ideological war which both are, it seems, simultaneously losing. As Trump said, there are two sides to a story. Both sides now These two sides aren’t found on the flip of an over-tossed coin denoting good and evil. As many have pointed out, there is an ostentatious “good” side when it comes to Nazis. Nazis -- be it for the brutality with which World War II splattered itself across global history, or for the demonisation they are subjected to by their portrayal by mass media and Hollywood which sprouts from their human-like head two devilish horns, or by the ubiquity of logic-lacking hatred which drives their rhetoric -- are evil. One can’t get away with backing an ideology which was responsible for the murder of six million Jews and consider it the story of an oppressed people whose freedom of speech is being squashed under the gnashing boot of leftist political correctness. No two sides to that story. No coin flip which could fall on either side and be counted as the arbitrary “right.” Lone wolves No, this coin is flipped between two veins of terrorism. In Charlottesville, a vehicle rams into the crowd. In Spain, another vehicle does the same. Both present themselves on the screen to an apathetic audience. Prayed for Paris, prayed for Dhaka, who’s praying for Madrid? Some will. The issue isn’t the scale of the terrorist attacks, which have caused minimal damage in terms of numbers of lives lost (are tragedies weighted by the masses of the bodies which lie underneath their name?). But rather, the impossible situation which lone-wolf attacks such as these present us. How do we fight such desperados, fuelled by righteous anger, on the path to destruction? Do such desperate times call for desperate measures? Not that this hasn’t been noted before. From Charlottesville to Nice to Barcelona, the devil has driven his chaotic car through the roads paved with hurt bodies and lost souls. What does this say of the devil? Donkephant Is the devil scared or is the devil, multi-faceted, multi-faced, sprouting heads out of the innocent shoulders of unenlightened citizens in an all-out declaration of war? The reasons why these groups have mobilised to such desperate degrees are the products of greed and corporations, corporations which have exchanged money trickled upwards into darkened pockets and shaken hands in the corridors, via the secure telecommunication lines of powerful men. In that case, does it really matter if it be Nazi godsend Trump or leftist secular-deity-send Obama? Be it Republican or Democrat, the head of a donkey or an elephant, what different does it make?
The chauffeurs of carnage can be dressed up in horns or adorned with wings
As Ferlinghetti said: “They’re interchangeable, stupid!” The devil used to lie in the details. Now he weasels himself on to your children’s computer screens and sews himself into the fabric of white cloaks. Who cares who lords over the land when the land isn’t where hate takes place? From the heads of the state to the terrorists, they have more in common with each other than the rest of us in between with our ideologies turned to pathetic complaints. Sure, we have tolerance, but that is no longer good enough. We may tolerate our enemies, but they remain our enemies nonetheless. The nature of tolerance, however, is a different issue, for a different space. But households, having tolerated enough, benighted by yapping angels on swivelling chairs and in three-piece suits, hardly see the bigger picture stretched around their TV screens. Horned heads poke them towards hatred and into action, into opinions of white nationalism and sharia law. They open their car doors, chanting the words of some one true God, and race into the midst of an overcrowded piazza. They smash open the heads of a few unknown individuals whose deaths will spread this hatred into the mouths and actions of other individuals, and rage will spew forth into the global narrative once again. Depending on where you are, these chauffeurs of carnage will be dressed up in horns or adorned with wings and sprayed, once again, onto screens which will either condemn them or condone them. The cycle of hatred will continue. How can you drive the devil away when the devil has been driving you all along? And who really was the devil, who drove that car over the bodies of the ones you loved? What colour was his skin, what ideology his bedrock? Don’t you know they’re interchangeable, stupid? SN Rasul is an Editorial Assistant at the Dhaka Tribune. 
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