Monday, November 10, 2008

Please Don't Read This

There was some discussion this morning about one of those “Abortion Trucks” that had parked itself across from a school in Durham. You know the ones I’m talking about – with the four foot high, gruesome human abattoir of fetus parts in a soupy blood stew. It was posited that the act of displaying such carnage might constitute violence in and of itself, by forcing people to look at it, whether they “wanted to” or not. “I don’t want to be forced to see random images of death and violence” was kind of the sentiment behind that.

So I’m driving home considering this idea, of being forced to contemplate the images of abortion, and then, by inference, being forced to contemplate the meaning of abortion. I wonder if it is a bad thing?* Sure, only those of us who peruse as a way of killing time (and inuring ourselves to violence and occasionally compassion) really want to look at that, and if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably considered abortion thoughtfully as much as you think you want. But what are we looking at? Shouldn’t we perhaps be made to look at images of death and violence, like wars for instance? Isn’t carnage a part of life? Nature doesn’t revere life, nor do its progeny, Flora and Fauna.

I’m kind of feeling like people ought to see what death looks like, even violent death. I think we’ve successfully protected our modern selves, to our detriment and spiritual bankruptcy, from understanding where our food comes from, what happens to people in wars, what dead people really look like, how babies get made from sperm and egg in human bodies. I wonder if we hadn’t wrapped ourselves in bunting, and then further anesthetized ourselves with fantastic, surreal imagery of sex and violence how we would feel about things like homosexuality and transgender? If we had a true comprehension and appreciation of the natural world, how could we give two shits about gay people and non-binary gendered people? I know we need to understand the repercussions of man-made violence to end it – but what about living in a reality and awareness of the natural kingdom, one in which violence is merely a part of the life cycle, animals are often homosexual, and even intersexed and transgendered? We’ve protected ourselves from reality and why?

See, I think the best activism I can do is to live out loud. That’s perfect because it’s a choiceless choice, for me. Watch me transition. I’m doing it, in part, for you. I understand that a piece of being an outlier is to humanize myself for people who are frightened. I’m scared too. I’m scared of death; I don’t want to consider that some animals depose their patriarchs by vicious murder; I don’t want to consider the implications that a random sperm can permeate an ova and become an actual human, one that its parents may not want for whatever reason; I’m frightened too, of a natural world that produces freaks and anomalies, mutants and sociopaths. This is natural fear, but I recognize it’s also an immature fear.

I think it’s natural for some people to be afraid of homosexuality, but I think that is the fear of a seven year old contemplating adult sexuality. We are immaturely fearful little humans and we aren’t allowing ourselves to grow up, at all. I’m grateful for the opportunity to review abortion, even though it was imposed on me. I'd like to control my intake of that kind of brutal imagery, save it for later, but I run the risk of never looking at it at all. I also need to see babies being born, pulled right out of their mother’s vagina. Talk to someone who’s had a baby. There’s all sorts of stuff that goes on with that that is like a big secret-y secret! And not because people aren’t interested, but because there’s this abiding idea that it’s too weird or gross. Would parents be as interested in surgical procedures that force gender conformity for their intersexed children if they felt that genital anomaly wasn’t that big a deal? Surgeries for correction, sure, but conformity?

Perhaps I’m all over the map with this one; I’m just sketching some ideas. Trans is super-natural. It happens all the time. Meat comes from animals that live and play and maybe even love and certainly communicate and, if they’re monkeys or lions, murder their ailing patriarchs. The brains of humans make them think they are male, or female, or neither or both. God exists, somewhere, in all of this. Nature appears not to care. An African American is going to the White House and California banned gay marriage. I hope I’m not flogging some dead horse here, and I will not be displaying photos thereof. And if you see something that hurts your heart, and makes you cry for your humanity, good for you. Now let someone hold you and savor the sweetness that coexists in all that noise, all the blood, and all your fear.

*I’m not sanctioning putting on a horrorshow for the kiddies at the schoolyard. I think that’s a really really bad idea.

1 comment:

  1. On the way to god don't know
    My brain's the burger and my heart's the coal
    I'm trying to get my head clear
    I push things out through my mouth
    I get refilled through my ears
    - Modest Mouse "Heart Cooks Brain"