Hi. I’m flea. My usual lair is One Good Thing, but I’ll be over here this week, since Jill has foolishly given me the keys to the Malibu Dreamhouse while she’s gone. I may not give it back, so get used to fluff.
I also own an online sex toy store, so you may have to settle in for some posts about figging, too.
But it’s all going to be just fine. Most of my posts are going to go up late at night anyway, because my days are filled with kids and work and putting out fires. It’s 1:30pm in Australia, though, so I’ll just talk to them while the rest of you sleep.
A big chunk of today was spent teaching my four year old to tie a reef knot – more exciting posts about that later! – and watching a TiVo’d Daily Show about McCain shopping in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
What a carefully constructed reality that is, isn’t it? This little walled city, heavily armored and guarded, created to keep Americans as safe as possible while the rest of Iraq shudders in pain and loss and grief. As long as McCain can buy five rugs for five bucks, though, he can come back and tell us that things in Iraq are swell and we’re making progress, or winning, or spreading democracy, or whatever it is the pro-war politicians think they can safely get away with saying this week.
Which is when it popped into my head that somehow the Green Zone has turned into Celebration, Florida. Do you know what Celebration is? It’s the town created by Disneyworld, a community that, as Sarah Vowell says, “might be described as Life: The Ride.”
It is a town created for people who like to tell themselves that the excruciatingly-managed happiness at Disneyworld is genuine, and could be theirs year-round for the price of an American-style home (you get your choice of six classic styles).
**Tangent: True story, my best friend in college got a summer job at Disneyworld, and she told me the pressure to conform to all the specific rules required to show sufficient happiness was so stressful that the employees drank heavily. There was one local bar that had a ten dollar cover, and sold draft beer for a nickel. However, there were no bathrooms in the bar, and if you left, you weren’t allowed to come back inside, so the happy Disney employees, boys and girls both, just peed where they stood and kept drinking. I should probably tell you this was back in 1987, so if you’re a Disney employee and don’t know what I’m talking about, I promise I’m not lying; I’m just old.**
Celebration is a town for people who do not want to deal with American Reality, so instead they’ve created “American” “Reality” and have come to an agreement to believe that what they want life to be, is what life actually is.
We’ve taken the concept of Celebration and moved it to the middle of a war. Global Security calls it the “ultimate gated community.”
Being in the Green Zone in Baghdad provides a limited possibility to meet regular Iraqi people. Americans are walling themselves in, mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.
And then our politicians visit it and call it Iraq. It seems so hopeless – how can the administrators of this war deal with it if they won’t even look at it?
This is one of the weirdest, most uniquely American things I can think of. I sometimes waffle between horror and admiration. Imagine the willpower it takes to create such a airy little bubble to live in, while people are pissing in their pants all around you as you tell the world you’re in the happiest place on earth.
- The John McCain Campaign Death Watch Begins. by Mikey June 8, 2007
- Dangerous Book for Boys by Flea May 17, 2007
- Everything that’s wrong with the world by Jill April 4, 2008
- My Beloved’s Garden by Flea May 18, 2007
- Another reason why letting contractors operate above the law is a bad idea by Jill February 19, 2008