Monday, June 10, 2013

Red Sector 'A'merikha

There is this moment in Holy Scripture which has always intrigued me. It is when Jesus is standing before Pontius Pilate and Pilate asks, "Truth? What is truth?"

I have come to accept multiple interpretations of this question (or remark), but the fact in all of them remains that Pilate does not recognize THE Truth standing in front of him.

Oh America, we have discarded the Truth long ago; cast Him aside in the name of so-called "freedom". Our desire to find faith in ourselves rather than God, combined with our attempt to create our own freedom, a false freedom, has blinded us to much lesser but important truths.

We are not who we once were, and this did not just happen overnight. It did not happen in the last couple of election cycles. It has been a slow, gradual process. Even now, the reality is too much for many to endure. Worse, the reality is ignored by those who wish to continue under the United States of Agnosticism.

In the mid 80's, the threat of nuclear annihilation was very real. The USA and the USSR had the capability to make it happen, and their distrust of one another resulted in sophisticated spying and the continuous development of spy technology.

In 1985, 'Rocky IV' hit the theaters. Of course, this is one the least believable plots in the Rocky series, but it did produce a line which was true then and is true now. Brigette Nielsen, cast as the wife of Russian fighter Ivan Drago, exclaims to the US press

"You believe that you are so very good, and that we are so very bad."

Yes, we did. Yes, we still do. At least we want to.

This article about NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden caught my attention. In it, he says

"... the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America. I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians."

One year before Rocky IV, the band Rush released 'Grace Under Pressure'. Several tracks on the album addressed the state of the world at the time. One track, 'Distant Early Warning' contain the line

"Who can face the knowledge that the truth is not the truth?"

Another track, 'Red Sector A' is about survival in an unnamed prison camp in an unnamed location. While the lyrics are intentionally abstract in order to apply to scenarios outside of the Holocaust, the theme is drawn from he experiences of Bassist/Vocalist Geddy's Lee's mother who was liberated from the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.

"I once asked my mother her first thoughts upon being liberated,” Lee says during a phone conversation. “She didn’t believe [liberation] was possible. She didn’t believe that if there was a society outside the camp how they could allow this to exist, so she believed society was done in." - (How the Holocaust rocked Rush front man Geddy Lee)

Society. How we have changed. Or have we?

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