There’s something putrid about America.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the land, I have a lot of great friends in America, I spend a fair bit of time there.
But there is a stench about it. Every month or so, someone gets a gun or six and shoots up a school, or a church, or a shopping mall. Everywhere else in the Western world, this is an event of national tragedy and mourning. Action is taken, laws are made and enforced, there are no repetitions.
In America, it’s just another day.
America has a gun culture that is without parallel. Does a peaceful liberal democracy where the rule of law applies need its citizens to be carrying battle rifles around for self-defence? Nowhere else but America, it seems.
So what on earth are they afraid of?
I’ll tell you. Black people.
Slavery was abolished a hundred and fifty odd years ago, but the disparity in health, wealth, political power and every possible social indicator shows that there is a stark divide in American society.
Whites are on top, and blacks are not.
There are those who are afraid of the situation being reversed, and they do not trust their government to stop it. A reasonable view, in my opinion; I don’t think it is the function of good government to ensure the supremacy of one race over another.
We see the rise of “militias” of white men, all displaying as much firepower and “tactical” clothing and equipment as they can afford. There is a massive industry catering to these consumers – you want a tactical baby carrier, or a camouflaged gear holder for your sunvisor? These guys have them and other ridiculous stuff – and the only thing these people lack is an actual reason to use all this kit. It is a fantasy that America, with its vast military and police forces, is ever going to descend into the sort of anarchy that would require individual citizens to enforce the laws and keep the country running.
On a totally unrelated note, we also see the corresponding rise of the zombie apocalypse genre. Hugely popular in books and movies and television shows.
The theme is American citizens, armed to the teeth, no functioning government, surviving by destroying other human beings – other American human beings – who are visibly marked as being subhuman. A bit of a shamble, some ripped clothing, and they are fair game for the white guys with assault rifles.
Sure, it’s a situation that makes for great plots. People like me and thee banding together to fight every possible danger and barely surviving, episode after episode. We can just see ourselves defending civilisation by destroying the slavering subhuman hordes. Pass me another box of ammo, Hank, those zombies are piling up against the wall.
No. I won’t read zombie stories or watch zombie films. I think that they are disgusting.