In case you’ve been too stunned by other newsworthy disasters to pay proper attention, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was just signed into law. This law gives the U.S. government legal permission to do things they’ve been doing sub-legally for years, such as: designate people as “unlawful enemy combatants”; deny these people the right of habeas corpus; detain them for years without charges; and obtain evidence through “coercion.”
If it only affected immigrants and foreigners captured in battle, this law would be bad enough — but when we learn that it also permits U.S. citizens to be deemed “enemy combatants,” it’s time to ACT! Here, then, are some tips on proving to the feds that you are not the enemy:
1. BECOME A FAMOUS MOVIE STAR. Hollywood celebrities rarely, if ever, spend years in Guantánamo without charges, surrounded by barbed wire and vicious dogs. Their movies may bomb, but they never do, thanks to the virulent Red Scares that purged the motion picture industry of all terrorists, with the possible exception of Mel Gibson.
When you become a famous movie star, you will receive: a dazzling smile, affordable health insurance, and a rock-hard sense of self-esteem that comes from millions of government-indoctrinated nobodies knowing who you are. Push comes to shove and you are sent to a detention camp, guards will treat you better. “Hey, isn’t that Julia Roberts on that gurney? I loved her in Erin Brockovich. Maybe I’ll let her call her attorney. . . .”
2. EMIT NOXIOUS FUMES. No one will ever accuse you of Islamofascism as you proudly stand in solidarity with our great multinational corporations and spew harmful chemical, radioactive, and industrial waste into our ecosystem. By polluting rivers, the air, and low-income neighborhoods, you’ll garner lots of government perks, too, including military contracts and tax-breaks you could only dream of as an ordinary, “save-the-whales” citizen. Best of all, your carcinogenic emissions will increase chances that, among the thousands of Americans who die each year from environmentally caused cancer, one or two will be terrorists.
3. SCAPEGOAT SECULAR HUMANISTS. Stuck-up, egghead Secular Humanists like Frank Rich, Molly Ivins, and Noam Chomsky say that Islamic extremists are not the real problem. They’re right! The real problem is stuck-up, egghead Secular Humanists!
Secular Humanists have caused terrorism, global warming, and every major disaster for the last 5,000 years — and it’s our duty to stop them before they TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
FACT: since the Crusades, Secular Humanists have stood at the center of a vast, satanic plot to STOP God-ordained conquest and unite humankind through Logic, Science, and Enlightenment!
FACT: Much of our U.S. Constitution was written by these depraved, happiness-pursuing “Enlightenati”! Would you want one of these “created equal” degenerates to marry your sister?
4. ACQUIRE A NUCLEAR WEAPON. If you are not an Arab, Communist, or person of color, announcing that you have a nuclear weapon capable of mass destruction will make you an instant ally of the United States! A small NB about the WMD, however: Do NOT make the mistake of that silly Iranian President, who followed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, inquired through proper channels about legally obtaining nuclear technology for “peaceful” purposes, and was called “Hitler” for his efforts. Please show that you are thoughtful enough to handle your ability to create perpetual nuclear winter by obtaining your WMD before you inform the U.S. government. To make absolutely certain you’re in good standing, insist that the U.S. government call you “France.”
5. DEVELOP AGORAPHOBIC CATATONIA. “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” A wise man said that in the 18th Century — a wise, stupid man. This man never looked ahead to the 21st Century, to see that doing nothing would become the apogee of cutting-edge activism!
Remember the Afghanistan invasion? The Iraq invasion? All those meetings and lectures you went to, where you became “informed” and had “doubts” about WMD and al Qaeda connections? All that peace marching — once, with 10,000,000 people all over the world, so the destruction of millennia-old cultures and the slaughter of innocents wouldn’t happen? It happened anyway.
It happened because you left the house.
To prevent further mayhem, it is necessary to effect social change at home, by nonviolently reading your email. Uh-oh: look at all those listserves on murder and torture and indefinite detention. They force you to devise a new activist strategy: You must play “Minesweeper” and “Pac-Man” for the next four hours.
Now, for direct action! Using psychological skills honed at your computer, it is time to emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually “shut down.” This allows you to do radical civil disobedience while lying on your couch. As you remain in staunch protest, allow crises such as Darfur, AIDS, and our war on Iran to roll over you.
While they are rolling, turn on TV. Look, there’s a Sex and the City rerun. Enter the world of beautiful people with no real problems, lots of sex, and million-dollar hygiene. Why does New York City suddenly have so few Black people? Isn’t that gay person being treated like a pet? Doesn’t matter. All good. Now, try to picture somebody water-boarding Sarah Jessica Parker. You can’t. Ah, finally — you have effected social change.
Susie Day lives in New York City where she writes a humor column for feminist and gay publications. She has also written on U.S. political prisoners and labor issues and thinks her girlfriend, Laura Whitehorn, is hot stuff. Can’t get enough of Susie? Read other pieces by Susie Day in MRZine: Susie Day, “Fugitive Offers Reward for Rumsfeld’s Capture” (22 July 2005); “Street Life of a Mad Activist” (28 July 2005); “Waiting for Karl Rove” (9 August 2005); “A Child’s Primer of Intelligent Design” (24 August 2005); “The Flood This Time” (19 September 2005); “Things That Rise Up in the Night: A Howl-oween Treat” (18 October 2005); “President Salutes Anonymous Red-Baiter” (14 November 2005); “Conspicuous Consumption of a Mad Activist” (11 December 2005); “2006: The Year in Horrorscopes” (9 January 2006); “Visiting Herman” (7 February 2006); “Savior Self” (6 March 2006); “Pinko Plague Panics President” (4 April 2006); “Seymour Hersh and the American Brain” (2 May 2006); “Identity, Class, and Bite Me, David Horowitz” (30 May 2006); “Bugging Hillary” (19 June 2006); “Back in the USSA” (24 July 2006); “News from the Back of the Front” (21 August 2006); and “Barbie at the Barricades” (20 September 2006).