In times such as these, when escaping into one's comfort zone is no longer a viable option, one is advised to evince the audacity of hopelessness, because the act leaves one desperate enough to embrace this daunting proposition:
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Although, for the present and foreseeable future, the propitious aspects of the sentiment will not hold true for Bradley Manning"whose plight displays the punitive, hyper-authoritarian nature of late U.S. empire. As is the case with Manning, in a national security state, few acts will cause one to lose his freedom in a more rapid manner than to reveal the secrets of lawless, ruthless power.Apparently, Bradley Manning guarded secrets of his own"not shameful ones--but traits that would cause him to become subject to derision if revealed.
Manning desired to practice transvestism. This U.S. Army private was privy to illusion. Innately, he grasped how being coerced into suppressing one's secrets damages one's soul. Manning merely harbored the desire to practice a bit of gender bending; in contrast, the operatives of empire demand that they be allowed to bend and twist the world itself towards their exploitative ends.
To live in empire--in the service of its imperial military or in the thrall of the pursuit of careerist vanity and consumerist compulsions--is to live a selfish lie, day in and day out.
Rupaul (Andre Charles) averred, "We all came into this world naked. The rest is all drag."
We all make choices as to what form of drag we practice. Does my lie promote the truth? Is my act educational, entertaining or edifying? Does it allow me to inhabit my true self yet transcend my narcissism? Does my act and attendant actions bring balm or does it deliver more suffering than necessary to a world where it is impossible to escape suffering?
Ask yourself and those around you these questions in regard to Private Manning and the operatives and denizens of U.S. Empire.
On the subject of identity, authentic or dubious: Even after being an almost constant public presence for more than half a decade, Barack Obama's true nature and authentic identity remains elusive. After all this time, he still seems less man than marketing rollout, less of a political leader than an object lesson in product placement. The situation is like having the role of chief executive of the nation filled with a disposable razor or a heavily hyped iPhone application.
The U.S. presidency, as is the case with almost all aspects of life in the corporate consumer state, has become increasingly dominated and defined by commercial/public relations-type legerdemain. The constant commercial come-ons of the media hologram mask its hollow core; the proliferation of weightless lies serves to overwhelm the gravity of perilous times.
Obama's nebulous nature works to ensure the continued irrational ardor of his supporters, who, against all evidence, insist on clinging to fantasy and projection regarding the president's much in evidence anti-democratic tendencies; hence, progressive types seem prone to project their own redeeming qualities on the blank slate that Obama creates and deploys as his public persona--a method similar to that used by con artists who exploit the decency of their marks to achieve their criminal ends.
Apropos, this indefensible, Bush-era type of deceit connecting 9/11 and
the invasion and occupation of Iraq:
"The war in Iraq will soon belong to history. Your service belongs
to the ages. Never forget that you are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning
two centuries -- from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your
grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you -- men and
women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and
delivered justice to those who attacked us on 9/11."-- President Obama speaking
to troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., December 14, 2011
In this instance, the shape-shifter Obama morphs from hollow man to Death's slick, narrow-ass, public relations representative.
I've noticed that debates with Obama's apologists have a very similar trajectory as those with Republican partisans. Because partisans are hard pressed to explain away the affronts to truthful discourse and good governance displayed by the politicians they support, any attempt to engage them in debate involving the merits (or lack thereof) of the policies of said politicians (e.g., their unwavering support of the 1% and U.S. militarist imperium)--quickly devolves into volleys of ad hominem attacks launched from the ranks of their supporters.
For example, from the right, OWS activists are labeled dirty, America-hatin' hippies who supports swarthy terrorists, yet from the liberal camp, OWSers who refuse cooperation with the Democratic Party are cast as purer-than-thou types--too above it all to sully themselves by an acceptance of the pragmatic nature of political reality.