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Terrorism Doesn’t Work

Another dim-witted pussy has blown himself up with the express goal of ending as many innocent lives as possible. Let’s cut through all of the sociopolitical analysis and acknowledge that once again, that’s what we’re dealing with here – a pussy of the highest order. That’s what you call somebody who arms himself to the teeth so he can kill harmless, unsuspecting people like those leaving the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last night. You should also call that person stark raving mad, because only somebody entirely detached from how things work on this planet would even consider carrying out such gutless savagery.

I’m using a lot of names here. “Pussy,” “gutless,” “dim-wit.” It’s said that when somebody starts calling someone else names, they fear they’ve lost the argument. But here there’s no argument to win or lose- I’m just pissed. And frustrated. And outraged, just like every other rational, compassionate person trying to process this news, which is sadly becoming more and more “normal.” And so I become the crazy one. I become the guy angrily shaking his fist at nobody and slandering a dead man in some vain, infantile hope that it can bring me some peace. I think this is what such terrorists want- they want to provoke good, right-thinking people into reacting so they can further justify their cowardly onslaught. And we will react. By “we” I mean society. We’ll arrest people and maybe bomb some new places that cultivate suicide bombers and we’ll increase security in public places, but eventually we’ll go on with our lives and that’s when the tides will turn. Only when we get back to living the lives that we’ve created for ourselves will we wrest control back from the cowardly extremists (sorry  for the redundancy).

Fear is the currency of terrorism. It’s not bombs or guns or politics or propaganda – it’s creating a climate where people spiral into such crippling fear that they change what they do and eventually what they believe. Why? Who knows? Obviously some would impose their religion or belief system on the rest of the world, while others seem to act out of their own warped and bleak moral outlook. But has that approach ever worked? No. Not if the goal is to destroy a way of life. Granted, terrorism has claimed thousands upon thousands (millions?) of lives over the centuries but take a gander at just the past couple hundred years – we’re still evolving socially, technically and even spiritually. Look at the explosion of yoga and meditation across the globe. These are almost certainly a response to the growing global unrest in the wake of WWII and more recently, the endless war and violence of the past thirty years. It’s no stretch to say that in many cases, these incidents of violence and terrorism are only galvanizing our commitment to the things we love the most.

Look around you – terrorism hasn’t done dick to prevent humanity’s sprawling evolution in ways we could never have conceived, even twenty years ago. Look at the Troubles that plagued Northern Ireland in the Seventies and Eighties – Belfast remains a major hub for both Catholics and Protestants. Hell, it’s a gorgeous capital city now that enjoys the same culture and commerce of its other European counterparts. Did either side’s campaign of terrorism force the other side out? Nope. In fact, the two cultures live and govern in harmony today. When the IRA bombed the fuck out of London, did they eliminate the Tube? Nope. When the 9/11 hijackers turned commercial flights into suicide bombs, did air travel cease? Negative. Sure, these incidents provoked extreme reactions in the short term but ultimately we found ways to continue living our lives with the same routines, conveniences, beliefs and freedoms that we had before the attacks. Terrorism doesn’t work. It fucks shit up, it sows tragedy and it destroys lives but ultimately terrorists succeed only in bringing thunderous rejection to their beliefs. They’re the ones who end up changing, not us.

The only way to combat terrorism is to live. To work our jobs, to support our friends and families, to go to concerts, to watch sports in the pub, to go for long walks, to talk to our pets in silly voices, to take long weekends, eat decadent food, sleep in late, sing in our cars and to send stupid memes to each other in text messages. That’s who we are. We’re fun, weird and playful. They won’t take that away from us.