Ask the average person on the street what kills more Americans – choking yourself to get off or evil terrorists? I haven’t done this myself but I suspect the results would be tilted quite far to the “evil terrorist” side.
And why wouldn’t they be? After all, America is engaged in an epic struggle against terrorists who hate us for our freedom. Ever since the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, terrorists abroad are by far the biggest threat to American lives and that evil demands to be met with brute, good ol’ fashion, American military might.
We Americans have sacrificed a lot to defeat the enemy in the Middle East. We sacrificed 6 of the original 10 amendments in 2001 alone to “preserve life and liberty.” That included our right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects (IV), the right to a speedy trial (VI), the right to freedom of religion (I), the right to legal representation (VI), the right to freedom of speech (I), and the right to be confronted with witnesses against us (IV). But who said you shouldn’t sacrifice a little liberty for safety?
We also spent a whopping $6 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saddling generations to come with colossal debt and interest payments, which will be paid for through inflation and taxation. But who said freedom was free?
Worst of all, we lost 6,617 American lives and 50,897 more were wounded. Not to mention the 177,149 veterans who have returned from combat with PTSD. Plus the tragic number of veterans who commit suicide, which is now estimated to be one every 65 minutes. These patriots have died for a good cause, though: stomping out the evil in the world and making it a safe place for Americans. The war on terror has been a costly one for Americans, but worth every bit of it.
The war on terror has been costly, yes, as seen by the above statistics. But the war on terror was most definitely not worth it. It’s done more harm than good.
The above narrative dominates American politics, though. Thanks to a massive, government created fear mongering campaign and years of propaganda, the war on terror gained, and continues to garner, substantial ideological support. Do terrorists exist? Yes. Are they a significant threat to Americans? Not at all.
A more significant threat to American lives is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal, AKA autoerotic asphyxiation. While terrorists killed 17 Americans worldwide in 2011, 1000 Americans died choking themselves for sexual pleasure. Gaspers, the term for people who are into erotic asphyxiation, were responsible for more American deaths than terrorists.
So, I ask, where is the war on autoerotic asphyxiation?
Being 59 times more likely to die being kinky than by a terrorist is an issue that the US government strangely ignores – and one that the average American is likely to be completely oblivious of. The effort on behalf of government officials to play up the “threat of terrorists” as if it was some sort of national danger, has overshadowed the much more serious threat of autoerotic asphyxiation.
This isn’t to say autoerotic asphyxiation is an actually serious threat that demands state action. By any rational approach, it shouldn’t be high on the list of national priorities. But by the same logic, terrorism should be 59 times less of a national priority.
But why wouldn’t Americans be willing to give up their Constitutional rights to privacy, religion, speech, a speedy trial, and legal representation to defeat the evil of autoerotic asphyxiation? Why aren’t Americans eager to spend $6 trillion and sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives to stamp out the evil kinkiness? Statistically, they should be willing to spend 59 times that much and sacrifice 59 times that many lives in the war on autoerotic asphyxiation.
The reason is because the US government hasn’t undertaken a colossal BS campaign shoving patriotic slogans, bogus and/or misleading statistics, 9/11 specials, and commercials of soldiers heroically returning home to their family down Americans’ throats for over a decade in a war on autoerotic asphyxiation. That propaganda was used to create public support for the war on terror.
The war on terror is really just a war on reason (like all wars). It doesn’t exist because Americans are in danger of terrorists attacks (if it were, there would be an even bigger war on autoerotic asphyxiation). It exists because Americans have been played like puppets into doing the bidding for a relentless, murderous, and goliath sized military-industrial complex. It exists because the American government is composed of professional propaganda peddlers. It exists because the corporatist, mass-production economy and the leviathan, imperial state needs to keep the wheels of war turning to survive.
As the always astute Hyde from That 70’s Show explained, “The true three branches of government are military, corporate, and Hollywood.” While Hyde was merely a pothead hippie, we can draw something important from his likely pot-induced insight – the government is not some obviously identifiable, single entity. It’s a multi-faceted, layered system of control that attacks people from all different angles. Its methods are discreet and mutually reinforcing.
On your way to work in the morning, you see a couple “support the troops” bumper stickers. At work, you overhear co-workers gossip over some supposed tragedy overseas as you take order from a faceless higher-up for 8 hours. On your way home, you see some more inspirational bumper stickers. Once you get home, you turn on the “news,” run by another faceless higher-up, and hear about how the terrorists are destroying the American way of life. You go out to a movie that night and watch a story about a patriotic and brave soldier that lays it all on the line for his country, but miraculously lives to see his family in a tear-jerking finale. After the movie you come home, watch the 11 o’clock news to hear some more about the evil terrorists sprinkled with some lovely commercials glorifying the troops and you go to sleep. And you do it all again the next day. At the same time, your child goes to school, says the pledge in front of an American flag and learns about how great the government is.
The propaganda machine hits you from all different angles during every second of the day, no matter your age or your job. There is no escaping it.
Where is the war on autoerotic asphyxiation? The government never invented one. A public concerned with fighting kinkiness isn’t as useful as a public concerned with fighting the terrorists. So as 59 times more people die from choking themselves than terrorist attacks, the America public will remain in a fatal frenzy over the “war on terror.”