Tuesday, March 22, 2016

'trash-talking' in the real world

trash talk


  1. insulting or boastful speech intended to demoralize, intimidate, or humiliate someone, especially an opponent in an athletic contest.
Some professional athletes are experts at trash-talking, just trying to throw their opponents off balance.  Jared Allen, formerly of the football Minnesota Vikings, and Kevin Garnett, currently back with the basketball Minnesota Timberwolves, are good examples of exemplary trash-talkers.  Maybe it works some of the time.

I'm thinking of "trash-talking" on this day that happens to be Belgium's turn -- in this perverse "new normal -- to mourn the deaths and injuries to dozens of innocent victims of terrorism, a terrorism intended to make everyday life seem unsafe.  It's also become predictable, this year especially, for political candidates to talk tough to fight what is essentially worldwide guerilla warfare. Fine.  But when they start ranting about how they, once elected, will "carpet-bomb ISIS out of existence" or torture ISIS prisoners beyond world law to get the supposed answers that will cause the destruction of ISIS forever, that is nothing but trash talk.  None of that is doable, but simplistic but empty threats  play to the minds of conveniently under-educated supporters who know not nearly enough about history or geography or the world beyond their own noses.  It won't work when ISIS is not a country, so who do you bomb?  Or it won't work when so many ISIS recruits are longing for martyrdom -- so how is threatening to murder them (and their families) any kind of deterrent?

The world situation is complex.  This isn't a video game -- or, for that matter, a football or basketball game or school playground.  It's the real world. 

We offer hands of human compassion to our brothers and sisters in Brussels, Belgium.

No comments: