terrorism is that which is an attentive over-saturation of a subject or idea. it is not the commitment to an idea. take for an example, a suicide bomber who erupts onto the scene with a block of C4 strapped to their chest. They don’t want to die, but because of their over-saturation to an idea they must die. this is very different from the traditional concept in the word commitment.
commitment tends to be driven by desire.
a desire either for some type of change or for some type of progress to occur. television is a form of terrorism. because it assumes its place is to provide its audience with an over-attentive over-saturation of mediated facts. it does nothing to enforce justice,relieve poverty, or preserve life.
it is the highest form of terrorism because it commits itself to nothing. it promises only unmediated events yet is mediated by the television, by the act of teleprompting. by some big other. most terrorism is filtered through some sort of perverse other.
take for instance, in the life of one of jesus’ disciples, his name was peter. rome was a natural terrorist, they attempted to control the world – reality is everyone knew it. their terrorism was visceral. any person, object or moment that attempt to destroy another person for their own self-gain is a natural terrorist. one who is led by nothing more/less than simple blood lust.
in a moment of sheer self-committed weakness peter becomes over-saturated by his own self-preservation and fear. his attentiveness to it is what drives his acts and words from that point forward. although his intent might be pure, his actions dictate the ‘other’ that he serves in that moment. for all intense purposes he is one of the terrorists who sent jesus to the cross.
now, this isn’t to demonise peters’ denial of christ, but the reality is that peter is a microcosm of what has happened to the world today. the cliche we have become accustomed to hearing is that bad things happen when good men do nothing. but i think there is a fatal flaw in this thinking.
because it assumes that the bad thing wouldn’t have occurred if the good man did something. even when good men do something, bad things still happen. like in the movie gran torino, the curmudgeonly protagonist played by clint eastwood ends up dying for the neighbours he loves to hate to imprison a set of gang members who antagonised their own family members who he became friends with.
but throughout the movie he encounters other gang members. what the movie does not deal with is the reality that his death was ultimately in vain because it did not deal with all of the gangs. the system in place. however altruistic/salvific (he dies with he arms outstretched, like Christ) his death did not deal with the systemic issue of gang violence.
it simply was a form of vengeance in reverse. true violence occurs when we allow those systems that oppress, marginalize, kill, devalue and destroy any human.
when we repress our innate responsibility not to just act but to dismantle those systems in place that dissolve the human spirit, we do nothing less, in that moment then join in the terrorism that ends the very life we ourselves stand for.
in its most simplest form, terrorism is when we allow systems to overrun how we interpret one another, our value, ethics & desire.
theorist Jean Baudrillard thought that images were evil. that over time the image would become so over-saturated (overused) that it would lose its meaning. and that the image itself would take the place of the object along with the meaning. so, even the meaning of the object would be replaced by whatever took its place. and that over the course of the process the ‘real’ thing would cease to exist in this thing we call reality. and we would worship the image over the pure (untouched object). this has also happened with god. god has been removed from churches, theology and everything in between. the object we are meant to relate to has become the very idol we ourselves choose to interpret and understand. this is why there has been a historical fe