Friday, January 19, 2018

Dying on a Hill

“I’ve spoken to so many people, smart people, people who are sort of on the conservative side of things, or at least don’t see themselves as social justice warriors ~ and their attitude is often, ‘Oh well, you know, so what, it’s not such a big deal.  I’m not willing to die on this hill,’ I hear that a lot.  And I understand that.  I mean, there are a lot of hills I’m not willing to die on either ~ and the left always makes it a matter of dying on a hill.”

~ Janice Fiamengo, professor in english studies at the University of Ottawa.

I found this funny yesterday, since I've used exactly that phrase twice on this blog in the last week, and was thinking, wow, "I've got to stop saying that."  Now I'm thinking it would make a good name for a D&D blog.  That's what heroes do, after all, and we're told that D&D player characters are heroes ... so it makes sense.

Why, oh why, does the left make it about dying on a hill?

That's simple.  It is because, for those on the left, this is a personal war, in part waged in our past and in the pain and suffering of other people that we witness.  It is strange that the right can so easily understand why Liam Neeson can go berserk, murdering and killing dozens of bad guys until he can save his daughter, but they can't understand why a group of leftists are willing to fight to rewrite laws so they can save their friends and families who are suffering and dying as victims of austerity cuts, racist law enforcement, social stigmatization and, in some cases, legally condoned rape.

It's war.  We get that the right doesn't get that, that for them it is just business as usual, or that they feel we should all just quiet down because the Schutzstaffel have it under control and, "What's the point anyway, you won't win."  Yeah, we know we won't win.  But that's the thing about war.  It isn't won by one soldier, it is won by thousands or millions, who won't quit, who won't stop, who will keep going until the enemy loses their will to fight or runs out of resources.  This is how Vietnam defeats a big country like America, this is how the Basque and Catalonian regions of Spain just won't quit trying for independence, whatever concessions they have been given, this is why there are gays still fighting in Russia even though there are thousands who have been imprisoned and executed.  Because they know, in the end, someone will win this fight.  And they know, if we, you and I, hold this hill today, if we make them pay in blood to take it, that will hold these bastards up long enough that our brothers and sisters will gain the resources they need to come back some day and take it, and all the hills that all the people like us have died on.

And those who won't fight?  Civilians.  In modern warfare, legitimate targets.  Because, as Sherman understood in his March to the Sea, as Sheridan understood as he laid waste to the Shenandoah valley, as the Russians understood as they burned the fields in retreat and left people who wouldn't flee behind to die of starvation, as the Allies understood as they bombed Dresden, as the Americans understood as they bombed Cambodia, if you're not on our side, you're aiding and supporting the enemy ~ which makes YOU part of the problem.

No one ever gets to say if something is a war or not.  If one side is willing to fight, the other must, and everyone caught in the middle must endure.  There's no sense in getting on your haunches and saying, "Why are you fighting?"  One side, or both sides, have their reasons, and so it goes.  If you want the war to stop, give us this hill.  If you won't, then we'll kill you as you come forward until we die on this place, right here.  Come on you Apes, you want to live forever?

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