Flavin’s Corner
5-11-01

Die, Monster, Die!

Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.  A monster horrendous, hideous and vast, deprived of sight.
Vergil, The Aeneid: Book 3, Line 658.

Former U. S. Army Staff Sargent Timothy J. McVeigh was to be executed by lethal injection at U. S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, IN, on March 16, 2001, until Attorney General John Ashcroft decided June 11, 2001 (after the current gossip of what constitutes pertinent evidence exhausts itself) would be a better date.  It was to have been the first Federal execution since Victor Feguer in 1963.  McVeigh was found guilty on 11 counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosive, and eight counts of first-degree murder, in connection with the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.  The senseless loss of 168 lives, as well as injuries inflicted on 500 more, persuade many citizens that McVeigh should pay for his heinous crime with his miserable life.  Die, monster, die!  I’m not that keen on lethal injection and would feel better if somebody would just put a small caliber bullet deep into his brain.  Wasting all those chemicals and all that.  Well, that he dies is what’s important.  Now, would work for me.

What?  I’m supposed to fade left and run towards non-violence?  Well, I do on most occasions, but not at this horror.  McVeigh murdered innocent people because of the shootings at Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidian conflagration?  McVeigh declared war on the U. S. government and elected to murder civilians rather than make an attempt to battle soldiers.  His behavior was treasonous and he’s a coward and a killer.  The night before the scheduled execution, a maintenance or cafeteria worker at the federal prison should be selected at random, issued a single, small caliber bullet, and ordered to “Please take care of the situation.”  I’m not a fan of public viewings of executions or, for that matter, any court’s attempt to resolve issues of victim’s rights and closure with gore.  Quietly, dispassionately, and quickly shoot the coward in the head and move on.

It’s a fact our government has executed innocent individuals.  We need a better judicial and sentencing system.  Less political and pseudo-moralistic posturing and more common sense jurisprudence are necessary.  Still, some crimes are straightforward, open and shut, and require execution.  I’ve always appreciated our attempts to distinguish “cruel and unusual punishment” from the justice systems of other countries.  I believe once a death sentence has been handed down, the condemned should be asked if he/she would like to die in five minutes, the next morning, or a year from that date.  Forget last suppers and statements; the final and only right, privilege, or choice of a condemned citizen should be when to die.  Of course, this conflicts with both lynch-mob mentality and endless litigation, but extremism brought us here in the first place.  Many would probably opt to get it over with sooner, rather than later.  Apparently McVeigh feels this way, didn’t appeal to delay the execution, and chose to conclude the matter.  It’s probably the only choice of McVeigh’s which most people, other than Gore Vidal, will ever support.  Too bad Ashcroft was there to make the call.

Though some regard him as a patriot and martyr, many Americans become outraged villagers with blazing torches and see McVeigh as a monster.  As with the Vergil quote that heads this column, our English word ‘monster’ comes to us from the Latin monstrum, a form of monere, to admonish and  warn.  Monsters warn us.  An image of a figure standing at the outskirts of a recently decimated village, covered with stinking, oozing pustules, and warning passersby to stay away, is not inappropriately applied to McVeigh.  His cowardly warning to women and children is clear.  McVeigh is a monster in actuality, not a fictional creation like one from Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Color Out of Space” (filmed as Die, Monster, Die!).  Several minutes after 7 AM, CST, Wednesday, May 16, 2001, the Oklahoma Bombing monster was scheduled to pay for his crimes.  It was supposed to be that simple. 

Someday we may be in a better position to forgive and rehabilitate society’s monsters, but not anytime soon.  As our species struggles to mature, non-aggressive and non-violent behavior has been shown to be affective in small, localized settings, however our species still embraces war, cheeseburgers, abortion, and the death penalty.  A Star Trek future of growth and harmony may one day await us, but that’s just hope and speculation, and we have now to contend with.  If the future allows for a different response to a warning such as the one given by McVeigh, fine.  Today, we destroy monsters. 

The eventual execution of Timothy J. McVeigh will conclude yet another chapter of extremism in America.  Young against old, Republicans and Democrats at each other’s throats, Coke versus Pepsi drinkers; Linda Tripp got a new nose and chin, Paula Jones got a new nose and chest, and for those who view the Oklahoma City bombing as a reaction to Clinton-era government, the death toll remains.  Yes, I believe certain Republican creeps contributed to the hatred McVeigh experienced before he murdered 168 innocent people.  The gun-lobby, the religious right and their racist splinter groups, businesses with vested interests in the non-regulation of the environment, and other selfish groups, formed an invisible college against Clinton.

McVeigh is a spawn of Congress and the monstrous result of Republican generated anti-Democratic hysteria.  Though McVeigh was decorated under Bush during the Gulf War, his alleged complaints before he blew up the Murrah Federal Building concerned the BATF, Janet Reno, the FBI, and the government (that is to say, the Clinton government).  Randy Weaver (of Ruby Ridge infamy) is a racist scumbag who owes his life to a government that respects individual freedom, even when the individual is a racist scumbag.  David Koresh?  The Dr. Pepper Museum is in Waco, TX and I wish them all the good luck in the world reclaiming their city from the public association of those sick-pups, the Branch Davidians.  Just because a bunch of crooked Republicans and crooked Christian conservatives shouted slurs against Clinton and the Democrats like foul-mouthed fighters before a match, it’s McVeigh who must pay for buying into their lies, exaggerations, and manipulations.  I hope Newt springs for two hookers June 11th.

Hoping Buffy is standing by when it does go down,
Rick

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