The new mixologist talks
Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand once wrote
that the truth never stands in the way of a good story.
My new part-time job is tending a bar in
the River Oaks area. Being a mixologist (hip slang for a bartender) is
kind of like being a psychologist, except you don't
get to charge costly hourly rates and
your clients don't usually get to lounge on velvet couches. But there is
a similarity: In both professions, you're
constantly hearing things that you'd really
rather not and things that don't make sense.
For instance, the other day I overheard
two middle-aged women talking about how females are treated in the Middle
East, particularly in Afghanistan.
Then the two women proceeded to claim that
this is a justification for our current massive bombings of the country.
I don't know how killing innocent women
(and children) helps to thwart the oppression they receive from the Taliban.
Of course, being that the Taliban is so
overbearing in regards to letting us journalists
inside its controlled areas, we don't know yet how many women and children
we have accidentally sent to their
graves along with "the bad guys."
Bombs and food, it should be noted, aren't
the only things being dropped on the people in the Afghanistan desert (that's
what it is -- let's call a spade a spade).
Propaganda is as well.
U.S. airplanes have been dropping millions
of leaflets on the country, which advise the citizens to take cover, leave
the country or help overthrow the Taliban
by joining the Northern Alliance.
But since the Taliban took over Afghanistan
five years ago, women have not been allowed to go to school. So surely,
some women haven't been allowed to learn
to read. So leaflets, it was decided,
were not the best way to reach the people.
So instead, the U.S. Air Force began what
I call its campaign of radio propaganda. One message broadcast over the
FM-frequency broadcast told citizens to
"stay away from military installations,
government buildings, terrorist camps, roads, factories or bridges … We
do not wish to harm you."
I think this is a good thing, but I also
think we should encourage a cultural revolution, forced by the women of
Afghanistan. If we were to atone our broadcast
propaganda toward a female audience and
be able to elicit their excitability, we could witness the women of Afghanistan
crawling out of the bunkers and
overthrowing the Taliban.
Of course, these are only the daydreams
of a bored bartender, but could you imagine the female Afghan population
getting back at those tyrants for the past
five years' worth of oppression while
simultaneously ending the American fear of terrorism?
Women comprised 40 percent of the doctors,
50 percent of the civilian government workers and 50 percent of the college
students in Afghanistan before the
Taliban took over. Wouldn't it be interesting
to see them overthrow their oppressors?
The propagandists should look into this,
I think, as I pour another drink.
Moeller, a junior communication major,
can be reached at email@example.com.