Thursday, November 08, 2007

Gauntlets of Deterrent

Back in 2006, the Wall Street Journal cautioned Republicans against relying on immigrant-bashing to win political victories:

[I]mmigration is an issue, like trade, that always looks better in the polls than it does on election day; very few people vote because of it.
The truth of this statement is nicely borne out by a post at Migra Matters, which contrasts pre-election excitement over "the Republican advantage in the emotional debate over illegal immigration" with the post-rout realization that immigration "won't be a silver bullet for Republicans."

We won't linger over this sad scene; as Shakespeare wrote, it's "better to weep at joy than to joy at weeping." Let's turn instead to the Minutemen's private border fence, which Chris Simcox formerly described as a "high-tech, double-layered gauntlet of deterrent."

Behold this fence, you would-be maids and lettuce-pickers, and tremble:

Simcox now says that he never promised to build the high-tech security fence on Ladd's ranch. And he insists the barbed-wire fence really does protect the country.
Meanwhile, a fence proposed along the Rio Grande may "cut farmers off from prime farmland close to the water," but that's the way things go in our ever-accelerating era of dromological conflict:
The fence would be at least 15 feet high and capable of withstanding a crash of a 10,000-pound vehicle going 40 mph, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
And Boeing's virtual border fence is sending border agents scurrying after raindrops and whirling leaves:
“When you promise to have a screen in a car that’s supposed to help you chase aliens and you find out you’re chasing raindrops, it causes skepticism,” Richard Stana, director of Homeland Security and Justice issues at the Government Accountability Office, told the House Homeland Security Committee on Oct. 24....
Then again, maybe it's just as well that all these fences are ill-conceived or defective, given that a secure border would be bad for business:
"Building a wall in and of itself is not the solution, we know that. Our economy would not respond very well to that, that's not the goal of our program."
(Ilustration at top: "Security Fence" by Rodger Roundy, 2006.)


Anonymous said...

I think that there are very different mindsets at work here. One sees the border as something like the skin on a human body. Listen to them, and you'll hear the metaphor from time to time. If there is a break in the skin and alien matter gets in, it could result in fatal infection.

Another sees the border as an administrative imposition on empirical land. Your photos demonstrate this nicely. In and on this land, people live. If their homes are within walking distance, they probably know each other and may even be related or may become related.

The first is a metaphor run wild. The second is reality.

I just wrote about dead metaphors rising again. I'm wondering if there is a word for the reverse: where a metaphor takes the place of reality in a person's mind.


Phila said...

I'm wondering if there is a word for the reverse: where a metaphor takes the place of reality in a person's mind.


Anonymous said...

I love when you do this!

(Collections of newsy items I probably haven't found....)