Friday, October 20, 2006

A Serious Followup

The problem I have with hitting "Publish" on my more vituperative posts is that the minute I do that, I lose a good deal of the anger that fueled them in the first place. The coals still glow, but the flames have gone out. I can see why some people liken blogging to therapy, or at least acknowledge that blogging can serve a therapeutic purpose. It is certainly cathartic to get it all out in public.

That said, fuck my catharsis. There's a little bit more going on in the world right now than my precious, sacred feelings, although you'd never know that if you had to live with me. But I am not, for example, sitting here feeling grief and rage for the loss of my loved ones, or my friends, or the life I once knew*. I am sitting here feeling disgusted at myself, maybe, but we should all have such problems as middle-class white girl self-disgust.

I mean, if you really want to talk justice, justice would be that I trade places with an Iraqi woman, and then I can worry about who to fear more, the local insurgents or the people who say they're there to help, and she can have my cozy apartment and worry about when, when are they going to fix the other treadmill in the workout room? It's been months! And she can start a blog and chide me not to do anything silly like get myself raped and murdered because, damn, don't I know there's a war on? That shit makes America look bad. And when America looks bad, it's never the fault of Americans. It's the fault of all the haters out there who are just jealous that we have Brangelina and they don't.

So even though I have this nasty habit of shouting at people and then hiding from my own comments section when people follow my lead and start throwing down (don't they know how much I value civility?), I think under the extraordinarily shitty circumstances the rock-bottom least I can do is address some of it. From a longtime friend, a typically intelligent question**:

How could anyone have ever supported A WAR that was motivated by a desire to "experiment"?

Hey, don't ask me--ask the man I got the phrase from:

"What is the worst thing that can happen in our country?" Franks asked rhetorically. "Two steps. The first step would be a nexus between weapons of mass destruction . . . and terrorism." The second step would be "the western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy."

Franks suggested that a "massive casualty-producing event" might cause "our population to question our own Constitution and begin to militarize our country."

The irony--that we've managed to question (boy howdy!) our own Constitution regardless--has of course been noted.

Anyway, I'd been reading that last link and the phrase had stuck in my head and I popped it in ironically.

More earnestly, though: The problem, generally, when Americans speak of "experiments in democracy," is how often they forget what the fuck experiments actually are. There's no guarantee than any "experiment" will produce a predicted or desired outcome, unless you were me in freshman physics lab, hastily copying the smart table's data to make things "come out right." Then you've got yourself a guarantee. But here it should be noted that (1) I got solid C's in physics, which is certainly nothing to aspire to, and (2) there are whole galaxies of difference between finagling the data to achieve the hoped-for outcome in a friction experiment, and finagling the data to achieve the hoped-for outcome in a foreign country. And the chief difference is, you can do the first and who cares anyway, we already know that Friction Is; but you cannot do the second, and you damned well better care about that, because otherwise you're saying you don't care about humanity and, hint for the slow out there, that isn't hyperbole.

When you say, as Jonah Goldberg recently did, that even though the experiment was a failure it was still worth performing, even though in this particular experiment your lab rats were other human beings, you can't count yourself a fan of humanity. I'm sorry. I might forgive a delayed realization of exactly what democracy-as-experiment requires you to believe about human beings (it is unpleasantly similar to what communism under Stalin required you to believe about human beings; Google "walter duranty omelet eggs," or just see here), but that delay is very, very short, and I'm only granting any at all because I can afford to, what with no one having bombed the shit outta me today or even lately or actually at all, ever, and because I am in poor position to point fingers and call Iraq-war-supporting Americans fools, when like half my stuff's still littered all over that neighborhood. Most of it's at the corner of Purple Fingers Mean Freedom Boulevard and Sorry About Your Cousin Zeyad Street.

By the way, to anyone who's doing something so silly as to give me props for the last post, let me point out that I read about Zeyad's cousin nearly three years ago now, and while I felt tremendous anger at the fucking morons Zeyad described plaguing his comments, it nonetheless never occurred to me that as go the party faithful, so goes the party. Thus, that there could ever be any connection between the "ur lying d00d Americans dont kill peopul!" commenters at Zeyad's, and the bloodyminded denialist attitude of, say, the White House, went right over my fulla-air head. So for perspective, there you go, and don't throw me any parties, I'm agoraphobic anyhow.

*I don't know what you'll get when you click Raghda's blog, but I got a pop-under window from that was all like--well, here:

. . . which, there, that'll make you hate spammers, huh? OF ALL THINGS, in ALL PLACES, some hump had to stick that on the blog of a preteen girl whose family recently fled Iraq.

**Seriously very smart guy, and obviously smarter than me, though that is no kind of standard. Plus wicked hot, naturally.

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