Saturday, September 16, 2006

What are Pictures? 

Reading firedoglake today, and came across what has to be the most disturbing photograph I've ever seen. Is it even possible to enumerate the problems going on in here?

is there a word for "shitheel" in hebrew? 

"The claim that we lost is unfounded. Half of Lebanon is destroyed; is that a loss?"

-- Ehud Olmert

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

For Finchy: An AmCop estimate of the chances of 'Billary' saving the world 


more terrorism like this, please 

Families visiting Disneyland on their holiday this week saw a life-size Guantanamo bay inmate standing inside the Rocky Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland in Anaheim California.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Happy 9-11 Day! 

Today is the day (9-11) that we remember 9-11.

If a child asks you why on this day, apart from all other days, we remember 9-11, explain that it is because today is 9-11.

With this in mind, I'll take the liberty of promoting a couple of comments about John NYU president John Sexton's "reflection" about 9-11. (See Blicero's post about Sexton for his take on this, along with the rest of the thread.) The first comment is from Scats. The second one is from me.


It is reflective of his soullessness because even when contemplating the horror, carnage and trauma of a mass-murder that occured not twenty blocks from his office, Sexton cannot shake his narcissistic self-regard. No amount of blood and agony can tear Sexton away from his mirror.

Sexton's inward gaze is emblematic of all who believe that "everything changed" on 9/11. "Everything" only changed for the small portion of the global population that doesn't experience horrific political violence on a regular basis.

The sum of Sexton's thought on the matter is that before 9/11 we thought (stupidly) that bad things could not happen to us, and after 9/11 we realize (tritely) that bad things can happen to us.

No matter what happens though, no matter how "breathtaking" our days become, we must never relinquish the adolescent fantasy that the world revolves around us. No event, no matter how profound, should ever be cause for self-examination or re-evalution of the assumptions on which we base our lives.

It is also simply embarrassing that a president of a major University would express this grade-school understanding of what phenomena constitute the subject of "History", and also what would constitute a refutation of a theory; a theory he sloppily mischaracterizes.

Sexton's writing only serves to further disseminate official pieties about his subject. One might expect such cant from a high-school principal, but for someone of his position and responsibility it is disgraceful. Sexton's offal is yet another bit of depressing evidence that we're the subjects of an increasingly pathetic toolocracy.


Note [Sexton's] uses of the passive voice that Blicero put in quotes.

This is a way of avoiding having to say what is exactly going on--it is a way of talking about "history" as if it some "thing" that "happens" every once in a while, apart from human choices. When it "happens," then millions of people die in carnage that is later televised on the "history" channel.

While these "happenings" are terrible, they are also exhilarating ("breathtaking") for those who are not killed because, whatever else can be said about them, they are "big" "historical" "events" that we will look back on and "remember" with other "citizens" of "our" "nation."

It was a "breathtaking" day [says Sexton] because as it unfolded, it became "historical" right away. And we all knew that it would be "remembered" and even "honored" in books of "history" and in television presentations. In fact, it was televised as it "happened." Thus, we enjoyed the "breathtaking" experience of living in the present and the future simultaneously, "experiencing" "events" in "real" "time" while at the same time watching those events take their place in our televised "history."

Thus today we are told to "remember."

This means, do what you did on 9-11.

Look at your "life" and the life of your "country" as if it is a television show.

Be terrified. Sit transfixed. Do nothing. Pray to the television.

Never stop staring. Never forget.


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