Obituary

The Weavers had a line about getting up in the morning and reading the obituary section in the newspaper: “and if I’m not there, I know I’m not dead, so I roll myself over and go back to bed.”

Fives, from Kung Fu Grippe has a rather different set of obituary requirements, like “there will be no use of the phrase ‘looking down on us.'” Of course, I think that Kitty Winn at Vomitola really would prefer to be described as “looking down on us” no matter what. I mean, if it’s accurate now, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be accurate after she dies.

News Sources

If the domestic perspective seems a little right-of-center to you, and you want to know what people with other biases have to say, you could do worse than the English Al Jazeera, translations of the prime regional media outlet. Other sources include the Arabic News, which as far as I can tell is an online-only regional news site with content translated from the Arabic, in contrast to the Arab News, which is a Saudi-based English-language print paper with a web presence.

My conclusion is that we’re not going to see really cool-headed analysis for at least fifty or a hundred years. Read the protestor’s account and especially the comments at the end, which vary from “those fascist pigs!” to “you fucking hippies!” and tell me we’re not polarized here.

Oh, The Humanity

A friend pointed me to a carefully written, well-balanced article about the war and the left. It hurts that it is such a rare thing to see a journalist really consider an issue like this, with really legitimate pro and con arguments: is the suffering of war greater than, or less than, the suffering of the citizens of Iraq?

The author has a really good point: this is the one of the most difficult cases since Stalin– it’s not clear-cut like a lot of the others were. But you don’t see a lot of acknowledgement of complexity at all. Maybe I’m suffering from lone moderate syndrome, but I’m much more used to seeing the clueless sort of protestor. And what could be more evocative of current politics than a guy who chains himself to the wrong building?

Could be worse. You could be the Slut of Ronkonkoma.

Rummy Capone

MSNBC/Newsweek says “Donald Rumsfeld often quotes a line from Al Capone: ‘You will get more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.’” It’s a good point, really. But the problem is, we’ve been skimping on the “kind words” part…

Has anyone seen a credible critique of the Bush policy from the right? My feeling is that those who fail to line up 100% behind the prez are exiled and have their conservative credentials stripped, and that therefore, by definition, you can’t find one. But I’d like to see it. There’s a lot of people now who regard themselves as “balking hawks:” anti-Saddam, uncomfortable with unilateralism, distrustful of Bush, in favor of war only with UN backing, etc.