In another day Armin Meiwes' desire to eat human flesh may have been kept secret and unfulfilled. Today he is able to advertise on the Internet and get more than 200 responses, each respondent eager to be eaten by the well-mannered German.
How this role plays out -- how the world responds to our efforts -- is yet to be seen. We can be a light onto the nations or, to paraphrase Lyndon Johnson, we can let this opportunity slip through our fingers.
In San Francisco, "The City," I am surrounded by the local fauna, the Californian Dude. Full of ideas that must be expressed, the locals fulminate a politics that are not my own. Some of these politics are not even of this world, or at least of a concrete reality recognizable by this sane person. Not all of these ideas are unique of this population, not all are benevolent. Misguided is a word that comes to mind but then again, sometimes I am too kind.
Americans do not cherish obedience. Following instructions is not a virtue when the idea behind Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll offers unconstrained freedom. We have always been individualists; we have become extreme libertarians. We will not put up with being told how to dispose of our free time. We listen when millions of dollars in advertising dollars tells us we can have it our way, selectively listen. "Just do it" is an instruction we recieve in advertising. We willingly obey. Don't you love beyond measure Disneyland, shopping and eating hamburgers and driving SUVs? Propaganda is reviled yet this form of propaganda is embraced, chatted about in casual conversation.
A hundred years of global advertising by the De Beers diamond cartel has made the diamond engagement ring an obligation the world over. The De Beers cartel has made billions of people demand their colorless, common gemstone. American advertising is recognized as manipulation and propaganda by its audience and we say "It don't matter!" Our unwillingness to suffer constraint blinds us to the possibility that Sabbath discipline may have real personal benefits.
It is not more bombs we need in the difficult times facing us in the 21st century. Our mastery of the physical world assures we can meet any physical challenge. The human challenge that awaits us requires wisdom and resolve. Attaining both is an unsure proposition.
We are not lost in how to attain these virtues. The knowledge of the difference between good and evil is what makes us human. It comes as a still, small voice. Listen to what you know is right as an individual and as a country. Focus on the good, rebuke the devil and he will flee. We did it before; we'll do it again.
Such a formidable foe, the Totalitarian Huns of the Left and the Right. Why didn’t they win? The fiction of Nazis winning World War is the premise of numberless stories. People as diverse as Newt Gingrich and George Orwell have written stories on this premise. The reality is that military powers Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were all profoundly defeated in spite of their initial advantage. The Allied victory has been studied in detail. Military strategists may focus on tactics and materiel. Political analysts may dwell on diplomacy.
Totalitarianism's greatest threat was that even in military defeat its mental and spiritual poison could still win. In defeating the Totalitarian Hun we could ourselves become Hunnish. When the Hot War of World War II ended and the Cold War started free world (meaning the United States) had to rally to stop an expanding Soviet Union. Europe was useless, ruined from WWII and Red from infiltrators from the communist bloc. Our battle continued for 40 years. To win the battle against the Evil Empire took, not years, but generations – and to win that battle without becoming the enemy was the greatest victory of all. We did it.
Today beleaguered Israel faces the Intifada. How cynical to use children with rocks for the benefit of the world’s TV news cameras. It is David and Goliath as an on-going TV soap opera. How dangerous for Israel the threat they become the Palestinian’s Nazis. It is an image Palestinians and others gleefully exploit.
The world's population is now six billion. If there is a one in a billion chance that a person can be born with two heads that means there are six people walking around with two heads on their shoulders. Even a person with only one head can hold true more than two conflicting ideas. Personally, I don’t believe airplanes can fly. The craft weighs an untold number of tons, it carrys hundreds of obese passengers. How can that plane float on invisible air? It is counter-intuitive.
Many ideas were once private aberrations, so beyond the Pale of the acceptable it was prudent not to mention them. In an earlier day Armin Meiwes' desire to eat human flesh may have been kept secret and unfulfilled. Today he is able to advertise on the Internet and get more than 200 responses, each respondent eager to be eaten by the well-mannered German. In Japanese you need not commit suicide alone. Post a note to a chat room and get a whole group to end their lives at the same time you do. The Japanese are a very social people.
There are agencies, such as the RAND Corp., who anticipate what is coming in the future. An inexact art, their prognostications are often wrong.
Protestors gathered on San Francisco's Market Street to express their ideas. They were against not the results of the last presidential elections but the elections themselves. Other topics to protest against included the existence Middle America, the union of the fifty states, Israeli policy towards Palestine, the cover-up of CIA involvement in the 9/11 attacks, support for Haiti's Aristide, victim of U.S. oppression, and support for Black Panther George Jackson (dead thirty years). Well, it may have been support for George Jackson. I could discern nothing more than his picture and name on the demonstrator's banner.
After marching several blocks the protest ended in a riot and the burning of George Bush in effigy. The man who appears at any and all San Francisco parades wearing hot pants and twirling a baton was not to be found.
Good for him.
"destroy their nightmare, make your dreams possible!"