Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
We need more than actuarial calculations about how many more years we have until Social Security benefits need to be adjusted. We need a goal — something more practical than a moon base. We need a mission. We need a reason to get out of bed on Election Day.I do understand that this whole get-outta-bed thing is just a trope, but I've gotta ask: what gets you out of bed on any other day? I just don't get this mode of thought, in which life itself is arranged around electoral issues, in which you don't rise in the morning because you've got to work or because the dog needs a walk or because the kids need to get to the school bus or because you need to get groceries or because you want to fuck your wife or blow your boyfriend or because it's already sixty degrees and the sun is up at seven o'clock and you can get in a quick 25-mile ride or because this one life and the living of it is the one goddamn gift the infinite and infinitely indifferent universe gives to you, the only thing you possess with actual and intrinsic value, the one irreducible commodity in your existence, which is your existence, and to do anything other than wake up and walk out while you still fucking can is the only real sin and the one unpardonable offense against all the billions of other people who get the fuck out of bed despite bearing heavier burdens than any newspaper-reading American has likely ever borne--no, rather, you remain recumbent, depressed, washed-over with darkness because no Presidential candidate has whistled the properly arousing tune, sounded the spiritual reveille; your life is as worthless as a limp balloon until inflated with the Presidential helium. You can't get out bed on Election Day without inspiration? I bet you can't jerk off without porn, either. The problem is one of insufficient imagination.
Monday, March 19, 2012
So I guess it's crazy to go kill a bunch of civilians, unless you are a flying robot, in which case it's collateral, um, ancillary, um, additional marginal killing, like, uh, incremental costs. Is there an IFRS for moral accountancy, a set of generally accepted principles? I take it this soldier, whom the Times calls Bob (Hi, Bob!), went totally nuts, obviously, because what kind of soldier kills people? THAT'S JUST THE STRESS TALKIN', MAN. He was on his fourth rotation. I'm sure if his supervisor had just signed off on allowing him to use some of those accrued vacation days . . .
President Oh, Bother managed to sound even more like a Junior High School Vice Principal than ever in his response. This does not represent our school spirit or Mustang pride. What is it with him? The more grievous the event, the less human he sounds--I expect that he weeps at the sound of the Tetris theme but can only manage to cough discretely and check his watch for the nineteenth time when Rodolfo cries Mimi's name for the last time.
Well obviously the soldier must be nuts, because were it not so, it would call into serious question the tragic narrative of Afghanistan . . . heroic, but cursed despite its best intentions--that seems to be the consensus these days. But I don't think the guy was crazy at all; or, I do think he was crazy, but crazy in the sense that all people whose chosen profession is the export of death are crazy. Four tours of duty in imperial wars as a volunteer? Fuck yeah he was crazy, but the fact of a few unauthorized killings is not the dispositive one here.