Thursday, January 22, 2009
Part of an ongoing series
Perhaps the worst part is that I knew I was selling the situation short when I wrote the thing - and encouraging the kind of moral malaise Ryan talks about here. It's harping on about exactly the kind of trees that get in the way of the wood.
Mostly it was that I found the people who actually spoke up for either side to be not helping, so I wanted to make the point anyway.
As I said in the comments, I tried to nod in the direction of how much I was omitting. But I suppose you need a proper grasp of the situation in order to understand just how much omission and since nobody agrees what facts are relevant we start going round again.
So the project was potentially unhelpful and the best I could hope for was that some people might take a moment to get just a little perspective. If this happened, it did not leave much evidence.
On reflection, the worst part is the at least one person appears to have understood, and is carrying on anyway.
I actually thought about assuaging my conscience with companion piece.
Precis: Sort of simmering sibiling rivalry bursting into violence except one of the has a baseball bat and has cut of the other's food supply. Mum tells them to stop fighting but Dad doesn't - not until Mum gets a finger broken trying to put a band-aid on one of Junior's fresh contusions. Etc, Ad lib.
But then I saw this on Kiwipolitico and stopped feeling like I had a novel idea.
There was also one about John Key being satisfied with the size of his stimulus package. I've shelved that too.
I wasn't unduly proud of this piece - you might notice it hasn't had the lead slot on Scoop - partly because of the above caveats and also because the observation was so trite.
Almost as trite as noting that Israel is the one with the most power (and support) to change the status quo and currently seems hellbent on making it worse.
But the question isn't whose fault it is. The question is what you do about it.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
When people are being killed and dying is not the time to apportion blame.
But since the deal between Israel and the US has made peace between Israel and Hamas, I say, how about now?
Unlike some, I look forward to responsiblity sheeting home to the most guilty, because throughout the conflict my side has been entirely in the right.
I should mention which side that is. I'll be clear: I support the good guys.
This ethical purity means one doesn't have to resort to anything as hamfisted and subjective as counting the number of innocent people the other side have killed or how psycho they are or whether - irrespective of what they might say - certain people's actions are really making the world a better place.
Never mind the death and destruction, our policy has from the beginning been to secure the moral high ground.
What you do not understand is that the people of the country I support are living in a climate of fear, caused by the bad guys. We have a monopoly on this suffering and must fight for our freedom using whatever means we have at our disposal, however extreme or irrational they may appear.
Nor do you know the history of the region. Some might prefer to pretend that history began on a certain day of their choice (and they are selective even then). In reality, the important issues in this conflict are all the bad things they have done to us.
They have repeatedly committed war crimes and been constantly condemned by the UN. They have breached at least some of the ceasefires. We are obliged to protect our people from these provocations.
Plus, our dead people count for more than theirs.
The dangerous lunatics on the other side seem incapable of distinguishing between the actions of our military and our civilian population. What would you expect from a nation so sick that their politicians can get electoral support by attacking another people? Though perhaps regrettable, it is right that they should all be punished for their complicity.
Especially since their leaders could have stopped the fighting at any time by ceasing their attacks. I wonder how they can sleep at night.
The people of the nation I support are a proud semitic people and they were there first.
Since the others started it, nothing that follows is our fault.
Whatever the others may have said in the past, it is clear from their actions that they would annihilate us if they could. Whereas all we want is a reasonable peace on our terms. And our actions are all well-thought-out steps that are in fact likely to lead to that state of affairs.
This may cause civilian casualties by we must defend our right to exist as a nation. However the actual number of casualties on either side is only relevent if they support my case.
Despite the immense procvoation of the murderers on the other side, we do not target civilians. Sometimes it happens that we hit them anyway. And we do fire at random into crowded areas from time to time, but only because we're forced to.
From time to time some of our supporters - especially on the fringes - may seem overly jingoistic and self-righteous, but we need to counter the one-eyed ravings of our opponents.
It does not help that the media is clearly biased against us, despited the transparent and sanctimonious lies of their official spokemen.
Fortunately, we have the support of the important parts of the international community.
Also, though I'm not clear exactly how this works, I am obliged to support the side I do because of my position on the liberal/conservative spectrum.
I short, it is obvious that we are entirely right and they are entirely wrong. This position is the best way forward and anyone who thinks differently is a dangerous idiot.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
BoingBoing ("One look at the Jell-O clown and he will haunt your dreams forevermore") linked to this rather good Flickr set of photos by one Charles W Cushman. The official collection is online and apparently thoroughly indexed, and generally not of clowns. But why is there no Wikipedia entry?
Regarding this photo, a comment on Flickr:
The Gag with the fake leg is the clown is actually standing in and walking in the box but with the fake legs it makes it look like the duck is pulling him!I notice you can just make out a wheel that
His name is Paul Winchell
he was a genius at creating unique props! (all made to pack flat and play big!)
But for you might remember him as the voice of Gargamel in the smurfs.
current Ringling Clown
The "Clown With Duck" is Paul Wenzel, a clown on the Ringling show from the turn of the century until the advent of Clown College in 1968.I have no wish to pose as a clown hater. These guys look pretty awesome.
He retired at the age of 90.
"The Professor" as he was known to the other clowns, was a master of creating enormous and intricate clown props out of silk and wire that were lightweight and collapsed flat.
When he retired no one remembered to ask him how he did it, when he died the art was lost.
Fred Garbo's Inflatable Theater Company is the closest thing that we have to it now but Fred's props are... well, inflatable and not supported by wire.
[Something else on BoingBoing: Orestes Pursued by the Furries]