September 11 Digital Archive

[MAPC-discuss] Fwd: this is so well written (fwd)


[MAPC-discuss] Fwd: this is so well written (fwd)



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September 11 Email: Body

Below find a marvelous piece, especially for anyone feeling a little
beseiged by the swell on mile-long, inch-deep patriotism flooding the
land.  BTW,  for those of you who haeven't done so, please send me an
e-mail to so that I can switch you address over to my
NEW e-mail location.

Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 00:56:00 -0600
> > San Francisco Gate - Oct 19, 2001
> >
> >
> > s101901.DTL&type=printable>
> >
> > Evil Evildoers Of Evil
> >
> > How to feel calmly patriotic and yet not the slightest bit reassured by
> > & Co.
> >
> > By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
> >
> > This much is true: It really is possible to love your country and
> > value your freedoms and still believe the government is full of fools
> > and prevaricators and BS artists and Dick Cheney. Really.
> >
> > It is still possible to feel warmly patriotic in personal and
> > important ways and yet believe the military and the generals and the
> > war machine do not have your best interests at heart and really
> > couldn't care less what those interests are anyway but thank you for
> > sharing now please sit down and do as we tell you and by the way,
> > thanks for all the flags and the money.
> >
> > And it is still possible to feel unified and spiritually connected to
> > all that is good and righteous about your generally nonviolent
> > Americanism -- you know, wine and sex and good music, large dogs and
> > literature and clean water and tongue kissing in the streets -- and
> > still be depressed when our famously nonintellectual president talks
> > to the country like we're all five years old and heavily dosed on
> > Ritalin.
> >
> > When Bush employs phrases like "bring the evildoers to justice" over
> > and over, 17 times in one speech alone, and he furrows his brow like
> > a serious Muppet and offers carefully scripted reassurances
> > deliberately lacking in polysyllabism and detailed explanation
> > because that would be, you know, complicated.  When he repeats
> > primitive little maxims like "There are no negotiations" and responds
> > to press-conference questions about the vitriolic anti-US hatred that
> > has blossomed around the globe by saying, "I'm amazed. I just can't
> > believe it because I know how good we are," thus causing a giant
> > global spasm of multinational cringing and openly insulting the
> > intelligence of anyone who can walk and breathe at the same time.
> >
> > When he delivers very earnest speeches he had no part in writing,
> > and when he is forced to speak extemporaneously, sans script or
> > TelePrompTer, and is reduced to simplistic good-guy/bad-guy
> > platitudes and flustered, rapid blinking, and who cannot for the life
> > of him articulate a complex idea, some sort of nuanced elucidation of
> > our nation's motives and positioning, that contains more than one
> > possible level of meaning.  But perhaps that's too harsh. Unfair.
> > He's the president, after all. He is a Good Man. He's our leader
> > right now, he's doing his best and he's all we've got. This is our
> > rallying cry, our motto: He's all we've got. There's your bumper
> > sticker. And there he is.
> >
> > Except for Cheney, which isn't exactly reassuring. No one has ever
> > seen this man's mouth actually move. No one can take one look at his
> > oddly spiritless and wan figure and not think, oh dear God, that man
> > is running on fumes. From a bunker. With ropes and pulleys. But
> > you're not supposed to. In fact, you really aren't allowed to
> > criticize the president or the veep right now, not supposed to feel
> > strangely leaderless and adrift, not permitted to look upon the
> > events of the past weeks with much wariness or bitterness or a
> > disquieting sense that we're setting things in motion that have no
> > predictable outcome -- ugly, subterranean, hateful things that could
> > last years and will surely cost billions and will deeply entrench the
> > nation in a bizarre and poisonous shell game with shadowy opponents
> > of largely unknown capability and do you hear that? That soft
> > roaring?
> >
> > That's the sound of the GOP-stroked military machine, quietly
> > cheering. Never mind the staggering multibillion-dollar political
> > mess in Saudi Arabia that fueled bin Laden's network for years, or
> > the enormous oil fields that are desperately vulnerable to terrorist
> > attack at any moment. Never mind the US government's outright
> > rejection of new advancements in alternative fuels to get us away
> > from oil and out of the Gulf entirely. Instead we get: Evildoers. Air
> > strikes. Hundreds of dead civilians. Rumsfeld denials. And Bush,
> > squinting, saying things only small children and
> > shoppers find comforting and manly. It is, Bush tells us, a war on
> > terrorism. We will eradicate terrorism through largely violent and
> > aggressive means, because that is what we must do and what we always
> > do and everything else takes too damn long. We have to do something.
> >
> > This is the common wisdom. Bush said so. Mr. Rumsfeld told him so,
> > with his black and shiny hawk eyes all a-glimmer. Disagree? You
> > traitorous whiner. This war, it will be just like the War on Drugs.
> > It will be potent and effective and our objectives will be clear. The
> > nation had a nasty drug problem and we declared a war on drugs and
> > spent billions over many years and now you can't buy drugs anymore.
> > It will be just like that.
> >
> > There is more than one way to respond to the horror of Sept. 11. And
> > there is more than one kind of patriotism. We forget this. You do not
> > have to rally around Bush and tolerate Cheney's chthonic creepiness
> > and wave a frantic flag and believe every scripted half-truth that
> > drizzles out of the Pentagon, applaud the nonstop attacks on an
> > already demolished nation. Pro-America does not mean pro-war. Or
> > pro-Bush. Or anti- Afghanistan. Or pro-little-flags-on-SUV-antennas.
> > It means thinking independently and getting better informed and
> > filtering your news very carefully and realizing that just because
> > one version of the American aggro attitude is currently being
> > ramrodded down society's throat doesn't mean you have to swallow.
> >
> > It means you don't have to find Tomahawk missiles really cool or
> > think all those tens of thousands of Europeans and Egyptians and
> > world citizens protesting the US bombings must be commie jerks, or
> > feel sad and morally depleted when you can't seem to draw any
> > intellectual nourishment whatsoever when Bush declaims, "Terrorists
> > want us to stop our lives, stop our flying, stop our buying. But this
> > nation will not be intimidated by evildoers." You don't have to buy
> > into that infantile hokum for a moment. After all, this is America.
> >
> >
> > [Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and
> > Friday on SF Gate, unless it appears on Tuesday or Thursday, which it
> > almost never does. He also writes the Morning Fix, a deeply skewed
> > and very funny daily email newsletter.]

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[MAPC-discuss] Fwd: this is so well written (fwd)


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