Monday, June 23, 2014

Fundraising Day Four: What is History But a Fable Agreed Upon?

Brother Charles Pierce recalls important events of the recent past:

Wait, what's this? Someone looking very much like the president made a foreign policy decision in the Middle East that worked out?

Syria is still in the middle of some awful carnage, and still central to the developing chaos in the region. Its ruler is still a tyrant. But I can still recall the loud cries for the president to make the big boom-boom on these weapons, regardless of what might happen when you blow up a chemical weapons depot.
Senator John McCain, on the other hand, favors military action, arguing that United States should intervene even if the reports of chemical weapon use aren't true because Bashar al-Assad will likely use them in the future...If the United States were to intervene in Syria, it could not rely on air power to destroy Syrian chemical weapons facilities. Airstrikes would risk releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and exposing bystanders.
The number of bullets we all dodged in 2008 continues to rise.
Except, as happens sometimes when trying to talk about The Past without waking the Purity Duck, about half of the history of these events has been left out of this equation. 

Sure, bomb-first-ask-questions-never types like John McCain completely flipped out because they always flip out when we're not blowing the shit out of something somewhere.  That is undeniably true. 

But it is also undeniably true that people like David Sirota were eyeballing exactly the same events and stating categorically that Obama was obviously a bloodthirsty narcissist, Hell-bent on invading another country at any cost:

Yet, despite all that, and despite the government’s recent history of lying about WMDs, the pro-war crowd nonetheless simply assumes that what the Obama administration is alleging is unquestionably true. Making such an assumption is, in part, another expression of narcissism.

Simply put, conceited narcissists don’t seem to care whether the entire case for the war they are advocating is actually rooted in verifiable fact, because their focus is on their own feelings. More specifically, they care only about their desire to feel heroic, righteous and moral, whether or not the entire narrative that makes them feel that was is actually true. Additionally, they know they don’t have to fear any consequences of ignoring evidentiary questions and focusing on their own desire to feel heroic. After all, even if the case for war ends up being a fraud, it won’t personally affect them because their beloved cruise missiles won’t be blowing up them or their families.
Because the whole thing may very well have been cooked up by his puppet-masters at the Pentagon!
No doubt, the government’s motives for a war with Syria have little to do with moral opposition to chemical weapons. The geopolitics of Syria affect everything from oil to Iran to Israel to the defense budget – and those concerns might be what’s really driving the push to war. But the public sales pitch for war cannot dare admit that because such a truth is taboo.
I realize that salting the tail of the Purity Duck is usually nothing but trouble, yielding little but a doubling and redoubling of loathing from the True Believers and a series of digital slammed-screen-doors and promises to never darken my drooling, jackbooted blog ever again, both in the comment section and via email.  But honestly, if McCain deserves a trip to the woodshed from Esquire Magazine and others -- and he does! -- then Sirota deserves at least one slap on the wrist from at least one, lowly flyover blogger.

I also realized that bringing this up in the middle of a fundraiser is probably a poor business decision, but honestly if I were running this blog as some carefully barbered profit center according to some larger strategic plan wherein I wrote only risked pissing off people who were already on the other side of the ideological planet from me, it would be a very different place. 

But it's just me and as I told you during my very first fundraiser...
A Fundraiser Six Years In The Making...

I have watched the tides go in and out on blogging. Watched the organic material of the Great Primordial Blogging Sea organize itself into ever larger, more complex organisms, with ever more complex metabolisms and business plans, which -- when you pop the hood -- still depend heavily or entirely on "aggregating" something called "content".

In much the same way a blue whale "aggregates" krill :-)

Me? I'm still Tom Bombadil. (More after the jump...)

Since Day One I've been here on the edge of town, running my single-shingle, pie-and-coffee shop , serving my own hot, home-cooked essays with a scoop or two of hand-made graphics.

One post a day, every day, more or less.

Sometimes rock stars drop in, zipping between between here and there. I welcome their patronage, but they get what's on the menu like everybody else. Sometimes tiny mobs of angry people show up. Eventually they go away.

Then, after the transient ups and downs, life goes on.
One post a day
Every day.
More or less.

And while the service is sometimes sloppy ("Waiter, there's an apostrophe in my s'oup!") like 'em or not, they're mine.

What I do isn't "Candide", but it is an honest stick, and if I can sometimes hit the sweet spot between the sensibilities of Bradbury ("You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.") and Nin ("The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.") then I can step away from the keyboard feeling I've done my job.

And it's time to start getting paid for that job.

Using my Terrifying Blogging Power, I'll be turning the comments off on this post and pinning to the top of the site for a few days (new stuff will appear below it.) As always, you can email me at "driftglass00" AT "" driftglass99 AT gmail DOT com.

No one owes me a thing, and no one who is staring down the barrel of privation should even consider sending me a dime. But the Tip Jar is finally Open, and whatever you can afford will be deeply appreciated.

And if there are persons of means out there (I'm looking at you, George Soros) who can drop Big Cake on me without breaking stride, don't be shy.

(And, yes, that picture is of me, way back when I was a wee, little shotglass.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

(Fundraising Day Four: What is History But a Fable Agreed Upon?)

"Holy crap! This post is so long I need to separate it with an 'after the main jump' !"

(Fundraiser Day Four: Sunday Morning Comin' Down)

"Nah, this post is short enough that I can put the whole thing on the front page."

I love you, man. Don't ever change.

Enjoy your day.

---Kevin Holsinger