Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

From atrocity to tragedy to farce

Like most discussions of 9/11 these days, this one seems almost…quaint.

History shows that great and dominant societies can survive a great number of awful things without succumbing to collapse, but that they rarely outlast the gradual disintegration of national self-confidence. With this in mind, consider the words of one Michael Shulan, who “really believes” that “the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently.” Mr. Shulan, who is the creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, also expressed his distaste at what he called the “rah-rah America” instinct.

Well, given what people like him have turned America into he’s pretty much gotten his wish, at least as far as I’m concerned. The United Socialist Surveillance States of America commands no allegiance, affinity, loyalty, or affection from me whatsoever, and its descent into futility, decline, and relative helplessness is not something I’m at all concerned about, except insofar as it affects me and mine directly. Otherwise, let it rot.

The job of a curator is to curate, and nobody would expect Mr. Shulan to remain quiet if he had legitimate artistic differences. But the interesting question here is why Mr. Shulan — or anyone, for that matter — would find distasteful or “simplistic” the inclusion of photographs of American firefighters responding to mass murder in an exhibition that venerates the very same.

“My concern,” Shulan explained, “as it always was, is that we not reduce [9/11] down to something that was too simple, and in its simplicity would actually distort the complexity of the event, the meaning of the event.”

The never-ending search for complexity where it neither exists nor belongs is the unlovely signet of the pseudo-intellectual. What, precisely, are America’s flag-waving rubes missing about the events of September 11, 2001? What does the photograph show that “distorts” anything? If Mr. Shulan disagrees with Rudy Giuliani’s admirably Manichean statement that, the attacks of 9/11 being “an attack on the very idea of a free, inclusive, and civil society,” “we are right and they are wrong,” then he should say so. He might tell us also what he conceives to be the apparently unknowable “meaning of the event.” Absent an explanation, we should presume that the curator of the 9/11 Memorial Museum considers that there was a better time for firemen to be “vigilantly and so vehemently American” than the day their city crashed down around them. This is unacceptable.

The only surprise here is that they’re not including a section mourning the loss of those fine, upstanding Saudi boys who committed the attacks, and who, after all, were only victims themselves.

The thing that always seemed so highly ironic to me is this: the very liberal-fascists who have always despised this country the most, denouncing it as imperialistic, too unfairly prominent on the world stage, and above all abusive of its power to an extremely immoral degree…are the very ones who unceasingly demand that we give that same government more power. It’s like this:

And as usual, they can’t even begin to see the problem with their way of “thinking.”

Cooke is mostly right in the article, of course, but as Ace argues and I’ve flatly stated, he’s promoting patriotic feeling for a country that no longer exists:

Cooke’s column ends with some “rah-rah American patriotism” that I myself disagree with. He proclaims that among the nations of the West, the Anglosphere is superior; and among the Anglosphere, the American nation stands out.

I think he’s thinking nostalgically. That may have been true six year ago but it is not true today. America truly is now an “ordinary” country, just as Obama always believed. He has transformed his belief into reality.

Nostalgia, indeed. Nothing really wrong with that, but it’s important to recognize it for what it is.


3 thoughts on “From atrocity to tragedy to farce

  1. You wrote:

    The United Socialist Surveillance States of America commands no allegiance, affinity, loyalty, or affection from me whatsoever, and its descent into futility, decline, and relative helplessness is not something I’m at all concerned about, except insofar as it affects me and mine directly. Otherwise, let it rot.

    Had the pleasure of saying something resembling the above to the Tea Party Patriots organization when they hit me up for a donation to support the latest futile effort to get Boehner to do the right thing with respect to immigration. As best I can recall, what I said was, “F*ck Boehner. He’ll cave on immigration, and he’ll cave on the upcoming continuing resolution battle (defunding at least the discretionary portion of Obamacare). I’m done. Let. It. Burn. Take me off your mailing list.”

    Gettin’ damned tired of throwing money at problems that more money can’t solve. As long as I’m either gainfully employed or not actively seeking employment, I’m unable to contribute *physically* to support my beliefs in the same manner as the progtards do. This has been, and continues to be, the main reason why conservatives suck at political activism. Until I can pick up a well-heeled *conservative* sponsor who’s willing to pay me to quit my job and show up at “events” like the recent abortion bill vote in Austin, TX, the best I can do is provide moral and other support to agents I can trust to act on my behalf. Trouble is, I don’t trust them, at least as far as them being able to ensure any kind of reasonable return on my “investment,” especially when I need those precious resources to finish preparing for what’s coming.

    What *is* coming, and *when*? If I knew anything specific, I’d have been my own political activism sponsor *years* ago. Less than a decade ago, if I’d read what I just wrote above, I’d have dismissed the author as a paranoid kook. In the intervening years, such views have become far more mainstream than I would have thought possible. As far as what to do, a couple of harsh truths should suffice:

    (1) The car has already gone over the cliff: the crash is inevitable.
    (2) We cannot vote our way out of this mess, i.e., “Vote for Cthulu! Why settle for the lesser of two evils?”
    (3) The courts will not save us.

    Number (3) is the most difficult for many conservatives to grasp. The legal process is slow, cumbersome, expensive, and in no way reliable. Is Obama operating outside the bounds of the Constitution (ILLEGALLY, for the terminally-clueless) in delaying the Affordable Healthcare Act’s employee mandate? You betcha. Go ahead. File your lawsuit. Do you expect it to be decided, let alone considered, prior to the upcoming Congressional elections? Do you think a Republican-controlled House is an ally in your quest? Obama and other administration officials have committed multiple impeachable and otherwise actionable offenses, and we can’t get the House of Representatives to even consider the symbolic act of drawing up the appropriate articles of impeachment. We can’t even get Boehner to do the arguably less difficult task of appointing a select committee to investigate Benghazi: this should have been a no-brainer for *anyone* who truly cared about doing the right thing. The fact it hasn’t happened speaks loudly and clearly to all who have ears to hear.

    F*ck it. Let it burn. I’m devoting what resources I have to the manly (i.e., responsible) task of providing for me and my family for the time when the “free sh*t brigade” comes through the neighborhood looking for things to steal. When, not if, the dollar collapses, you won’t want to be anywhere near a big city. Authors more talented with words than I am have suggested the role of cities these days is as distribution centers for taxpayer-funded goodies to parasites who cannot or will not work for a living. True enough, that a city that doesn’t manufacture something has no reason to exist *except* for presumed economy of scale in providing handouts. I should have clued-in years ago when the self-sufficiency of rural people was much more evident.

    Go back to sleep, now. Sorry to disturb everyone’s slumber.

Comments are closed.



"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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