Are Flagan on Wed, 23 Apr 2003 10:23:29 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: If People is a concept: might it be populist? Re: <nettime> Mesopotamia's burning

It is arguably hard to avoid charges of blinkered, old-fashioned anti-
feelings when engaging in selective criticisms, rather than more general
moral or ethical or intellectual principles, and the like. When considering
what passes for analysis these days, however, it is quite obvious that much
of the same universalizing tendency is alive and well while dismissing that
other, defunct universalism of upholding opposing monoliths. At certain
historical moments, and I believe this is one of them, the flirtations of a
meta matrix may need to connect with an expression plane that is less
concerned with divinity and more focused on working the limitations of its
apparent curse, of never being perfect. In my view, there is something very
seriously wrong with American society and it is, unfortunately, not American
to address it. This is why Bowling for Columbine gets an Oscar and the
actual message of the film is booed off stage after the initial accolades of
right-to-free-speech-now-shut-up lip service die down. But America's fatal
flaw is what most fear most; its love of violence, its thirst for war. The
below essay provides a chilling introduction to this history and the
spiraling numbers game of the death toll, especially on the US domestic
front: between 1900 and 1971, 596,984 Americans were murdered; between 1971
and 1997, there were another 592,616 killed in similar ways. Although one
can aspire to the advances of this, increasingly global, society in many
areas, like Keith rightly does, I feel that this path of progress is also in
dangerous hands. The wonderful GPS coordinates of "you are here" are also
found in a crater with assorted limbs scattered around the edges. I
understand why Louise then asks loudly WHO ARE YOU? in distressed capitals.



Violence is the American Way


The lack of a violent revolutionary tradition in America is the principal
reason why Americans have never been disarmed, while in every European
nation the reverse is true.

So, for the most part, Americans, laymen and historians alike, have been
able to practice what some historians have termed "selective" recollection
or "historical amnesia" about the violence in their past and present. Since
the 1960s, historians' works, cumulatively, have demonstrated a causal
connection between American culture and the American predisposition to use
violence. We might now be experiencing yet another by-product of this
national penchant for violence    a willingness to engage in a major war
without asking very many hard questions.  It's the American Way. 

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