...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors




There was a woman on TV yesterday talking to Wolf Blitzer about how lame it is for people to criticize the "war" and what that criticism does to the brave and valiant young men and women who are suffering the "war" first-hand in Iraq.
She had this thing she did with her forehead that was like a gun kind of, like it was a gun lying on the table in front of her that she would sort of absently put her hand on, like she would put her hand on it now and again, just to let everybody know what was up. A frown with a lot of anger behind it. A warrior's frown. She was a neo-con ninjette.
Meaning it was intimidating, intentionally so - aggressive, with a lot of violence in back of it.
Her thesis, or talking point, or diversion - I don't what to call it because it doesn't matter, there isn't a pejorative for it, it's a release of chemicals, it doesn't have any higher attributes.
This is no longer about truth or morality or any of the old ways of looking at human action - it's only about winning. It's a pig's ethical stance. The last angry screams of the swine. Worse.
Her position was it doesn't matter why American soldiers are killing and being killed in Iraq, it doesn't matter how many lies were told to get them there and keep them there - because they're there and we have to "finish the job" and "honor them".
Prohibition ended after a couple decades of alcohol being illegal. It just stopped one day, because the laws had changed. People had died because of those laws, law enforcement officers had given their lives to enforce them, organized crime was made wealthy and far more powerful than it had been, and then one day it didn't matter anymore. Tuesday a cop was risking his life arresting bootleggers and Wednesday it didn't count. Honoring that sacrifice could have been used as an argument against legalization.
It doesn't matter how many lies they told to get the public to go along with invading Iraq, or how many lies they tell about what's happening there now, it doesn't matter how irrevocably this tears down the possibilities, what might have been and what was - what was still here in some form when I was young. All that matters now is the fire and the dying.
And the gloating thing that rises from it.
I tried for a half hour or so to find out who she was but I couldn't get it off the CNN website and I neglected to do so when I snapped the TV off in disgust.
She was herself a weapon in someone's arsenal. Who exactly is never going to be something I'll know for certain, and I've made my peace with that, but whoever it is we're enemies now, for keeps. Forever. There's my line in the sand.
You crossed it, we're done.
You can blow this world straight to hell, I'm a lot less ambivalent about that than I was a month ago, and you seem about to do it anyway; and every day that looks a little better, because it means you'll be going too.

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