History 101

So far, no one has a clear answer for why the Afghan sergeant turned his AK-47 on Huling, shooting him in the stomach and killing him.

National Public Relations

For a country that celebrates its own armed insurgency against a foreign imperial power (well, its own government, actually, but nevermind) every July 4th—not only celebrates it but views it as its defining act—America sure has a difficult time wrapping its head around the whole occupier-occupiee relationship.

The Jingo Bowl

Will Grigg on that annual spectacle of national self-indulgence disguised as a sporting event:

Superbowl Sunday, the High Holy Day of our de facto state religion, has become such a brobdingnagian spectacle of militarist self-worship that Leni Riefenstahl would probably find the proceedings a bit excessive. The Caligulan feast in Dallas did offer one small source of consolation: Contrary to what compulsive mosque-baiters would have us believe, the culture on display is not haunted by the specter of impending Sharia rule.

I had a similar thought while watching the pregame show, although I probably would have gone with Kim Jong-il instead of the Nazis.  But no matter—gaudy displays of militarism and paeans to the dear leader (or, in our case, leaders) are all more or less the same anyway.

My favorite part was the tribute to the glories of the US Government narrated by Michael Douglas.  Images of past emperors—I mean, presidents—flitted across the screen, accompanied by references to their most famous speeches.  “Where would we be if He hadn’t asked us what we can do for our country,” said one of those supposed America-haters from Hollywood.  

I almost spat out a mouthful of crab dip when I heard that one.

Let’s see, where would “we” be if JFK hadn’t made a bullshit speech 50 years ago?  No doubt we’d all be dead, all 300,000,000 of us having long ago succumbed to collective inertia and self-neglect.