Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The Dream of Poor Bazin

Jerry Stratton

What if the Three Musketeers were journalists in Washington, DC? What if journalists were swashbuckling, swaggering, hard-drinking warriors of truth? Find out in Jerry Stratton’s The Dream of Poor Bazin.

Hangover on Miracle Monday

Jerry Stratton, May 2, 2011

I couldn’t help but think of the ending of Elliot S! Maggin’s Miracle Monday:

Shortly before four in the afternoon on the third Monday in the month of May, the people of the city of Metropolis learned the meaning of joy. They had no explanation for this feeling, and there were gaps in their knowledge of what had gone on in their lives so far that day. It was as though they were all waking up, or at least opening their eyes, for the first time in an awfully long time. The first thing many of them saw was the red-and-blue figure of Superman drawing a line across their sky, and he became the symbol of their joy. It felt like a miracle, though none could say why.

Great book, and you should read it if you can find a copy.

I went off to Nunu’s, a local locals bar, when I heard that the forthcoming news had been confirmed; I don’t have television, and I got to see the news with a couple of other people who wanted to get out when they heard the news. Obviously we weren’t the only people that occurred to, judging from the crowds waving American flags in Times Square, ground zero, and outside the White House.

Yeah, nothing’s changed, and nothing is over with. We will soon have to face up to the fact that the war on terror is not a war against one man, but a race against statistics and two converging lines on a graph.

It still feels damn good. Even with a hangover.

I might have more later, but for now, carry on.

Ah, here’s a good way of saying it:

Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring Bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.

This is a victory for the American people, for the victims who were heartlessly murdered on September 11 and in Al Qaeda’s other numerous attacks, and for all the peace-loving people of the world.

May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!

A little uncynical joy every once in a while isn’t a bad thing.

Okay, it’s later, I’m back from work, and it’s time for more. At the end of Miracle Monday (and really, read the book), the devil1 is wreaking havoc throughout Metropolis and the world. This is real evil. It is at the limits of Superman’s prodigious power to counter the evil this creature is doing. The problem? The devil is hiding behind an innocent—has possessed an innocent human—and Superman will have to kill her if he wants to stop the relentless evil inside her.

The rest of the world doesn’t understand why Superman won’t kill her. They probably considered him weak for it; and it’s true, it is a weakness, and it’s a weakness evil will always manipulate.

But this is Superman. The real Superman, by a real writer. Superman tells the demon, I’m not going to kill her. Instead, I will track you to the ends of the universe. I will counter your evil wherever I can. Someday you’ll make a mistake, and I’ll be there to catch you. “I don’t suppose there could be a nobler mission for a superman.”

It took a few decades, but one of our own lesser evils has been caught, and stopped. A noble mission for a superpower?

“Heroes, above all, are people who succeed. They sometimes fail in their immediate goals—staying alive, for example—in order to succeed in their ultimate goals—saving the Union, making the world safe for democracy, obtaining civil rights for their people. Ultimately they succeed, and generally this is because they set out on purpose to succeed.”

May 3, 2011: I do not mourn the loss of evil

Some on the left seem to be annoyed that Conservatives and even Republicans are unequivocally cheering something President Obama did. The left considers them enemies, and they’re worried that their enemy is happy when, politically, they shouldn’t be. It’s all politics, and they don’t understand anything that transcends politics. It’s unnerving them so much they’ve started to hallucinate. For example, this quote has been popping up all over Facebook and the net:

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr., did not say that. Now, I would disagree with this even if King had said it. But he didn’t. It’s a cheap sentiment that someone hoped would not look as cheap if they attached it to a hero’s name.

The parts of the quote that are correct come from King’s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? As you might guess from the title, King was speaking to the civil rights movement, which, with new blood from the sixties counterculture, was seriously considering civil war. This was the time that spawned Bill Ayers’ Weathermen, and there were splinter groups coming off of the already violence-friendly Nation of Islam who were seriously ready for war. Talk of revolution was everywhere in the counterculture. In that context, King was correct: a bloody uprising in the United States, however justified, would have “multiplied evil”.

Here’s the real quote:

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes… Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

  1. Technically, a devil, or a demon. But if he’s not the devil, he’s impersonated hell’s honcho in the past.

  1. <- Ryan: End oil subsidies?
  2. Bureaucracy Event Horizon ->