Thursday, January 23, 2014

Far From the Only Reason, But A Key One, This Blog Has Been Slow of Late, Revealed In Humorous Fashion as a Parodic Request

Hey, y'all, quick favor: I need the entire world to stop for, oh, I dunno, not too long, maybe a week?, yeah, a week, that'll do it, so I can sorta catch up on some things. You're all willing to do that, right? I mean, no big. I'd appreciate it. You're the best! See y'all in a week. Which, for you, will be tomorrow. KTHXBY.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Swear I Don't Know Why But Sometimes These Things Just Pop Into My Head

Rudolph, the red-eyed dragon,
Had a very flamey breath,
And if you ever saw him,
It would be a firey death.

All of Santa's reindeer
Used to scream and run away,
Because they knew that Rudolph
Ate about one per day.

Then one foggy Christmas eve
It was Santa's turn,
But when Rudolph ate him up
It gave him quite bad heartburn.

So now it's back to reindeer,
No more plump elvish men:
Rudolph, the red-eyed dragon
Won't be eating them again!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Claiming Victim Status

Unfortunately, claiming victim status does not itself bring sound ethical choices. Stalin and Hitler both claimed throughout their political careers to be victims. They persuaded millions of other people that they, too, were victims: of an international capitalist or Jewish conspiracy. During the German invasion of Poland, a German soldier believed that the death grimace of a Pole proved that Poles irrationally hated Germans. During the famine, a Ukrainian communist found himself beleaguered by the corpses of the starved at his doorstep. They both portrayed themselves as victims. No major war or act of mass killing in the twentieth century began without the aggressors or perpetrators first claiming innocence and victimhood. In the twenty-first century, we see a second wve of aggressive wars with victim claims, in which leaders not only present their peoples as victims but make explicit reference to the mass murders of the twentieth century. The human capacity for subjective victimhood is apparently limitless, and people who believe that they are victims can be motivated to perform acts of great violence. The Austrian policeman shooting babies at Mahileu imagined what the Soviets would do to his children.

— Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), pp. 399 - 400

Friday, January 03, 2014

...But I'm SURE Our Elites Are Ready To Rise To The Challenge!

A surer formula for widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots—at least while still paying lip service to ideals like opportunity and meritocracy—would seem difficult to devise.