Wednesday, April 22

No, Really? Gambling? In This Establishment?

Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti,"In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry Into Their Past Use." April 21

Mark Benjamin, "Torture planning began in 2001, Senate report reveals". April 22

LAST week's computer bedevilment appears to have ended yesterday when, against all the arguments sanity had at its disposal I upgraded my iAluminum iMac's hard drive to a 1 TB Seagate number which is whisper-quiet, although in truth anything would have been an upgrade, since the old one appears to be dead. This was accomplished with, and occasionally in spite of, the helpful help of some internet experts, at least one of whom confuses Up and Down nearly as much as I do. In the end I had to figure out some stuff myself, and finished with just one part left over, plus the memory door temporarily (hah!) held up with masking tape until I get around to opening the case again to fix it. In my defense, it never fit quite square to begin with, the (integral) screw is too small, and the Apple Genius who eventually got around to fixing the defective motherboard last year pretty well stripped it in the process.

Anyway, it's an interesting trip down a Memory Hole Lane that was never mine; I graduated from college the year the first softwareless Heathkit build-your-own computer hit the market. Everything I know about these devil boxes I more-or-less taught myself, and everything I know about the inside tech should have electrocuted me years ago. And for someone of my age and mechanical aptitude, that is, none, yesterday was like popping the hood on the family Buick: Th' fuck happened to all the room that used to be here? Used to be you'd unscrew the case, then find the three hidden screws you'd missed, take the top off, locate the HD, and switch it. Partial iMac disassembly now begins with sticking one of those Human Fly suction cup dealies onto the glass and popping it off. Which was Weirdly Cool. It actually only takes one or two dimestore suction cup hooks to accomplish, but the guy in one of the videos I watched had some four-head industrial-strength glazier/cat burglar tool, and for a brief moment I was tempted to go find one.

My first HD was a 105 MB monster. I paid extra for the jumbo capacity.

I'm pretty sure that back when I started typing I had a segué, but it seems to have disappeared. Maybe it was how, back in my youth, it was fairly common for people (I wasn't one of 'em, as it happens, being more of a late-to-the-party McLuhanite) to imagine The Computer, and its evil henchaccessory the UPC code, as portents and prime resources of the Evil Dehumanizing Brave New Totalitarianism we were headed for . Of course today, in retrospect, we realize they were absolutely right.

What few if any could foresee at that point is that International Dehumanization would either merge with Disney, or just swipe its corporate vibe; the exact sequence is still a bit unclear, but anyone old enough to remember Good Old Walt himself knows that Happy Fun Places and The Faint But Unmistakable Thud of Jackboots have never really been mutually exclusive. Fascism with Flair! The spacious, affordable, and All-Electric Skinner Box of Tomorrow! Not only did Today's Fascists catch on to the Bright Shiny Object routine, they realized at some point that mass genocide reduced the size of potential markets as well as causing a commodities glut in such areas as the Gold, Pre-owned Eyewear, and exotic leathers markets.

Or maybe it was just that yesterday's technological marvel is today's museum piece, and that just as the generation born with a USB cable in its tiny fist looks upon the SyQuest removable drive with 44MB cartridges the size of small dinner plates as some sort of prehistoric leg-pull, so too has some segment of our populace come to see the mass incineration of Japanese civilians not as an enormity, or a vast, if justifiable, evil committed in a global struggle against evil, but rather as the template for the modern definition of Patriotism. It's been clear all along to anyone who grew up during the Cold War that in certain circles the supposed morality tales about Korean brainwashing, Soviet gulags, and Vietnamese tiger cages were, not a species of wishful thinking, not too often, but certainly a blanket justification for our own less systematic, often surrogated, abuses. It's not a surprise these people condoned torture, or ordered torture, any more than it's a surprise they'd be all legalistic and prissy about it.

We went into Iraq in 2003 because the timetable had been set by the Bush campaign in 1999. I realize these people were almost preternaturally incompetent, but the fact can no longer hide. It's why we went in with insufficient force, which eventually cost hundreds, thousands, of American lives, and uncounted Iraqi. The puppeteers of the Bush candidacy saw Iraq War 2: This Time It's Personal merely as the key to re-election, and perhaps to some dream of a permanent Republican majority (such dreams do not pay off directly, nor are they certain to hire Halliburton, so we imagine this was a far lesser concern). It's why we Couldn't Wait. Of course these people ordered torture; they were going to scruple at that after going to war for partisan gain? This sort of thing has been part of the Credo of the Republican Chickenhawk for a generation, so much so that it passed from bluff and bluster to revealed Truth. We weren't tough enough! said the men who never got any closer to Vietnam than the visitors' bleachers at Penn.

Fuck yes, they ordered torture. Fuck no, they didn't bother studying its efficacy; they didn't care. It's who they are. It's how they view their billions of inferior beings. It's the phony John Wayne shit their party has trumpeted for decades, so long as it, like the Duke, got to remain Stateside and wealthy. The eminent Burkean scholar David Brooks has objected to the term "neo-con" being used as synonymous with "Semite". We agree. "Sexually Perverted Racist Nazi Long-Distance Torturing Coward Mutherfuckers" is a much better fit. And it was here all along; funny how so many people didn't notice.


KathyR said...


At least you weren't typing while ON a Segway.

Anonymous said...

"Sexually Perverted Racist Nazi Long-Distance Torturing Coward Mutherfuckers" Perfect.
And lest we forget: "Sexually Perverted Racist Nazi Long-Distance Torturing Coward Mutherfucker Enablers."

Anonymous said...

Wonder how Professor Yoo's sphincter is holding out these days?