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Inertia, Not Progress Defines the Decade After 9/11
September 13, 2011 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Coming Apart: After 9/11 transfixed America, the country’s problems were left to rot. "No national consensus formed around 9/11. Indeed, the decade since has destroyed the very possibility of a common narrative."
posted by homunculus (61 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Flagged as infinite 302 redirect loop. Unless that was what the author intended to say about the political climate since 9/11, in which case ... bravo.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:36 PM on September 13, 2011 [19 favorites]


Looks like it should point here.
posted by tjenks at 6:37 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


TDS Remembers 9-13-01
posted by The Whelk at 6:43 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I guess I must be a child of this generation or some shit because I'm not sure what a common narrative would be like, or how anyone would know if we suddenly acquired one.
posted by LogicalDash at 7:00 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I honestly don't see why we don't just split the country in half so we can start making some progress instead of endlessly struggling against each other.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 7:05 PM on September 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


I honestly don't see why we don't just split the country in half so we can start making some progress instead of endlessly struggling against each other.

Didn't we try this, once?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:09 PM on September 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


9/11 day was two days ago, unless we're celebrating Ukrainian 9/11 according to the Orthodox calendar.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:15 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I honestly don't see why we don't just split the country in half so we can start making some progress instead of endlessly struggling against each other.

I think they call this "isolationism". Google Ron Paul for more info.
posted by nola at 7:17 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Indeed, the decade since has destroyed the very possibility of a common narrative.

If there was a time in US history when the so-called "common narrative" wasn't actually an elite narrative blithely or cynically assuming its universality and marginalizing many, many other ones, I'm not aware of it.

The last decade doesn't feel like a period of inertia or a sea change to me - it feels like the era in which the last few impediments to our deep national character flaws destroying the republic were finally swept away.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:23 PM on September 13, 2011 [23 favorites]


If the Bush Administration’s “global war on terror” had gone the way of the Second World War, mass mobilization in the armed forces, combined with mass production in the factories, would have revitalized a stagnant national economy and produced a postwar boom.

I for one am not disappointed that this did not come to pass.
posted by Trurl at 7:30 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I honestly don't see why we don't just split the country in half so we can start making some progress instead of endlessly struggling against each other.

I tried running this scenario. The blue states would have what remained of the economy. The red states would have no taxes, no economy, no immigration, just bibles and guns. The red states would blame the blues states for their economy being wrecked. They would declare war against the blues states. The blues states would win the war because they have an economy. Then the red states would resent the blue states for winning the war.

Didn't we try this, once?
posted by ovvl at 7:39 PM on September 13, 2011 [58 favorites]


It is 9/11 all month on Metafilter
posted by growabrain at 8:07 PM on September 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I honestly don't see why we don't just split the country in half

As we used to say back in 4th grade, Let's not and say we did.
posted by jonmc at 8:15 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


This article is incoherent and extremely boring to read. Was he paid by the word?
posted by Veritron at 8:16 PM on September 13, 2011


Do the red states have to get slaves too?
posted by spitbull at 8:30 PM on September 13, 2011


spitbull: "Do the red states have to get slaves too"

You should probably look up the working conditions and wages for the folks who come in from Mexico. Ain't too many blue states sharing the southern border.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:41 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The most interesting thing I have heard about 9/11 recently was from a new film clip of the Pennsylvania crash. The man who went out with his camera to film the smoke cloud from the crash, did so because the explosion from the crash, rocked his house 15 miles away, and caused him to go out doors. He felt the plane was full of explosives to have made such an explosion.
posted by Oyéah at 8:49 PM on September 13, 2011


Jet fuel is, in fact, explosive.

The one lesson we all learned on 9/11.
posted by shii at 8:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


Ain't too many blue states sharing the southern border.

One blue, one purple and two red, no? Also, I fail to see the point.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:58 PM on September 13, 2011


Didn't we try this, once?

The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:02 PM on September 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


As we used to say back in 4th grade, Let's not and say we did.

"Let's not and agree we know better."
posted by mhoye at 9:05 PM on September 13, 2011


I find that I feel better about our current situation when I put it into perspective...and by that, I mean that I think about how much worse everything will probably be in another ten years.
posted by TrialByMedia at 9:10 PM on September 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Frontline: The Interrogator - An extended conversation with Ali Soufan, an FBI agent who was at the center of the 9/11 investigations
posted by homunculus at 9:24 PM on September 13, 2011


Honestly, to hell with "never forget" after WWII this country did everything in it's power to fucking forget that hell on earth and I think, at this point, perhaps a little forgetting and getting on with things would be good for everyone, the Right, the Left, the media, and the whole fucking ball of wax. It was one horrible day, 10 years ago, and no amount of not forgetting it is ever going to undo it.

Somethings you don't ahve to worry about forgetting, what the country is doing at this point is wallowing, and it's seriously fucked.
posted by Skygazer at 9:32 PM on September 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


This article is incoherent and extremely boring to read. Was he paid by the word?

I found the essay well-worth reading, but I do like George Packard. It's a sobering read, and not particularly optimistic, and makes it sounds as though the United States is permanently broken.

The most interesting things about the essay was that Packer argues American was "broken" long before 9/11, thanks to the Lewinsky bullshit and Bush's stolen election. He also argues that Mayberry (or whatever the small town is he visits) is no longer on the fringes of American society, but is representative of American society.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:34 PM on September 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


If the Bush Administration’s “global war on terror” had gone the way of the Second World War, mass mobilization in the armed forces, combined with mass production in the factories, would have revitalized a stagnant national economy and produced a postwar boom.

>I for one am not disappointed that this did not come to pass.


That was one of the weird things about this Packer essay (the other one was how he glosses over the decision to invade Iraq, but that's hardly surprising, since the New Yorker supported the invasion), where he laments the fact that for whatever reason the post 9/11 wars did not create a war economy.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:49 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The terrorists won, basically.
posted by bardic at 10:19 PM on September 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


Packer's blog at the New Yorker is also worth checking out: Interesting Times
posted by homunculus at 10:20 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm glad someone made an FPP about this article. Reading it I was left with a feeling of deep despair; all the facts he mentions have been staring us in the face for the last ten years. It's just so jarring to have it all laid out in front of you. So where do we go from here? How can we fix this?
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 10:21 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's an article about Packer and this piece in NPR's Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001 series.
posted by homunculus at 10:39 PM on September 13, 2011


Paul Krugman: The Years of Shame

Get Krugman!

Paul Krugman’s allegation of 9/11 shame — is he right?
posted by homunculus at 10:54 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm glad someone made an FPP about this article. Reading it I was left with a feeling of deep despair;

If you really want to get depressed, read this essay Packer links to on his blog by a Republican House staff member who just retired in disgust after three decades:

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.

Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:00 PM on September 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


So where do we go from here? How can we fix this?

Well, any scenario short of the usually fictional "and then the people rise up as one and take to the streets" which almost always makes things much worse for short to long term times -

What about a mass divesting of public and private assets from the companies that buy politicians, profit from war, profit from skipping out on taxes and so on? I wish people could see the vast network of companies that tangle and support each other. What's that site? theyrule.net? Yeah, that's it. Check that shit out.

I don't know finance, but if I put on my Woody Guthrie hat it seems like we have a conundrum where people's retirement funds, 401ks, mutuals and whatnot are all so diversified and profit-centric that people can't even tell that their retirement fund is really investing in, like cruise missiles or heavily subsidized and profit-friendly oil companies. And in the banks that are ripping us off. And in the industry lobbying tainting so much of our political landscape today.

People could try investing locally or buying slower/lower yield municipal bonds and taking control of that in their lives even if it means less retirement money. Because at this rate you're going to probably lose it anyway.

School bonds? I don't know. But what I do know is that that money should be in your schools, your roads nd bridges, your hospitals and emergency services. In your local businesses and charities.


Also, corporations shouldn't have the same rights as people. They're not people. They're machines. They're legal fictions and constructs.

If they want the same rights as people, they need to also be beholden to the laws of the land that individuals are - which they can't be, because they're not people. They can't be truly penalized, or imprisoned, or even put on death row for capital punishment the way an individual can by society.
posted by loquacious at 11:07 PM on September 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


Indeed, the decade since has destroyed the very possibility of a common narrative.

The moral liquidity trap.
posted by dhartung at 11:17 PM on September 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


sadly, I think Lou Reed was right - "stick a fork in it, turn it over, it's done."
posted by TMezz at 11:19 PM on September 13, 2011


I suspect that the 1850's zeitgeist was the same sort of thing. I would even postulate that there are some good points of comparison between the Mexican-American war and the Iraq war.
posted by Chekhovian at 11:32 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


As an outsider looking at America, this seems like a truly insightful article laying bare the failures of the last decade.

I see an America riven by tribalism. One only has to look at the narrative on places like this where red-staters are often caricatured as bible-thumping stupid gun loving hicks, while liberals are called elitist socialist traitors by the right.

You see the great institutions of the American state riven by the same tribalism, of a Supreme Court, Congress, even the Presidency run by ineffectual people with no plan, no foresight, no common purpose - shocked by current events as they happen, such as 9/11, Katrina or the Great Recession, with knee-jerk responses that solve nothing.

I see an America run entirely by a supra-wealthy tiny minority for their own short-sighted benefit, with their hands entirely on all the levers of power. Every politician has to be independently wealthy to even be a politician, the mass media, the corporations, the lobbyists, the defence industry cancer, the banks, the health insurance mess, the constant money=speech narrative from the Supreme Court, the tax-cuts for the wealthy, the corporate welfare at the same time as welfare and healthcare for the public are gutted...

Is it the american veneration for wealth equalling virtue? Is it just that americans are turning on each other as the middle and working classes are evicerated by the utter lack of decent jobs? Is it that there are just two americas, and the failure of the state to look after its own citizens is a catalyst, not a cause? I don't know.

Us outside looking in breathed a sigh of relief as you elected Obama. We hoped he might arrest the rot, with his language of hope and change, his utter dominance in small personal donations might bring a change to American politics for the better; a reflection of a greater public unity, and a desire for some of the massive issues facing the American public to be tackled. I don't think many of us think that any more. Hamstrung by a bitterly divided congress, a supine democratic party, and bluntly carrying on the narrative that wealth makes right that Bush was so fond of. While it's not hard to argue he's a better choice than whatever republican candidate rolls up on specific issues such as gay rights, healthcare or abortion, it's much harder to argue that it makes much difference in the grander scheme of the utter failure of the economy for ordinary americans, red state or blue, and the utter takeover of the system by corporations and the uber wealthy elite that run them.

The only true solution I see is massive campaign finance reform; electing politicians that see co-operation and working together as a virtue, not a vice; and then tackling some of the huge issues such as coming up with realistic tax rates, focusing on jobs and in short creating a new New Deal for America. Whether this is even possible even more, or whether America will continue to sink under its utter tribalism fueled by the current crop of politicians and media moguls? I don't know. I fear that it is not.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:46 AM on September 14, 2011 [26 favorites]


9/11 has produced a decade of annoying use/misuse of the word massive. That's about it.
posted by RoseyD at 4:56 AM on September 14, 2011


I'm a bit too sleep-addled right now to remember details, so I'm hoping someone can help -- is there an instance in world history of another country which got involved in a foreign war, but it brought the country so far into the shit that the people actually did stage some kind of revolt at home and it had to drop out?

I want to say that it was England/Ireland in 1916; part of why the Irish declared independence at that time was because England was getting so clobbered in the First World War. But I feel like there's another example.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:36 AM on September 14, 2011


This all started in earnest when the FCC was essentially gutted. When a few corporations control over 90% of the media, we, the people, are going to hear what these corporations want us to hear. And what they want us to hear us "government bad/private sector good."

Add a willing mouth piece like Limbaugh and Fox "News" willing to sing and dance to any tune their masters play, saturate the country with their message and you start to create the environment that leads to stuff like the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act. Which pretty much opened the flood gates that led to the financial disaster of '08.

Add a compliant Supreme Court that so believes in "freedom" that they are willing to grant it to legal constructs that only exist on paper for the purpose of making making money easier; toss in a few cultural red herrings like "the sanctity of marriage," right to life (unborn ONLY people, don't get excited), "gun control" etc. And half the population won't even notice their government has been stole... err bought and paid for by these paper entities.

Add an unscrupulous party that thinks that polishing the shoes of their well heeled masters is all they have to do and if those shoes don't get polished there will be hell to pay! And you will create sociopaths like Eric Cantor, so unknowingly corrupt that he is willing to deny disaster relief to HIS OWN DISTRICT unless we dismantle government further to suit his benefactors' needs.

It's all about control people, of you, me, your neighbors. Keep us fighting and divided, blaming each other for our shared misery and we will never notice the (corporate) hand pick pocketing us every time we take a breath.

I don't even think our Corporate Masters thought it would turn out so well for them.
posted by Max Power at 5:38 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


9/11 didn't destroy the possibility of a common narrative. It happened before that, and I don't think it was really strictly political.

Fragmentation of the media destroyed the "common narrative," in that today's media lacks the power and breadth to create one from whole cloth and put it out there and say "okay, everybody, this is the Common Narrative, get with the goddamn program." Their ability to do so, I would argue, was a peculiar combination of social/political/technological factors in the post-war environment (e.g. the displacement of newspapers by network television, back when television had a very limited number of channels), and what we have today is basically mean reversion, back to the bald-facedly political, highly fragmented, and interest-group-pandering media of the early 20th century and previous eras, back to the dawn of printing.

So today, as in the 19th century, various groups get their narrative fed to them from a preferred source, and they can get their information from that source to the exclusion of all others if they want to.

What I suspect we will realize, in the coming decades, is that the late 20th century was an exceptional moment in history, and not one that is likely to be repeated. At least not here. Like the 'demographic dividend' talked about by economists and political scientists, it may be that the optimism and shared hopefulness that characterized some aspects of the U.S. from the New Deal through the Great Society and into the end of the century are a one-time event, a phase that societies pass through as they hit peak industrialization and traverse on their way to whatever 'post industrial' economies actually are. And today, we have to start looking further back in order to draw parallels to our current situation and zeitgeist, but need to do so realizing that events may not repeat themselves in quite the same way this time around.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:05 AM on September 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


is there an instance in world history of another country which got involved in a foreign war, but it brought the country so far into the shit that the people actually did stage some kind of revolt at home and it had to drop out?

Yeah: The Russian Revolution of 1917.
posted by absalom at 6:20 AM on September 14, 2011


We can't blame 11/9 /completely/ for this. The last 10 years have seem most political centres in the world stagnate, mostly as a result of economic and political decisions made a decade earlier.

Even Germany, that dynamo of Europe, is stalled in a quagmire, politically, and is even showing signs of (say it ain't so!) economic slow-down.

It turns out we have all been writing cheques we knew we couldn't cash. Throw in a cataclysm around the turn of a century, and folks get all kookie in the brain-pan.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:00 AM on September 14, 2011


He felt the plane was full of explosives to have made such an explosion.

Because, of course, he has a long personal experience with aircraft crashing near him to know what a plane full of explosives, and a plane not full of explosives, crashing at various velocities would sound like.

And he doesn't, of course, also have a long history of watching movies, where all explosions are small lifting charges under large containers of gasoline, and all the sounds are added after the explosion, and those sounds are a composite of various noises, most of which aren't made by explosives.

He, of course, can instantly discount the kinetic energy of a 757-222 flying into the ground at nearly full power and at over 530 mph -- well over Vmax for that altitude and terminal velocity.

So, yeah, of course this is compelling evidence that the plane, rather than being filled with fuel, cargo and passengers, was full of explosives.

Damn you, George Bush. Damn you to hell.
posted by eriko at 8:03 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


If it really is over, then we should get over it already, stop endlessly rehashing how it really is over now, etc., and start obsessing about what we'll replace it with now that we have to start over. Like Guthrie might have said, it's time to get organized.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:06 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you really want to get depressed, read this essay Packer links to on his blog by a Republican House staff member who just retired in disgust after three decades...

That has to be one of the best analyses of the current state of political affairs I've read in a very long time. Absolutely on the money.

And now I am really depressed...
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 8:24 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


is there an instance in world history of another country which got involved in a foreign war, but it brought the country so far into the shit that the people actually did stage some kind of revolt at home and it had to drop out?

Happened to the Romans pretty frequently.
posted by dhartung at 9:02 AM on September 14, 2011


is there an instance in world history of another country which got involved in a foreign war, but it brought the country so far into the shit that the people actually did stage some kind of revolt at home and it had to drop out?


France, 1870.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:45 AM on September 14, 2011


Happened to the Romans...

This is the parallel, I sadly, keep coming down to. I feel like I'm watching, helplessly, the decline and stagnation of an empire. Plutocracy, a people no longer truly connected to the human price of war having slaves and mercenaries fight their wars for them (less than 5% of the population has any connection to the military families involved in Iraq or Afghanistan, and most of those people come from poor and minority backgrounds, or even worse private contractors like Xe and Blackwater), a people lulled and captivated by entertainment and circuses. Perhaps not real killing in a coliseum, but can there be any doubt that death is the number one entertainment in fictionalized form? A loss of connection with literature and the arts that is scorned as a past-time of elites. The cancer of corruption and cronyism masquerading as principled behavior based on some fantasy of a deistic oracle known as the free market. And perhaps not the debauch of Rome's endless orgies, but the pornification of every aspect of life as a commodity...

And worse than all, a huge segment of the population that feels entitled to every ugly emotion and prejudice and selfish undeserving thought they have because they're "true" Americans and therefore, somehow exceptional in history as the chosen people and too dumb to see how dumb and unoriginal that whole idea is, with dozens of civilizations having reached the same decadent rotted thought that became their civilizations death knell.

911 ushered in an era of excuse and justification for every ugliness this nation has done to the world and to itself over the last 10 years. What was once unspoken, except in the highest echelons of power as necessary evils for the American way of life was proudly and loudly proclaimed and embraced by a people too scared and too traumatized and too controlled to see clearly exactly how much of themselves they were giving up.

I keep saying and hoping that there's a natural and organic purging of that rot that is on it's way, when one looks at the demographics and how out of touch with real America the Right is and yet they keep applying their fear and their self-righteousness and hate and they keep winning it would seem...and nothing they do, no matter how egregious is ever enough to wake people up.

It's like rot feeds off of rot.

The GOP won a seat in NY-9 district last night, formerly held by Anthony Weiner in a place where Dems are supposed to outnumber the GOP by 3 to 1. WHAT. THE. F---?
posted by Skygazer at 9:52 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


is there an instance in world history of another country which got involved in a foreign war, but it brought the country so far into the shit that the people actually did stage some kind of revolt at home and it had to drop out?
--
Yeah: The Russian Revolution of 1917.
--
Happened to the Romans pretty frequently.
--
France, 1870.



See, this is why I love history - I end up with the Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime" stuck in my head:

"same as it ever was....same as it ever was....same as it ever was..."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, this is why I love history - I end up with the Talking Heads' "Once In A Lifetime" stuck in my head:

"same as it ever was....same as it ever was....same as it ever was..."



It would seem once a nation is waging a war it either no longer believes in, or is connected to somehow is a sign of decline, either in the form of literal decline or ripeness for revolution.

And yeah "same....as....it...ever was."
posted by Skygazer at 9:59 AM on September 14, 2011


the New Yorker supported the invasion

I've been reading the New Yorker for more than 20 years weekly, and I don't see how that blanket statement could be made. Seymour Hersh was vocally against it, from well before the invasion, and Hedrick Hertzberg did a lot of agonizing but wrote in opposition to the invasion as well. I assume you're remembering the Jeffrey Goldberg pieces. In any case, the New Yorker employs a lot of writers and they express a variety of nuanced views. I can say for sure that much of the strongest reporting about Washington, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, veterans issues and other related topics came out of this magazine. I don't think it can be said that the magazine, as a whole, "supported" the invasion.

The linked essay was a good one. I finished it this morning while brushing my teeth after falling asleep over it last night. It is sobering and saddening. I found it interestingly loose-jointed and wide-ranging, an attempt at sweep - I'm not sure it was completely successful because of this all-over-the-place-ness, but I did respond with some emotion and concern to the harsh painting of our current situation, amongst ourselves and in the world. It may not be the most pulled-together argument ever printed in the magazine, but it is food for thought, though I don't think we can think our way out of this one. We need deep political change. I thought Packer weaseled out at the end when talking about the perspectives of people in Surry County as if they are knowledgeable and legitimate. No one who had an even marginally decent American history education would be able to say the things quoted with a straight face and expect to be taken sincerely. At some point, the 'liberal intellectual elite' and, in reality, all reasonable people have to overcome their nervousness and self-doubt, stop quailing in the face of the well- and expensively-crafted rhetoric of the affluent self-interested who are masquerading as a right wing in this country, and to have the courage to say that ignorant and uninformed views are just that, that they aren't to be gently taken into account and considered but to be deplored, and to fight that very lack of information. And that hostility to the people is just that, a blatant self-interest that is counter to the ideals of democracy and, in fact, does reflect a real decline from the secularist, meritocratic, middle-class-friendly domestic policy of the mid-20th century, despite its profound human rights shortcomings.
posted by Miko at 10:50 AM on September 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've been reading the New Yorker for more than 20 years weekly, and I don't see how that blanket statement could be made.

MAKING A CASE
by David Remnick


The United States has been wrong, politically and morally, about Iraq more than once in the past; Washington has supported Saddam against Iran and overlooked some of his bloodiest adventures. The price of being wrong yet again could be incalculable. History will not easily excuse us if, by deciding not to decide, we defer a reckoning with an aggressive totalitarian leader who intends not only to develop weapons of mass destruction but also to use them.

Saddam's abdication, or a military coup, would be a godsend; his sudden conversion to the wisdom of disarmament almost as good. It is a fine thing to dream. But, assuming such dreams are not realized, a return to a hollow pursuit of containment will be the most dangerous option of all.

posted by KokuRyu at 11:14 AM on September 14, 2011


Anyway, returning to the theme of the destruction of the American middle class:

As Middle Class Shrinks, P&G Aims High and Low
posted by KokuRyu at 11:16 AM on September 14, 2011


In 2007, Driggers came back home from Iraq to find that everyone thanked him for his service and no one would give him a decent job.

Says it all.

You Have Outlived Your Usefulness works fine as a trope for the villains in works of fiction, but it seems like a very poor way to run a country in real life.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:35 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I tried running this scenario.

When I run scenarios like this, I keep seeing the Spanish Civil War repeating itself, just with red and blue reversed.
posted by gimonca at 1:00 PM on September 14, 2011


Also, regarding Mayberry:

The Andy Griffith Show ran from 1960 to 1968, at the very height of the Civil Rights movement. For millions of white Americans part of the appeal of the show was its nostalgic portrayal of an idyllic South, one without bus boycotts or sit-ins or indeed any black people at all.
posted by gimonca at 1:06 PM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right, I agree that individual writers have supported the invasion, but as my comment stated, others haven't, and so it's not correct to say "The New Yorker" has.
posted by Miko at 1:13 PM on September 14, 2011


Right, I agree that individual writers have supported the invasion, but as my comment stated, others haven't, and so it's not correct to say "The New Yorker" has.

David Remnick is the editor of the New Yorker, and his editorial appeared at the beginning of the Talk of the Town section. It wasn't just an opinion piece - as editor, he was speaking for the New Yorker.

I guess I'm belaboring the point here because a lot of news organizations that should have known better, such as the New Yorker in this case, or the Times, tacitly supported the (illegal) invasion of Iraq. While the New Yorker has obviously been a fierce critic of the Bush administration post-2003, Remnick's editorial is very disappointing.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:15 PM on September 14, 2011


I'll concede that he wrote an editorial, but the magazine's editorial board didn't sign it in the editorial (anonymous) voice, he signed it. Fine point, but one I think is important, since the magazine still continued to publish plenty of work by reporters he hired, who disagreed with his interpretation of events.
posted by Miko at 3:19 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


lot of news organizations that should have known better

...and I absolutely agree with this.
posted by Miko at 3:20 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


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