It's an angry, violent, warmongering world out there right now. You just live in it.
April 26, 2002 3:20 PM   Subscribe

It's an angry, violent, warmongering world out there right now. You just live in it. The human animal is capable of staggering atrocities and deadly choices and the thick-necked frat boys in charge right now are the most darkly capable we've suffered in decades... There are no peacemakers in the world right now.
posted by quonsar (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is this article supposed to be a satire or does he just like making blanket statements that are patently untrue?
posted by jaden at 3:26 PM on April 26, 2002

I think it's the latter jaden, though I would agree with him in that I hear very little voices of peace and/or reason in the sea of voices calling for blood. Keep in mind that I agree wholeheartedly with neither point of view, I'd just like to see more of a dialogue than a one-sided spectacle.
posted by mathowie at 3:33 PM on April 26, 2002

What a simplistic American...
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 3:34 PM on April 26, 2002

So then, is this guy a voice for peace? I must have overlooked it among the self-righteous name calling and cynical false accusations.
posted by gazingus at 3:38 PM on April 26, 2002

What a simplistic American...
not unlike his leaders.
posted by quonsar at 3:51 PM on April 26, 2002

wait a minute... "right now"?

Isreal/Palistine may be heating up, but it's been that way for two years. Just because we didn't notice it untill sometime last september dosn't really mean much.

I suspect that the amount of suffering on the planet is relatively constant at any given time.
posted by delmoi at 3:53 PM on April 26, 2002

Yeah, I can understand that one returning to the daily grind of news to find the leader of Saudi Arabia proposing peace plans with Israel and the former leaders of Afghanistan feeling safe to return home to their nation (along with millions of other refugees) could see how the whole world is filled with warmongers. And I can definitely see how the Bush administration is the "most ultraconservative" group in power in a lifetime, if you discout pretty much everyone else or you were born in the last year.

I knew San Francisco was a unique place, but even the French wouldn't print such uninformed, politically-driven drivel. Aren't there some local interest stories this guy could cover? If not, Z magazine might be hiring.
posted by Kevs at 3:58 PM on April 26, 2002

All the while realizing that if there's one thing the world needs right now, it's positivism and laughter and....

We had better start thawing out Carnap and A.J. Ayer, then.
posted by crunchburger at 3:59 PM on April 26, 2002

Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on SF Gate, unless it appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which it never does. He also writes the Morning Fix, a deeply skewed daily email column and newsletter. Subscribe at

The Morning Fix is the best thing that hits my inbox. Skewed is a perfect description. Highly recommend, but not for the faint of heart conservatives. His rant a few weeks ago was great...he had just returned to work after breaking his hand bowling or somesuch thing.

He makes up quotes of things people might say. Satire. Comedy. etc... such as this quote from a Morning Fix a few days ago:

American Cardinals meeting with Pope John Paul II agreed to adopt a
"one-strike-you're-out" policy for any priest involved in a future sex
abuse case, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said, a decision which the
Vatican expects will effectively pare down the number of tolerable
working priests in the nation to roughly seven, not including the three
currently secretly undergoing sex-change operations in Switzerland so
they can become cute stewardesses for Alitalia.

think, wacky blogger that gets paid to write by SFGate.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:11 PM on April 26, 2002

Keep in mind that this is written by a comedy writer working for a newspaper in San Franciso, so if he sounds self-righteous and cynical, he's not normally covering political issues, and rarely if ever is anything he writes serious.
posted by mathowie at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2002

Is this the same guy that got suspended for a month once over something he wrote, then was only allowed to write two or three times a week after that instead of every day?
posted by aaron at 4:27 PM on April 26, 2002

we interrupt this thread to bring you kittens playing happy music on a beach. what could be more lovely?!
posted by quonsar at 4:38 PM on April 26, 2002

It is good to see another guy for whom the meds have kicked in.
posted by Postroad at 4:55 PM on April 26, 2002 [1 favorite]

....Posty...easy on the meds let me.
quonsar- whats a matter, the dutch mafia giving you a hard time? Your Amway not come in? or are you just from Grandville.
posted by clavdivs at 5:08 PM on April 26, 2002

meds. vander what? alticor. comstock park.
posted by quonsar at 5:18 PM on April 26, 2002

Personally, I think he's right.
posted by rushmc at 5:22 PM on April 26, 2002

So do I.
posted by muckster at 5:25 PM on April 26, 2002

the simple fact however is that this is one of the most peaceful periods in human history. Scary, but true.
posted by quercus at 5:28 PM on April 26, 2002

:) touche
posted by clavdivs at 5:54 PM on April 26, 2002

Peace is always much braver and more difficult than war. Just try it.

Maybe we have a lot to learn from an overly verbose comedian. I tend to agree with him.

The daily fix is the only daily newsletter that I read and it's irreverent and funny. Highly recommend.
posted by MaddCutty at 6:34 PM on April 26, 2002

I haven't figured out what his purpose was in writing this article. It seems like he was using a political hot spot just to get people riled up.
Is he really naive enough to suggest that "all we need is love" and everyone should just get along and be friends? My guess is that he is not really suggesting a solution to the real issues that are causing conflicts but filling his own need for an answer by over-simplifying the issues involved.
posted by jaden at 7:08 PM on April 26, 2002

I watched part 4 of this last night on the human tendency to propagate genocide. The concluding message is pretty clear, that with the growing population and upbringing of children in this type of violence, the chances of us seeing more forms of genocide in the future will be great. And that since this type of conflict is in the hands of people, it is really only they that have the power to stop it or decide to continue on. Just this century alone we have seen plenty forms of ethnic cleansing, to list some mentioned in the series:

Indonesia and East Timor
Northern Ireland Conflict
Central America
Tulsa Riots
The Rosewood Massacre
Pogroms and the Ukrainian Famine
The Holocaust (and previous surrounding genocides)
Africa ( Ethiopia, Burundi and Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and the Congo)
The Arab/Israeli Conflict

I suppose the question is when will we prefer peace over war? When the glamorization of war fails? In an era were there is a proliferation of nuclear arms mixed with constant unrest, hopefully soon...
posted by samsara at 7:19 PM on April 26, 2002

"Then again, it all seems much worse than it ever has in your lifetime". Well, maybe if you are under thirty years of age and you have absolutly no sense of history; otherwise let us not forget the Vietnam war, the Korean war, the damn Cold war when the US and Soviets had tens of thousands of red hot nukes pointing at each other and we relied on MAD to freeze those trigger fingers. Ask the survivors of Mao and Stalin if it's 'worse than it has ever been in their lifetime'. If you lived in a vacuum until Sept 11th then I would like to welcome you to the real world. It ain't pretty, but it has been much worse.
posted by Mack Twain at 7:38 PM on April 26, 2002

Hit Google for Peacemakers, and the first hundred links are pretty decent.

Or you could hang with the Machiavellians at Stratfor. Their analysts would be delighted with sfgate's glum, eeyore article on how peace is impossible. According to Stratfor, there's a good reason behind keeping Joan Q Public on edge about impending war:

"A news leak regarding U.S. plans for how to attack Iraq may reflect an effort by the White House to deflect attention and buy time until it can iron out its broader foreign policy ... In a business where the perception of ineffectiveness can easily become the real thing, the Bush team may be reviving the topic of Iraq in order to turn public focus away from examining the administration's wider strategy -- or lack thereof ... By reviving the Iraqi debate, and setting it up as a question of "how" the United States should attack rather than "if," the White House can refocus the public foreign policy discourse away from questions of whether Washington has a strategy and toward an operational debate of the best ways to invade Iraq. And because of well-known logistic limitations, there is no expectation of immediate action against Iraq. Thus the White House can buy itself weeks or months of time to bring itself together and focus on the real issues."

"On April 26, 1952, 50 years ago this month, Peace Pilgrim, then Mildred Norman Ryder, started north on the Appalachian Trail from its southern terminus. By October of that year she would become the first woman to walk its entire length in one season."

Peace Pilgrim's Message
This is the way of PEACE:
overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth,
and hatred with love.

posted by sheauga at 7:39 PM on April 26, 2002

Don't forget the Armenian Genocide, samsara
posted by MaddCutty at 7:41 PM on April 26, 2002

Thank you for the link MaddCutty. My great grandfather and various relatives were able to escape that particular genocide towards it's end. Consequently, they had to change their last name from Iskedarian to Alexander to avoid futher prosecution by Turks in the U.S. There's also a good amount of information and photography at
posted by samsara at 8:22 PM on April 26, 2002

Myself, I've always found a certain amount of comfort in blaming the frat boys for everything.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:18 PM on April 26, 2002

Time to go surfing with Sanderson Beck for a while-- comprehensive links on World Peace Writings, Spiritual Philosophy, Ethics of Civilization (World History) ... or start on the laundry list.
posted by sheauga at 9:24 PM on April 26, 2002

This column is hardly a cogent argument about the state of the world, complete with linked urls, references, and a biliography. But it articulates a feeling of overwhelmed nausea that I think everyone I know has felt at one point or another. Ever lived abroad or had friends who've gone away for years and come back? Re-entering the american media machine is a shock to the system, and there is indeed enough to be concerned about in the world today. Most peaceful time in human history? I agree that we're not disemboweling each other around the world for misdemeanors like blasphemy or adultery. But are pollution and the nuclear threat really much better than they were 500 years ago? Hello, global warming. Hello, mass extinction of species. Never rest on your laurels when you're producing waste that will be toxic for longer than human history has been recorded. Some would argue that the world has never teetered so close to the brink of destruction. I think that vomitous disgust and shudders of fear are, frankly, an apporpriate response to have from time to time.

And I apologize if I failed to sense enough irony in the piece. But I don't feel very ironic about the subject matter.

Is it trolling if it's true?
posted by scarabic at 10:39 PM on April 26, 2002

All the while realizing that if there's one thing the world needs right now, it's positivism and laughter and good sex and connective energy and an enlightened populace to counteract the forces that would drag us down to cesspools of thin-lipped white-knuckle rage.

Um, that's five things.

And the guy's got a point, but I don't think things are quite as glum as he makes them out to be. Still, he apparently doesn't get paid to be balanced (or to do math, but never mind). Gotta love his writing style, too. Good stuff.
posted by diddlegnome at 1:03 AM on April 27, 2002

Finally, a thread where quonsar, postroad, and clavdivs all post in a row. i have been waiting months for this. thanks, metafilter.
posted by chaz at 1:41 AM on April 27, 2002 [1 favorite]

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