Imagine that there has been a steady beat of war drums supporting the notion of attacking Iran, sooner rather than later. This in the midst of a fuel price crisis that “suddenly” reveals the Persian Gulf to be the holder of the world’s most essential commodity. This is in the midst of two wars that have occupied America for longer than it was involved in the Second World War. And of all places on earth to get stuck in — Afghanistan. Learn nothing, and never learn, could be the motto of this brave new world. Let’s watch how an educational system fails its population, how a civilization lies to itself about its immortality, and see people who cannot escape their culture even when it hurts them most. The two theories that are most lacking in anthropology are: (1) a theory of stupidity, and, (2) a theory of evil. Without them, we are irrelevant and useless. (My thanks to a professor in New York who in a passing, mocking, deconstruction of Marx once said that the real motor force of history is the struggle between stupidity and evil. He then added that the Democrats tend to stand for stupidity, and the Republicans for….) At least the philosopher knows when is the time to come out and say, “Here is my book ON BULLSHIT.”
Imagine that other sets of “experts” see John McCain as having a good “fighting chance.” He’s a war hero (an American in any war is now a hero, or any American who dies abroad). He’s “tough” on “national security” because stomping on other countries, with but usually without provocation, is good for America. He’s white. He doesn’t care for abortion, legal for 35 years now, but some still cannot adjust. It’s as if miles of job seekers, mountains of food stamps, and ghost lots filled with foreclosed homes are not enough. They need more pain.
Elect McCain. Attack Iran.
It’s at times like these that I turn away from the anthropological journal article, the conference, the scholarly monograph, the arid theorizing, and I turn to the poet and philosopher. It’s at times like these that one needs an Ani Difranco, who will speak clearly, with perception, with feeling, and with real insight, about what should be self-evident: