Friday, June 16, 2006

Le Monde

Well, nothing new here. Les bleus aren't doing as well as anyone would like in the Coupe du Monde, which is provoking much sadness here, believe you me. As before, the news isn't interested in anything else, aside from a molestation case that's ongoing in Normandy. I've been watching CNN a bit, but it's from London, and all they care about is the World's Cup as well.

Probably for the best. It's nice to get a break from information for a while. I don't know where we get the idea that it's irresponsible to be "uninformed" about things that have little to no bearing on our lives. I think my problem is that I'm too informed.

Like what can I possibly say about al-Zarqawi? Well, I guess that I am just glad to hear that the guy got killed. From the sound of it, he was a real psychopath for a long time before the war. It's funny how the War on Terror makes every nut in the world a major figure. It's sort of like the anti-American Idle. That show takes average schmucks and makes them into celebrities, and the War on Terror takes schmucks and makes them into super-villians. The guy would have probably been a small-time hood otherwise. But, you get the feeling that he still would have been blowing people up, and you've got to think that someone who goes around murdering everyone he can without rhyme or reason might as well be knocked off. A social worker I know tells me that there's not much you can do with a sociopath, aside from keeping a close eye on them. I did think it was funny that they found him by following his "spiritual advisor"- sort of goes without saying that that guy is probably the worst spiritual advisor ever.

Also, I don't really think that people like Zarqawi are that hard to understand. Everyone seems to be convinced that these guys kill so many people because they're fundamentalists. But, even that seems too complicated to me. Coming soon is a documentary entitled "Islam: What the West Needs to Know". Can I guess what the West needs to know? "Islam is not a religion of life; it's a religion of death!" blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc. This looks to be the Reefer Madness of Islam. But, here's the thing- all religions are religions of death, because they all fixate on death, and abnegate the self while here on earth. The religious follower is to be in the world, but not of the world. Not living and breathing. Certainly not fucking. They all promise life after death, but they deliver death before death- spiritual death, mental death, sexual death, and finally physical death.

They all have the other side- that ludic, life-affirming, erotic side. Call it sufiism, gnosticism, the kabbalah, or even paganism- they all have that side that wants to live. But, they all seem to have a mainstream that is designed for neurotics. This is why the healthy person leaves the church and goes back to God, to paraphrase Lenny Bruce.

But, I don't even think these mad bombers care about religion. Their beliefs don't seem to be that complicated. Zarqawi's mentality seems to have been something like "If I kill enough people, I can scare the rest of them into doing what I want." But, the interesting thing is, he just seems to have been concerned with the means, and not the end. What did he want to accomplish in Iraq? I don't even know if he cared about that point- his ideology seems to just have been in the killing of civilians. It's just the worship of power and violence.

And, when you boil out all of the cultural specificities, this is the core of fascism- whoever has the most power can strike fear into the hearts of the weak and control them. Sure, in Italy, there was a strong aspect of corporate syndicalism, and in Germany, there was a strong racial theory, and here, there is a veneer of Islam. But, fascists all believe the same thing- that our liberal enlightenment ideas: reason and the rule of law and universal humanity and protection of the weak: are all incorrect and wrong and that what really gets things done is violence- might makes right. The weak deserve to suffer. Women must obey. He who carries the biggest stick can take what he wants. All fascism appeals to angry young men for this reason- it seems to them to be how the world really operates. It is action instead of contemplation, violence instead of compassion. Its erotic fixation is on rape, usually homosexual rape. Its cultural expression is the snuff-film or the propaganda reel. Its aesthetic is homoerotic and Apollonian to the extreme. It is rigidly authoritarian, but pretends to be transgressive.
It is domination, and nothing more.

So, down the hatch with him. A dead fascist is nothing I'll ever cry over.

Besides, you know, the world keeps on turning. Today is a beautiful day and there are many things to do here in Nantes that are a lot more important than the world cup or the war on terror, which honestly, are both spectator sports for most of us. I'm going to wander and participate and eat and drink, and try to talk to people and make a fool out of myself, and live.


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