Saturday, June 02, 2012

American Taliban

It's out there. Mostly it hangs out in Margaret Atwood's most feverish worries, dark corners of The Internet and seedy little gatherings of wild-eyed lackwits.

But every once in awhile, it tries to send me fanmail.

It can just piss right off, too. There's a lovely scene in the Howard Koch script for The War Of The Worlds:
STRANGER: [...wild plans about grabbing power in the chaos the Martian invasion has produced...] We'd bring everybody down to their knees!
PIERSON: That's your plan?
STRANGER: You, and me, and a few more of us we'd own the world.
PIERSON: I see. . .
STRANGER: (FADING OUT) Say, what's the matter? . . . Where are you going?
PIERSON: Not to your world. . . Goodbye, stranger. . .

Yeah, what he said: "Not to your world. Goodbye, stranger. And get lost!"

The most recent screed hares off on a tangent I'd never seen laid out before: the loonies are a-tellin' me in the Christian Bible -- and I'm bettin' you had best get out your King James -- right there in the lists of rules about not paradin' yourself around in wool-cotton blends or enjoying a nice lobster bisque and how to be stonin' women to death for what men do to 'em, in alllllll those rules that it really does take an actual Rabbi to figure out, there is a spot where The Lord sayeth men are expressly forbidden from legislating -- and calls for His fave punishment for those who try: stoning to death.

So the American Taliban's take on this is first to suggest that millions of people should march on Washington and put things to rights (see "Army, Bonus" for how that works-- the Occupiers generally got off easy -- and please tell me why, if you can get that many people agreeing, they can't accomplish the same thing at the ballot box?) and second to suggest folks should "kill politicians one by one until the 'government' collapses," adding a list of all the addresses for every member of Congress, with advice like, "...Congress members are soft targets..." and "Don't worry too much about getting caught, but plan to get away. After the Revolution, all those unjustly imprisoned will be released."

Bull. Shit. Ladies, gentlemen, I direct your attention to Exhibit B, a very large stone carving of the phrase "USEFUL IDIOT." And as for "the Revolution," I would like you all to examine carefully Exhibit C: the nation of Afghanistan, a country once poised on the verge of their own unique modernity, torn by internal struggle and Soviet invasion, thrust back by an assortment of home-grown forces and when the by-the-book olde-tyme-religionists ended up on top, they closed schools, locked women into purdah, clamped down hard on a free press, gutted civic institutions and blew up priceless historical artifacts. Yes, that's a mindset you can trust with your future. If you'd like another example,* the Russian Revolution followed by the Communist takeover and the purges that followed: IMO, Communism is a religion, too, and the useful idiots got what they always get: short shrift at best, more often a bullet in the back.

Y'know what? My country has way more government than I think it ought; my country appears to me to be teetering on the brink while the politicians ignore the real issues -- but I will be damned if I will help push it over. Or sit back while you try.

History tells me we will be lucky to see Republic become Empire and luckier still if it is largely benevolent; it could just as easily become ongoing, bloody civil war. I guess those fans didn't pay much attention to my Memorial Day post, didn't realize which war was our bloodiest -- and on a per-capita basis, the War Between the States is still the bloodiest even if you only count the deaths on one side or the other. We were a century trying to recover and it can be argued that some portions of the States still haven't; the warpage to the Federal government as a result of that mess may be irreversible and the American Taliban wants to do it again?

No. Hell no. Add me to your "naughty" list. I ain't a-going back into the kitchen for no man nohow, let alone livin' by any of the other old sheepherder's zillion rules for wimmen in the Old Testament, and I'm not letting you or your dupes go annoy the innocents livin' in Dickie Lugar's old house or even the Senator himself: we voted him out fair and square, the way civilized people do it.

You wanna wash something up in lamb's blood, you stick to real baby sheep. It'll give you something to do while you wait for the FBI.

I know plenty of religious folk who aren't crazy and I thank their God or Gods each and every day for 'em, 'cos I figure they are counterbalancing the kind of loons who sent me that letter.
* Call that mess Exhibit D, I guess, and what's Exhibit A? The letter itself, filled to the brim with crazy, dire warnings, misread Bible quotes and blood.


Anonymous said...

Well said.
As one rabbi roughly put it,
That which you do not want men
to do to you, do not do to them.
That is the whole law, the rest
is explanation.
Anon, Don

Roberta X said...

Sounds golden!

kishnevi said...

As one rabbi in the Talmud said in regards to the catastrophes, disasters, and just plain chaos that tradition alleges will accompany the advent of the Messiah: "May the Messiah come soon, and may I not be alive to see it."

This American Taliban doesn't even know its Bible all that well, since the passage in question only refers to adding or subtracting from the Divine revelation, and IIRC appears in the same passage that authorizes the creation of a legislature-cum-judicial court--what eventually became the Sanhedrin. And the rabbis legislated plenty of things that appear to violate that commandment, but didn't, such as Hillel's device which allowed people to totally ignore the commandment in the Torah demanding forgiveness of all debts every Sabbatical year (the prosbul).

fast richard said...

I gave a much less eloquent version of the talk about how revolutions become bloody civil wars to a marxist aquaintence, on a long road trip in about 1982, after I got tired of all the talk about how wonderful things would be "come the revolution."

Rob said...

Anon Don; And he did it while standing on one foot. And did you ever notice that Talabanistic Rules (hows that for an adjective) always apply to the other person-they are funny like that. R

Drang said...

You clearly get more interesting comments than I do.

Nathan said...

I'll just echo the first comment: Well said.

Anonymous said...

My immediate assumption was that this 'fanmail' was more likely a sting operation as anyone who has bothered to read any of our esteemed hosts 'perambulations about reality' would only dare to propose such inanities whilst wearing nomex underwear and running away very quickly. (Go on, sign up and invite them to a blog-meet. You could sell tickets. I for one would mortgage myself to be able watch You and Tam 'explain reality' to them).

There have been a few 'strange', provocative comments made on some British blogs recently which have then been used by TPTB as a reason to attack them. Maybe you're the same

(Hey I'm not paranoid, they really are out to get me!)

Roberta X said...

Able, that's why there's little point forwarding the e-mail to the Feds: odds are 60/40 in favor of one of their own having written it in the course of being deeeeeep undercover.

But whoo-boy, we don't need to send out for any Neolithic savages, intent on enforcing the bloodiest possible reading of their sacred Rules from their sacred Book: we grow our own right here in the 'States. Oh, it's not all exotic like the flavors you find in the lands Kipling & Lawrence bestrode, but that'd be scant comfort for their victims.

Stranger said...

Three thoughts.

"If This Goes On..."

Nehemiah Scudder with a Koran, trying to gather nuts.

If the Most High had actually said there should be no laws of men, Nathan the Prophet would not have had to warn David about that trench Bathy Baby was wearing in the path between her house and the palace.


Nathan said...

"If the Most High had actually said there should be no laws of men, Nathan the Prophet would not have had to warn David about that trench Bathy Baby was wearing in the path between her house and the palace."

If I told him once, I told him a thousand times, but no, he just wouldn't listen....


BobG said...

Sounds like you must be getting some real dingbats. Anytime I am discussing something with someone and they start quoting out of old books, I immediately write off the rest of the conversation as a waste of time.
Like my dad used to say:

“The Bible was written by sheepherders and fishermen, and everybody knows how they stretch the truth.”

Ken said...

'Bull. Shit. Ladies, gentlemen, I direct your attention to Exhibit B, a very large stone carving of the phrase "USEFUL IDIOT." '

You said it in the comments, ma'am. 'Vocateur, Pro, one each.

Roberta X said...

One does have to wonder.

markm said...

"the Occupiers generally got off easy"

Of course. They seek to *increase* the power of the PTB.