KAMIKAZE

A place for Sladists to share their thoughts on Michael Slade and his work...

Postby WaywardSoul » Mon May 29, 2006 8:11 pm

The fundemental problem is that America is most effective when it is either loved, or feared, by the rest of the world.

Due to the incompetent leadership of our elected officials, America is presently only hated and/or perceived as weak.

But that is to be expected, especially when the voting public is gullible enough to elect someone like our current president, who has proven to be a failure at everything he has ever attempted in his life, and really couldn't even get a job at McDonald's, if not for his family name.

None of my Republican friends will not even discuss politics with me anymore, since I correctly predicted Bush would have us in a war with Iraq.
Mind you, this was well before the U.S. Supreme court elected G. W. Bush president in his first term, or the events of 9/11.
Do I have psychic abilities? No.
But I do have my eyes wide open, and saw that coming a mile away. Everyone else should have, too.

Isn't it odd that leading up to the last presidential election, the nation's security alert levels kept getting elevated regularly, but since the election, it hasn't been raised even once?

If it wasn't so sad, it would almost seem laughable that a majority of voters were manipulated by their homophobia to re-elect a president who has neither their economic interests, or the best interests of America in mind.

What irks me is the phrase "War on terror".
No politician has the balls to call it by it's real name, which is, in fact, a war against the followers of radical Islam.
They need no justification to attack any target, other than that their religion dictates it.
This applies to the 9/11 hijackers, who were certainly never wronged by America in any way (So much for that "America had it coming" theory, MM).

Regardless of your views on America, or it's policies, there will come a day when each person on this Earth will have to choose a side.
Either you side with radical Islamists and their sympathizers, or you side with the rest of the world.

It should also be noted that while America was still in it's infancy, and had done absolutely nothing to harm or offend Muslims, those of Islamic faith were targeting Americans to terrorize, kill and kidnap.

"Shores of Tripoli", does that ring any bells?

When Pres. Jefferson sent diplomats to inquire as to why they were targeting U.S. citizens, when America had made a conscious effort to stay out of conflicts in that region of the world, guess what they used as justification?

That's right, their religion!
Plus the fact that, unlike other Western nations, America refused to pay bribes to prevent the targeting of it's citizens.

Ok...take a deep breath... count to 10....rant over.
"Remember, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over." - Frank Zappa
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Postby Slade » Mon May 29, 2006 10:00 pm

MM and WaywardSoul,

So, the next questions:

1/ You sit down to watch one of the several versions of THE ALAMO, and there is Davy Crockett, heroically swinging Old Betsy on the ramparts as all those illegal aliens scale their ladders. In your fantasy world, you ARE Davy, right?

2/ You sit down to watch ZULU, and the Color-Sergeant calls out in a British accent, "Here they come!" There stands Chard in his red serge, forming the thin red line. Honest answer: do you think, "The Brits are in for it now," or "We're in for it now?"

3/ You sit down to watch DANCES WITH WOLVES. In your fantasy world, who do you identify with in the final scene? Kicking Bird and Wind in his Hair, or the bluecoats coming down the hill?

4/ You sit down to watch DAS BOOT in German. The Allies are depth-charging the sub. Is your mind in the ships overhead, or are you thinking, "Run silent, run deep?"

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Postby WaywardSoul » Mon May 29, 2006 10:52 pm

1 - Crockett's motivation for being in Texas to begin with was to restart his political career.
He saw that emerging republic as his springboard.
While I admire many of Crockett's accomplishments, I've never considered self-preservation to be a heroic quality.
In my fantasy world, I'm Davy Crockett blazing the Cumberland Trail, not Crockett the glory hound with ulterior political motives.

2 - Since the British were not merely fighting a neighbor to establish it's borders, but was exerting colonial control on another continent, I've got to admit, I always root for the Zulu.

3 - The advance of the White man into the West was inevitable, I feel no shame for that.
The way in which it was accomplished, however, was quite shameful.
It should be said that Native Americans were not always the docile, all-peaceful, all-loving people depicted in DANCES WITH WOLVES.
In fact, they could be extemely savage and brutal, especially to opposing tribes.
Of course, in the context of the movie plot, Kicking Bird and Wind in his Hair are the sympathetic figures.

4 - This is a no-brainer.
While the crew of the German sub may not be card carrying Nazis, they were certainly fighting in support of them.
I'll take the Allies everytime.

I think I see where you're going with this, Slade.
Out of curiousity, do any of my responses surprise you?
"Remember, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over." - Frank Zappa
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Postby MarylandManson » Mon May 29, 2006 10:57 pm

WaywardSoul wrote:This applies to the 9/11 hijackers, who were certainly never wronged by America in any way (So much for that "America had it coming" theory, MM).


WS: Well, it was a question, not a theory. But the point has less to do with the 9/11 hijackers than the guy who planned the whole thing--former U.S. ally and possible recipient of CIA training plus U.S./UK funding Mr. bin Laden. The hijackers were merely vessels to be filled by him, a master planner and manipulator. Radical Islam is window dressing, even if it is his tool of choice.

Here's the other side of the question, which is why it remains a question, not a personal theory:

http://usinfo.state.gov/media/Archive/2 ... 18760.html

What to believe? Questions, questions...but considering what little can truly be known, I do think the best answer is that the U.S. engaged in "covert aid" that backfired upon it, regardless of the government's claims. Then there's the whole preparedness question, which centers on that Maryland State Trooper who stopped a hijacker and let him pass. Hence, "Yes. Tough beans."

Slade, re: the "whose side are you on" question--the more ethically justified side or, in a tossup, the underdog. Rooting for the underdog is right up there with baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie.

Cheers! MM
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Postby WaywardSoul » Tue May 30, 2006 12:04 am

Radical Islam is not window dressing.
It's a serious threat to the rest of the world.
Radical Islam is the threat, terrorism is the tool.

Bin Laden may know full well he is manipulating people for his own ends, but the fact remains that there are literally millions of Muslims who believe those same things, without his manipulation.

I'm well aware of the U.S. government's past dealings with Bin Laden, but I fail to see what wrong was committed against him, that any rational person could construe as justification for the deaths of thousands of Americans.

I wonder what the survivors of the 9/11 attacks and the families of those who died that day would think of your "tough beans" comment?

I understand your point about lax national security, but the way you phrased it seemed rather flippant.
Which I'm sure was not your intent, my friend.
"Remember, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over." - Frank Zappa
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Postby Slade » Tue May 30, 2006 1:47 am

WS (and MM),

That's the joy of the Board, isn't it? You never know what the reply will be, and the level of debate means the other guy's post, as likely as not, will require you to rethink.

Here's where I'm going with this.

When I lived in Barbados, Sunday night would see me wandering the back roads until I chanced upon a "shaker" - a church full of black people singing their hearts out for Jesus. I'd sit in the graveyard and listen to all that great gospel, as a question plagued me.

Years later, I toured China with a group. My favorite member was a black woman from the South. Finally, I said to her, "Please don't take offense, but I have a question. Christianity doesn't come any stronger than among your race in the South, so how do I reconcile that reverence being for some white guy?" And she said to me, "I won't speak for anyone else, but my Jesus is black." And then she went on to explain where I could find historical images of him.

At the start of the Pig Farm thread, Slyragz asked me the classic lawyer question about how could I defend someone I knew was guilty. In reply, I said, "Depending on the facts, I BECOME one of two gunfighters: Wilson in SHANE, or Paladin in HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL. That puts me in the mental space to do the job."

In each of the movies above, my answer would be:

1/ THE ALAMO. I'm Davy Crockett. I'm not an American, but I grew up wearing a coonskin cap and Fess Parker was the first - and I emphasize first - commercial icon aimed at kids.

2/ ZULU. I'm Chard. For my money, that's the most thrilling last stand ever made, even though I agree with you that the Zulus had right on their side.

3/ DANCES WITH WOLVES. The Indians all the way. When I was a kid, Cowboys & Indians was the game, and everyone liked to play with me because I always wanted to be the Indian. I could paint my body and my dad carved me a bear-claw necklace.

4/ DAS BOOT. I'm one of the sub's crew, even though my dad's flying the sub hunters above, literally the sub hunter that went after St. Nazaire, the home port of the real Das Boot!

In each case, what I have done is adhere my allegiance subjectively to the underdog as manipulated by each film, regardless of the objective morality of the larger picture. Why? Because I want to get into and live the story.

If you're not an American, that's what you have to do. For 100 years, the United States - i.e. Hollywood - has all but controlled the celluloid fantasies of the entire world. Americans like to watch Americans win, and if Americans are the bad guy, they can't be exclusively the bad guys, but have to be taken down by another American. "That's just the way it is, folks. We bring the bat and ball."

So out comes a Hollywood action movie - a real kick-ass affair - and you take a look at the international gross and you think, "Gee, those guys just love American heroes like Rambo," etc.

But it's my theory that what all those foreign folks are doing is seeing the black Jesus. They - like me - are getting into foreign characters, and are like Americans who see themselves as James Bond. In other words, our enemies sublimate.

So...

SHANE AZIZ:

Aziz: So you're Jack Wilson.
Jack Wilson: What's that mean to you, Aziz?
Aziz: I've heard about you.
Jack Wilson: What have you heard, Aziz?
Aziz: I've heard that you're a low-down Yankee liar.
Jack Wilson: Prove it.

THE MAN FROM BAGHDAD:

Vic Hansbro: I'm sorry about this. I figured you'd kinda have your bellyful of these parts and would be anxious to get out of here.
Aziz: Yeah, well, I figure this place owes me somethin' and I'm gonna make it pay.

BAD DAY IN BAGHDAD:

Aziz: You killed Hassam, Smith, and sooner or later, you're gonna go up for it. Not because you killed him, but because of thinking in a town like this you could get away with it.

GUNFIGHT AT THE IRAQ CORRAL:

Aziz: There's always a man faster on the draw than you are, and the more you use a gun, the sooner you're gonna run into that man.

Now, you know the story. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and America got riled. The Japanese showed throughout the war, and particularly at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, that they were suicidal maniacs. So, for "military necessity" and nothing else, America had no option but to drop those atomic bombs.

Unfortunately, Genjo Tokuda doesn't see it that way.

You'd think Truman would have learned from Nixon and what happened with those tapes, NOT to keep a diary.

And that's why Genjo's reaching into his saddlebag.

Always know who you're dealing with and all the consequences that will follow before you start shouting, "Bring 'em on!" You might end up going into it thinking this is HIGH NOON, and end up realizing it's FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.

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Postby Slade » Tue May 30, 2006 2:06 am

WS,

True story. I'm in France and I see this North American trying to line up a photograph. He steps back, back, back, until his ankle encounters a low fence-like obstruction, so he steps backward over it as he stares through his viewfinder...and the next thing he knows he's being clubbed for no reason by a berserk gendarme.

The North American can't comprehend what he's done wrong. And I'm staring at a guy who's standing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, one of the most sacred spots in France.

Saudi Arabia - Mecca, etc. - is very holy land to some people, and to have American military boots trampling on those sacred sands does rile certain people, just like THE DA VINCI CODE and burning the U.S. flag rile others.

With the greatest respect, are you sure you're seeing the whole picture? The terrorists' motivation isn't about what WE think, it's about what THEY think. THE DA VINCI CODE is just a novel, and Old Glory is just a piece of cloth.

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Postby MarylandManson » Tue May 30, 2006 2:19 am

WaywardSoul wrote:I understand your point about lax national security, but the way you phrased it seemed rather flippant.
Which I'm sure was not your intent, my friend.


No, it wasn't flippant at all, WS. Lack of interjurisdictional cooperation is a tremendous problem that still remains, having been largely blown off even after 9/11. The situation cried out for information sharing between agencies (and levels of government) well before 9/11. I believe it was directly contributory to 9/11, and I believe that bin Laden was smart enough to figure it out and exploit it, just as the Zodiac did with police in California.

Radical Islam is one serious threat among many. I see little reason to single it out other than that, of course, it's the way of "the other"--xenophobia strikes again. I could make a strong case for toxic European notions of hierarchical patriarchy, but I hope the point's already made. Slade, I think this fits in with your "Black Jesus" and "Shane Aziz" points, which illuminate another issue causal to 9/11 and Bush's Iraq adventure.

Here's a theory (not a question): Problems arise when people fail to perceive themselves as part of an environment. The West vs. Islam or Allies vs. Japan or White Monkeys vs. Yellow Menace issues are all versions of the same xenophobia, which comes to a head when "leaders" fail to consider the culture of "the other" who shares space in the environment. Instead, the focus is on the self, and all "threats" to the self are dealt with aggressively, even when aggression is unwise and self-destructive.

It's really simple and almost always overlooked--what's important to the other guy? Find out before you make a committing move. Clausewitz put that into words, and few listen, although more people are starting to listen. And Admiral Yamamoto knew the other guy, which is why he cautioned the Japanese militarists about Pearl Harbor. Too bad they didn't listen to him.

As for the survivors of 9/11 victims, WS, I see no inconsistency between "tough beans" and sympathy. Everyone grieves in their own way, and that's mine. For a long time now, having imagined myself in the shoes of the survivors, I've thought that the hand-wringing sympathy was more about the past than the future. So if I ever am in such shoes (after all, there are no guarantees) I hope someone--who knows, WS, maybe you?--will throw a bucket of ice water on me and get me to snap out of it, move forward, and remember life, not death.

Cheers! MM
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Postby Slade » Tue May 30, 2006 5:50 am

MM,

Bingo!

It's really simple and almost always overlooked--what's important to the other guy? Find out before you make a committing move. Clausewitz put that into words, and few listen, although more people are starting to listen. And Admiral Yamamoto knew the other guy, which is why he cautioned the Japanese militarists about Pearl Harbor. Too bad they didn't listen to him.

At Potsdam, Churchill tried to reason with Truman. “It’s best to leave the Japanese some show of saving their military honor, and some assurance of their national existence. The emperor is something for which they’re ready to face certain death in very large numbers, and this might not be so important to us as it is to them.”

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Postby MarylandManson » Tue May 30, 2006 9:23 am

Slade, the irony is that the emperor himself may have been one of the strongest advocates for diplomacy rather than war in the months leading up to Pearl Harbor. And in early 1942 he cautioned whether the fruits of victory had fallen too quickly into Japan's mouth. Hirohito is an interesting figure, hard to pin down one way or the other.

WS, looking back at my 9/11 sympathy comment, I should have added that grief is one thing, revenge against stand-ins is another. In a nutshell, I think that the majority of Americans' attitudes toward the whole 9/11-Iraq-war-on-terror dynamic is either apathy or "tough beans" about the thousands of innocent Iraqi lives lost, even if the tide is turning. Well, maybe it's not so much "tough beans" as "you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs." That's the attitude toward which I direct my own "tough beans" stance. My thinking is more toward these folks' activities:

http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/

In all cases, regardless of how the survivors--and the rest of America--handle grief, I remain sympathetic toward them and still in grief myself, just struggling to figure out what the hell to do about the whole mess. Whoops, I guess that's hand-wringing sympathy. However, one point remains crystal clear: War with Iraq was never warranted, by 9/11, radical Islam, or anything else.

Ugh.

Cheers, though! MM
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Postby EZ Rhino » Tue May 30, 2006 3:37 pm

Hoy! Good stuff in this thread.

Here's a theory (not a question): Problems arise when people fail to perceive themselves as part of an environment. The West vs. Islam or Allies vs. Japan or White Monkeys vs. Yellow Menace issues are all versions of the same xenophobia, which comes to a head when "leaders" fail to consider the culture of "the other" who shares space in the environment. Instead, the focus is on the self, and all "threats" to the self are dealt with aggressively, even when aggression is unwise and self-destructive.

It's really simple and almost always overlooked--what's important to the other guy? Find out before you make a committing move. Clausewitz put that into words, and few listen, although more people are starting to listen. And Admiral Yamamoto knew the other guy, which is why he cautioned the Japanese militarists about Pearl Harbor. Too bad they didn't listen to him.


MM, do you mind if I use part of this as part of a letter I'm writing to our local paper?
I wish the media would report more on public service and charity news instead of gossip. It is of much greater value. - Jackie Chan
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Postby MarylandManson » Tue May 30, 2006 4:42 pm

Sure, EZ, it's all free to a good home. I'll point out, though, that I'd really enjoy it if someone could blow the theory out of the water. Always listening, always learning...

Cheers! MM
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Postby Slade » Tue May 30, 2006 4:54 pm

EZ Rhino,

I wondered when you'd weigh in. As I wrote the following, I had an image of you holding your sides and "rolling in the aisles" from black laughter: TRUMAN: "It is race prejudice, I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion Negroes ought to be in Africa, Yellow men in Asia and White men in Europe and America."

MM & WS,

Another day, another news cycle. "What fresh hell is this?"

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast ... s.haditha/

If you've got bad news in Washington, it's best to release it on a Friday afternoon, so that by the beginning of the "workday news cycle" on Monday, it's old hat. And if you've got "really bad stuff" coming, then you leak a trailer in advance that gives away part of the plot, to let a little air out of the tires before the amazing race.

Do you think that might be what's happening here?

"It's as bad as Abu Ghraib, if not worse..."

Lance Cpl. Ryan Briones told the Los Angeles Times that he took pictures of at least 15 bodies and is still haunted by the memory of picking up a young girl who was shot in the head.

"I held her out like this," he said, demonstrating with his arms extended, "but her head was bobbing up and down and the insides fell on my legs."

Briones' mother, Susie Briones, told CNN her son is now suffering from post-traumatic stress.

"It was horrific," she said. "It was a terrible scene. The biggest thing that comes to his mind is the children.

"Since he was part of the cleanup crew, he had to carry that little girl's body, and her head was blown off," she said. "Her brains splattered on his boots. And that is what affected Brian the most."


And of course - again - the BIG story in the struggle to "win hearts and minds" will be the cover-up.

Now imagine you're the father of that little girl.

Meet Genjo Tokuda, the all-time most vicious kumicho of the Japanese Yakuza. And ask yourself, How much do I really know about radiation sickness?

"Hey, the war was a long time ago. Can't we forgive and forget? How 'bout a group hug, guys, and we'll all sing "Kumbyah?"

Uh-huh.

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Postby EZ Rhino » Tue May 30, 2006 5:27 pm

I dunno, Slade. I've never been a big fan of the song, "Kumbaya". I've always preferred the song from that Coca Cola commercial way back when:

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company

or something like that...

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else.
Peyton Conway March (1864-1955) US Army General
I wish the media would report more on public service and charity news instead of gossip. It is of much greater value. - Jackie Chan
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Postby WaywardSoul » Tue May 30, 2006 6:00 pm

You guys are wearing me out by sheer volume!

It hardly seems fair that two professional writers would double-team one lone hack, who types with the index finger of each hand!

Am I seeing the whole picture?
Funny, I was wondering the same about you two.

Between the two of you, the blame for all the world's ills have been placed at America's feet.

How about some balance?
Where is the condemnation of the Mulahs and political leaders of Arab states, who preach hate and death to all non-believers?
Isn't that just as wrong as Truman's racist beliefs?

Where is the mention of America being the most generous nation, in terms of money and aid, to impoverished nations and those struck by natural disasters, including those countries responsible for the most vile and hateful anti-American rhetoric?

What about the U.S. stepping in and exerting force to end the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia?
Something the gutless European nations allowed to go on and on right in their backyard?

MM, sometimes it IS US vs. THEM!
I guess you would have favored opening up dialogue with Japan, after Pearl Harbor, in order top gain a better understanding of the their culture?

The simple truth is that when one faction continually comes down to the watering hole and gives the rest of the herd the stinkeye, eventually, the only option is to bash their skull's in with a leg bone!

When your enemies attack you, the time for understanding their culture is past, and the time for killing them in great numbers is at hand!

I'm all for dialogue and diplomacy, but once my country is attacked, all bets are off, and I really don't give a f#$k what their motivation is!
That applies to the Japanese attack, the attacks of Islamic radicals, or anyone else.

I was never in favor of invading Iraq, as illustrated by my previous posts about Bush and crew having an agenda, coming into office, well before 9/11.

Believe me, I'm just as critical of the current U.S. administration as either of you, but I had no choice but to provide a counter-point to your statements, since neither of you seem to credit America for doing anything right, while conversely, neither of you seem to find any blame to be shared by any other nation, for the present world we live in.

I despise the American government, but I love my country and the principles it was founded on.
The constant "Blame America" game does wear on me at times, though.

I'm mean, your sister may well be the town whore, but you still don't want to hear the guy down the street reminding you of it every other day.

Slade: Harry Truman died in 1972, the same year the Watergate scandal first broke.
Nixon's personal tapes weren't made public until after Truman's death, so there was no opportunity for Truman to learn from Nixon's mistakes.

I don't know how long I can keep up these large posts, with you two long-winded intellectuals (Just kidding!), but rest assured, I'll be poping up again, just like a pimple on prom night!
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