Shaken, not stirred: How to make slaughter cool again

Osama Bin Laden - Soccer player

Rootless Cosmopolitan

Too suave for Bush, who fit so well with Hussein’s cartoonish pomposity, Bin Laden is just right for 8 years of Afghan chess, with classy Obama.

There is something in Obama's patience which does strike one as near deliberate withholding, as wiser-than-thou, empowered demonstration of maturity and wisdom. What comes to mind is that Clint Eastwood film, "Heartbreak Ridge," where all the new recruits sprint past Eastwood, as he jogs slowly along, but find themselves later passed by as they exhaust themselves with their full-on burst of speed. His character ends up claiming all of their respect, in the end. Obama might do the same -- though perhaps, not with Brooks -- as he did when he finally did triumphantly win his election contest over Hillary, making himself seem casual, savy, inevitable, and his doubters, impulse-ridden children. Withholding is sadistic, but can be a demonstration of one's strength, many of the bullied will recognize and end up respecting.

When America chose Obama over Hillary, for me it was confirmation that we wanted someone in who could be depended on to fulfill our desire (he is, in actuality, the most attuned to our needs and desires, even if sometimes our needs are complex enough, counter-intuitive enough, that we mistake his obedience for independent leadership -- how many of us are aware that we may actually at times want / expect our leaders to be withholding, for example?) for the nation to turn even more sadistic than it was under Bush. What Bush did was help define what was evil, the style, the sense of it: it is very melodramatic, with cartoonish, misshapen villains, clownish leaders; grandiose, inane gestures; blunt, 80's-style take-overs. It is appropriate that it was about Texan leaders and meglomaniac Iraqi tyrants -- Bin Laden is too nimble, withdrawn and aristocratic, and had to await the arrival of the more appropriate Obama, for his part of the story to resume. So if war now seems less indulgent, more focussed/ calculated / intelligent / dexterous and reluctant, and also somehow less emotional and distanced (less grandiose), it's not evil, it's its opposite: sanity. Simply by a wholesale change in style, the actual number of people killed here could be way worse than what we've already seen, and seem mature necessity not abhorrent slaughter. It's the way it is and must be, until that day arrives when we finally have done enough reparative work to undertake something more pure. The cruelty could be way worse than what we've seen, and it will become near impossible to point out to those who unconsciously want war-sacrifice, because they know what bad war "smells" like -- they know what even the left has helped make bad war smell like -- and this isn't it. Obama provides the perfect cover for us to actually indulge in our sadistic desires, and believe we're actually demonstrating mature restraint.

The left has got a huge problem on its hands. Once they turn off their support of Obama and their lambasting of Limbaugh, and start really critiquing Obama and his ongoing, cruel war, they can be very easily now made to seem tamtruming, unreasoning children who fail to understand that nobody wants war, but sometimes it has to be engaged lest society disintegrate altogether. It's lesser of greater evils: if you can't appreciate that, you're not good, but immature -- not worth listening to. Obama knows as much, as so should they. The right and war-favoring -- less evolved -- left are cottoning on to just how empowered their position is about to be.

Joan is saying some very right things about Afghanistan here; let's help her make the truth of it overwhelm people's preferred way of imagining it. Let's be the resistance that scared the Olympics away from Chicago to the near third-world, where things, where people, prove more readily manageable.

Link: “Real men don’t need D.C. pundits” (Joan Walsh, Salon)

@ Patrick McEvoy-Halston. I think it is 'dexterous'.

Your Heartbreak Ridge analogy is good, but where does the homo-eroticism play into it? For that matter how bout that Grenada invasion? (Support our Tropes, “Real men don’t read D.C. pundits”)

@ Patrick McEvoy-Halston

You posted:

There is something in Obama's patience which does strike one as near deliberate withholding, as wiser-than-thou, empowered demonstration of maturity and wisdom ... Withholding is sadistic, but can be a demonstration of one's strength, many of the bullied will recognize and end up respecting.

Obama's "patience" is his reticence to make a further decision until he sees how the wind is blowing in the polls. It's indecision and he is sacrificing America's treasure while he "dithers" - period! You describe it as sadistic.

Obama is not demonstrating strength - he belongs on Dancing with the Stars because that is what he excells at - dancing to the tune of the piper (his handlers) (Old Joe, “Real men”)

Old Joe: I think if you lull people into squawking for immmediate attention, action, you make them seem needy and silly, and yourself patient and serious. This is sadistic, even if it is just playing to others' masochistic impulses. I believe his handlers are the American people. Most of them are turning very sadistic, very sacrificial right now.

Support our troops: Dexterous may indeed be the word. I prefer not to spell-check, though. Allows me to go with what feels most right. Couldn't live with myself if I didn't ensure I played a part in the process which allows language to change and evolve. Spell check freezes everything in place, never forced to address this crime against the beauty of change through time, against the living. Got my training in English; now I let it stay or evolve, without censure. Thanks, though.


  1. Thank you so much it was a very good guide, now to make slaughter cool again is definitely simple by using your advice. Kudos


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