Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Rest of the Story

Until I saw this I still had fond, warm and fuzzy memories of listening to Paul Harvey relate the headlines of the day, topping it off with those The Rest of the Story anecdotes with surprise endings throughout my childhood. These may have even played a role in developing my own sense of story; my fondness for O. Henry short stories as a pre-teen was probably primed by the hundreds of Harvey's The Rest of the Story presentations listened to over my breakfast by the time I was eleven. There are not too many nostalgia inducing memories of my childhood left since the tentacles of our fundamentalists religion entwine among each and every one. On a recent broadcast, Harvey closed with a rant. I knew he was a conservative, but I had no idea he was this:

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill said that the American people…he said, the American people, he said, and this is a direct quote, “We didn’t come this far because we are made of sugar candy.”

That was his response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. That we didn’t come this far because we are made of sugar candy.

And that reminder was taken seriously. And we proceeded to develop and deliver the bomb, even though roughly 150,000 men, women and children perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With a single blow, World War II was over.

Following New York, Sept. 11, Winston Churchill was not here to remind us that we didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy.

So, following the New York disaster, we mustered our humanity. We gave old pals a pass, even though men and money from Saudi Arabia were largely responsible for the devastation of New York and Pennsylvania and our Pentagon.

We called Saudi Arabians our partners against terrorism and we sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq, and we kept our best weapons in our silos.

Even now we’re standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive, because we’ve declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies -- more moral, more civilized.
Our image is at stake, we insist.

But we didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy.

Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and into this continent by
giving small pox infected blankets to native Americans.

Yes, that was biological warfare!

And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this
land from whomever. And we grew prosperous.

And, yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves.

And so it goes with most nation states, which, feeling guilty about
their savage pasts, eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up
invaded, and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry and up and coming who are
not made of sugar candy.

This is conservative of what now?
Are we to infer here that 'civilized' = 'sugar candy'?
That WMD is only immoral when someone else uses it? Then how is that someone else defined? Those who are : Not-white? Not-prosperous? Not-American? Not-Christian?

So much for nostalgia.

My source for the quote was Eric Zorn's Notebook at the Chicago Tribune. The link attatched to the title of this post will time out in less than a week so if anyone reading this can provide me with a more stable link to the transcript, I would appreciate it. I will continue to google for it. This is exactly why I don't link to major national newspapers when I can at all avoid it. I think they are very short-sighted for locking thier content behind coin-operated walls. By the time they put them there it is yesterday's news but it is also our nation's history and to charge three times what one would pay for a used book for a single glance at a single article is.....I just don't have a word for it. But it can only widen the divide between the information haves and the information have nots. And in the long run will errode the very relevancy of their institution. And I don't get the rational for it. The Internet technology should make access to information cheaper not extravagently more expensive. But this is a major digression and should probably have a post of its own and probably will when I have the time to split them. For now, I have to get off line. Have already gone an hour past the confort zone in terms of blocking possible phone calls into my inlaw's home. So I'm going to post without editing and without even checking out how it looks on the page. Will fix any problems as soon as possible.

0 tell me a story:

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