Kind of in a funk today, and a little pissed about how my posts on two BBS got zapped within the past two weeks. It makes me regret breaking my rule, from years back, about posting on BBS’s — which is only to post on those you feel you can trust!
1. On virtueonline.org, David Virtue has a piece up about how some Episcopalian bishop made a big stink about one of those mass produced e-mail threats he had received, and wants the FBI involved. Some of the commenters went into that “we should take all threats seriously!” and “Hea-ven FORbidddddddddd! HEA-ven FORbiddddddd! That SOMEthing should HAPpen!” mode, which gets a little tiring after a while.
I merely pointed out that law enforcement has only limited resources, so chasing down goofy threats takes away from going after the authentic criminal activity (the actual violent crime and property theft) going on out there. I also made reference to what I will here call the Culture of the Many Threats and how it caused the U.S. to insert itself into two countries to pursue questionable wars. (The goal of the first, get bin Laden, was clear, but the second just a total mess.)
It’s a point well taken that assessing the threat is as valuable, and maybe more so, than doing something about it. Up until contemporary times, all our wars required this assessment and a general sacrifice. Resources are limited, no matter what Chinese lending lulls some people into thinking back home.
So my post was there. And then? ZAP!
[Update 1/29/10: Someone at Salon was making the exact same point last week, it turns out. A man at JFK accidentally opened an emergency door, and the place went into total lockdown for 2 hours. Heaven forbid that someone should accidentally open the wrong door.]
Last night, I commented on debito.org’s post, which criticized the Economist’s “Creativity Index”. The index is some goofy ranking about which country’s people are the more creative. The index put Japan ahead of the United States.
I gave three reasons why this might be true:
1) Cuisine and design. The Japanese are much more creative with a limited stock of foodstuffs. They are more creative in the presentation of items and use of things to make art (origami, etc.)
2) Bureaucracy. The Japanese in the bureaucracy are far more creative in trickery, stealth and delay. Thinking about this mroe, it’s in large part because they have no accountability, so they can use a lot of time to invent elaborates strategies and excuses.
3) Contemporary music. Excepting the contributions of the African American community (which put the U.S. ahead), the young Japanese do more with the body of Rock and Pop than young Americans do. For the longest time, musical creativity in America has come out of the black community (a small percent of the population), and the source for practically all forms of contemporary music is in the black community. Here, here is the first site of many on a basic Google search, “African American influence on rock and roll”.
Well, some character out there took offense with that—which to me is a basic acknowledgment of what countless observers of the American music scene have been saying for years. Apparently, his offense came through his own wacko interpretation of what I said. He took the phrasing of “excepting the” black community as if I were putting it aside. No, that wasn’t it, it was more like what I said above: without the black community, American music would be a lot less than what it is.
Well, the next thing you know . . .. ZAP!
So this reminded me a lot of 2003 (the olden days). You’d put something out there, and people who just want to pick fights with you, or want to make some self-aggrandizing point unchallenged, start with the histrionics. If they aren’t hiding behind some false claim of “wanting to debate”, they really just want a forum to sound sanctimonious about some issue that really isn’t what the matter is about.