Thursday, May 13, 2004My God... It Really Is Hobbiton
I haven't seen the Berg video yet, and I don't intend to see it anytime soon. I've hit my limit, and just reading about the incident provides more than enough of an image to cope with; my instinct for psychic self-preservation has kicked in, and that means no Berg video for me.
But I've read the arguments on both sides, and I'm just not buying the line that Berg's brutal, horrific death somehow justifies our torture of prisoners. Not being quite as bad as the very bad people isn't, y'know, a standard of behavior I can believe in. I might write more about this later.
In a (very appreciated) effort to make me feel a bit better about the world, Chris sent me this bit of news from New Zealand. It probably didn't produce quite the reaction in me he was intending. Reading this, all I'm thinking is: we torture people; New Zealanders walk to school in their PJs to protest torturing people. This really isn't doing anything but encouraging me to leave.
Not that it's entirely connected, but Bill Hicks did a great bit about being in London during the LA riots that I can identify with in this case...it's all the more apropos when gently applied to New Zealand:
So I'm trying to get news of the riots... and, uh, all my friends here trying to sympathize with me. "Oh, Bill, crime is horrible. If it's any consolation, Bill, crime is horrible here too."
Shut up. This is Hobbiton, and I am Bilbo Hicks, okay? You live in fairyland.
Of course, in reality, Bill loved England -- the only place where his particular brand of genius was fully appreciated and supported, while his native United States generally ignored him -- and when he died, he was already making plans to move to London. Hobbiton or Los Angeles? The decision's not a difficult one.
My point is... erm... well, I'm not sure I have one, to be honest. But New Zealand (Australia? Canada? Ireland? Anyone?) is looking pretty goddamn good right now.
"I thought, 'Poor guy, he must be scared. I wanted to share his humiliation'," said the young activist.
He hoped his fashion statement would achieve results. "I think the Americans should be punished..."
If anybody needs me, I'm gonna be under the coffee table, curled up in the fetal position.* God bless New Zealand.
PS: Yeah, I know this kid isn't typical, and I'm sure he's lucky he didn't get his newspaper-reading ass kicked for this. I remember what school's like... no doubt he'll get it for something else. But he's obviously a good kid -- may all of mine be as cool as him. Even if he's not a typical kid, I'll accept him as being among the best of 'em. |