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I gotta rethink this

I've been back from the weekend for four hours, five hours tops. Already I'm exhausted. Well, not exhausted; tense, pressured. I can feel the exhaustion coming. I've gotten some stuff done, but not enough. Not even on the relative scale — the scale by which you never get enough done, but there exists some alternate measure by which you pretend you did. At this moment, it seems, there's just too much.

The trouble is, the war. The war makes all sorts of actually tedious stuff seem more interesting. Take the neocons, for example. Neocons have got to be the most banal, insipid political operatives imaginable — when it comes to character development, just about anything beats the oblivious insistence on moralistic delusions. But there's so much at stake, your sensibility gets tricked. Well, mine, anyway. I actually find myself wanting to know how these loons pretend to justify their various idiocies — as if it even matters.

That said, there are some decent story lines in this war. Mostly, there's the Brits; thanks to that Tony fellow (a world leader with maturity and vision, imagine that) and their troops' apparent rapport with their liberatees, there are some elements to this war that in fact cannot be adequately rendered in 10-second sound bites, and even deserve the telling.

But, for the moment at least, I feel like the presence of the moment is chewing me up. If patriotism is the belief that your home is better than anyone else's because you happen to live there (and rooting for the home team is the belief that they're better than the away team because they're the one whose owner successfully suckered your elected officials into spending your tax dollars on that new stadium where your boss's boss has that cushy skybox), then an interest in news for news' sake is the belief that events are interesting just because you're alive to read about them only a day later. An all too human instinct, to feel that way, and yet an entirely unjustified one.

And I think I've been getting a little sucked in, lately; it's time to step back and think again just why it is I want to be tracking this — the war, the everything — so close. Life's too short to blow it on anything but the good stuff.

April 7, 2003 3:05 PM

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