Apparently, Lucas has decided to add his voice in about the recent agression by the US in the middle east. Not having paid much attention to Star Wars, I can't really comment on how apt the parallel is. I do, however, think that our government, while perhaps not continually getting worse (no comment on that at the time), is not about people, but more about profit and power. It would be better to tear down the whole mess, jail a lot of the powerbrokers, and start anew.
Sometimes the powerbrokers don't win, but they usually do.
With regards to reports of recent desecation of the Qu'ran while people were being tortured, and especially protests about it, one of the things that they don't understand about American society is that, while the attitude isn't completely uniform, people don't care so much about gestures like this. In this area, I suppose I'm as American as the next person. You could get an entire pile of philosophy books, people whose books I enjoyed and respect, and burn them, and to me there would be no horror, just irritation at waste of resources. Qu'ran burned? Go get another one at a bookstore. They're 5 bucks. Someone urinating on the christian bible? You can go see that at the local art gallery too. Most Americans won't flinch at their flag burning, their holy works ground into dust, and their holy figures telling fart jokes on TV. It's almost a way of paying respect, as it acknowledges the power these symbols have in society. That's where Americans are, at least before they enter the mind-deadening scum-magnet known as the military. I'm sure there are good people in the military, but I think that the environment makes people worse, and that it tends to attract people who are often among the worst of society anyway. You know that person? The good-old American patriot boy who loves his country, was in boy scouts, who went to church every week, whose hair is clean cut, who wants a good old fashioned girl, a house, and to start a family, who went into a frat that his father went into, who went hunting with his uncle every two weeks, and had his family hook him up with jobs? He thinks liberals are supporting changes that will destroy society and take god out of us. Yes, I hate that kid. That kid is going into the military partway through college, surrounded by his cookie cutter friends, and told to hate, told to kill. He's told he's on a crusade for America and Christianity, and his hatred is pointed at people he's going to see as being far from clean cut, wearing rags on their heads and wandering through desert wastelands. He's told that these people hate America, and that their religion is one of death. And so he hates, and kills, and desecrates without a second thought. After the killing, or perhaps during, he and his buddies listen to loud music, and try to pretend that they're not where they are, doing what they're doing, and eventually his self-esteem tells him that it must be alright, because he's doing it, and he's a good person. Their shame at the blood on their hands must invert, and become a sensitive pride in what he's done for his great country, sensitive because the pride is, thick or thin, a cover for self-disgust. The more elaborate the pretensions of pride and honour, the better, because it puts more distance between them and the truth. That's at least one kind of American soldier. There are others, the kind that works in a gas station, runs from job to job because they can't keep any, trailing grease and slime behind them, until they finally, broken in funds and spirit, submit to the military.
Umm.. that turned into a rant. Oops. The points:
- Americans don't care much about desecration of holy books
- Critics don't understand that Americans place little weight on these things, and see something that would be horrific in their culture in another where it has much less local weight
- The US military is composed mostly of of conservative people who hate the rest of the world, Islam, and American liberals too
In other news, there's an article
on New World Notes on people cheating on their significant other in Second Life. To remind you, Second Life is an immersive virtual environment where you create an avatar that resembles you (or not), clothes, and a number of other things, wander around, build stuff, etc etc. By cheating in second life, this means to have one's avatar do things, have sex, talk lewdly, or act like a couple with someone else's avatar. It seems pretty clear to me -- relationships are not just about the physical. While physical betrayal may be the most evident and painful kind of cheating, emotional betrayal is just as much cheating. When one is in a relationship, all of one's interpersonal sexuality belongs to one's partner, and one's partner also comes first when it comes to intimacy. If that isn't the case, then there's infidelity. This is, of course, exempting those who explicitly and openly have other styles of relationship, e.g. swinging, or things that are clearly for amusement.