Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Pristine Happiness

I think I feel more comfortable watching other people be happy and live their lives than to live my own. Somehow the idea of everything working out and being happy, for me, seems alien. Everyone I would date would probably destroy me, I think, moth to flame. Watching isn't so bad though. Maybe things will change.

On the way to the Beehive from scanning my 15th subject (one more to go!), I came across a newspaper pasted on a storefront talking about a game called Peacemaker. The game suggests that video games on difficult world conflicts may lead to understanding and peace, with the particular focus of that game bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I'm pretty skeptical, because as far as I understand videogamers don't tend to be the kind of people who make or contribute to political decisions, but it's possible that it might help restore some sense of outrage and political involvement to the masses. I can't see how it could hurt. The game's website is here, although I should warn that it appears to be following the worst practices imaginable in website development. There is no text whatsoever on the page - most of the page is imagemapped GIFs. For other CMU-affiliated folk, I would've assumed a higher clueosity level.

In reading Middle East news, I'm both intrigued and appalled at the success of theocratic parties gaining eyes by running social services in weak states. I'm intrigued in the sense that I think it may be an effective means for Communist party-building in the United States (and possibly other western nations), and I'm appalled in the sense that such tactics are being used to increase the acceptability of theocratic ideas in the public eye. The article suggests that this is especially possible in weak states that lack social services, and I concede that when social services include police and security, their repitoire is greater, but there's no reason this should be limited to weak states. My response to theocrats is closer to the traditional solution of having people taking concrete steps towards such goals disappear (deport, imprison, kill, whatever), but it's best to nip such ideas in the bud before one needs to do much of that, as it undermines public trust, damages social fabric, and it's an extreme and ugly measure.

I've recently been listening to a good amount of Wagner. "Der Engel" is particularly beautiful.


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