Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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December 29, 2005
Year in Review: December 2004

My review of the many links that I saved but never posted anything about during the past year

(see? I spared you. this
blog in 2005 could have been
even more pointless and
ridiculous than it
already was.)

shows a kind of record of what I was "thinking" about at the time.

From December 2004, I find some items that I must have gathered at yet another moment when I wondered about the possibility that the GWOT will not be considered by some to have been safely won, and the USA's troops cannot go home, until every occupant of the Middle East is somehow magically transformed into a baseball playing, Walmart shopping, Fox News Channel watching, American style suburb dwelling Presbyterian. I then vaguely wondered if that wish, to the extent it exists, could be part of a deeper problem with American acceptance of "Otherness," or some such, but let it go, as excessively trite.

Anyway, my idle wonderings led me to a thoughtful Seattle Post-Intelligencer column by one Philip Gold (which describes the "fountain of sorrow that is our endless attempt to make the world more like us," amidst numerous Jackson Browne quotes); a Samuel Huntington essay ("The presumption of Westerners that other peoples who modernize must become 'like us' is a bit of Western arrogance that in itself illustrates the clash of civilizations."); and a critique of "vulgarized neoconservatism" from The American Conservative ("But the Bushites now see democracy’s spread as necessary for America’s own survival.").

However the find I was most grateful to discover was Ralph Ellison's 1970 essay, "What America Would Be Like Without Blacks."

He writes:

Yet despite its absurdity, the fantasy of a blackless America continues to turn up.

It is a fantasy born not merely of racism but of petulance, exasperation and moral fatigue.

It is like a boil bursting forth from impurities in the bloodstream of democracy.