Explosions in this guy

File under: cry-me-a-river style thoughts

“What are your passions?” turns out to be a more elucidating question than you would imagine.

With every scar I feel deeper in this fibrous husk. I am classically (perhaps even detrimentally) passionate. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed about being me – times weren’t always good, but they were unfailingly interesting – so it is disconcerting to feel less vital. What to do about that? How do I once again appreciate the world, like a hand, freshly freed from its cast?

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  1. Dude, bad news — the cast is the thing. Most of us aren’t made for freedom. There’s the evolutionary argument: look how far afield you have to look for relatives that seem to function properly without complex and restrictive social structures. There’s the appeal to how things are: everybody got that job, everybody got that wife. There’s the eschatological argument: when you die, the things that go on to define you are exclusively elements of the set of things that tied you down. And then there’s the self-parodic descent into the paraphrasing of popular song lyrics: let the days go by, let the water hold you down.

    So I guess to enjoy life without a cast, try pretending that you are not inextricably lashed to time and context. Get drunk!

  2. Protect the Queen!
    Which one’s the Queen?
    I’m the Queen.
    No you’re not.
    Horrible, horrible freedom!

    I think was Donald Rumsfeld who said it best. Free people are free to loot, because when you are free, “stuff happens.”

    Think what’s happened in our cities when we’ve had riots, and problems, and looting. Stuff happens! But in terms of what’s going on in that country, it is a fundamental misunderstanding to see those images over, and over, and over again of some boy walking out with a vase and say, “Oh, my goodness, you didn’t have a plan.” That’s nonsense. They know what they’re doing, and they’re doing a terrific job. And it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They’re also free to live their lives and do wonderful things, and that’s what’s going to happen here.

    In fact, Brian and Lance, Mr. Rumsfeld answered you directly (the Pentagon has access to time machines, duh).

    In answer to your — direct answer to your question –are we concerned that this would offset it, the feeling of liberation — suggests that, “Gee, maybe they were better off repressed.” And I don’t think there’s anyone in any of those pictures, or any human being who’s not free, who wouldn’t prefer to be free…

    Rumsfeld continued —

    There’s two aspects to the facility there at Abu Ghraib. One aspect, of course, is detention. It’s keeping people off the street so that they can’t go out and commit a criminal act. A second aspect is interrogation, and it’s asking people questions to try to glean information that can save the lives of American soldiers in Iraq. And one aspect of it is handled by the people who handle detention and another aspect is handled by the people who handle the process of asking questions to try to save the lives of American soldiers.

    I find there’s hardly any question that can’t be answered best by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

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