Thursday, September 18, 2008

Left To Right

A long and amusing monograph on how we got here. It's not James Burke but then ... who is?

I found that if you read this with a sort of James Burkian voice in your head it's incredibly funny. Perhaps it's me, but a fellow saying in an educated Irish-Brit accent " ... and decided that really - f*** the French. They were clearly full of it." is just the cat's pajamas.

So we have this whole business rattling around for a while. Theorizing. And then, people decide to put it in practice. As you do.

And that means Revolutions. Everybody loves a good revolution. Benny Franklin and TJ danced, danced their way into your basic plagiarism and, after kicking his countrymen out, decided to build a country on Locke’s blueprint.

French couldn’t really let that pass by, so they started their own party. But the French Revolution was much more fixated on Rousseau (it was embarrassing really. A lot like Harry Potter fandom, only with less and more chopping of the heads… Actually, strike that. It was exactly like Harry Potter fandom).

Being French these guys got a little too excited and burned down most of Europe while experimenting.

As you do.

Meanwhile back in Britain, a guy named Edmund Burke was completely aghast, because his parents named him Edmund Burke.

I mean seriously – that’s just mean.

He was also slightly Irish, so naturally he was incensed by that whole business in France. (The fact that goats were suddenly so popular, proved a real disaster to Ireland’s lucrative sheep industry.)

So anyway, Eddie sits in his room, petting his sheep (that’s a euphemism) and looking at this whole French thingamadoo. And it occurs to him - “…those bastards are out of their goddamn mind! Even for the French…”

And he basically says – “No, seriously. We are way past messing around. Dude, seriously – they are chopping people’s heads off over there. With a machine that’s designed specifically to chop people’s heads off! No joke. Why do you think they are doing that?”

So he decided to ask.

And Robespierre told him that the old society was corrupt and failed and new one had to be built.

“And the head chopping comes into this because…”

“Old society is made of people that needed some killing.” Rob told him. “To much competition, too much mysticism, too much individualism, too much retardation. We have a blueprint for a perfect new system and it will help us create a perfect new citizen.”

“But Locke said that individualism is good. And competition is good…”

“Well that’s nice, but your good, competitive individuals are busy burning their neighbors because they think their invisible friend told them to. So y’know what? Fuck your individualism. Most of your good people are dirty, superstitious savages that have been bamboozled by conmen into believing absolute bullshit. We will lead them out of the darkness.”

“But what if you are wrong? All this ‘darkness’ has been evolved by thousands of generations of trial and error. And it works – that’s why it’s around. It’s been tested. You just totally made your new system up and you used fucking Windows, for Chrissakes! Shouldn’t you beta it first before installing?”

“There’s no time!”

“Why not?”

“Because of China, that’s why!”

Burke wanted to clarify that point, but then Robespierre had to go and chop Danton’s head off, so we’ll never know. But Burke thought about it for a while and decided that really – fuck the French. They were clearly full of it.
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