Condition Orange Forever?

One of the best written blog posts I've read in awhile.

Posted by Matt at December 22, 2003 12:05 AM

A sobering thought indeed.

Posted by Stephen at December 22, 2003 8:47 PM

if it makes you feel the preciousness of life any better, you're welcome to your point of view, and i would happily ignore you and get along with my life, except i feel the negativity implicit in this article could be virulent enough to cause what it decries, or appears to.
i commend you on your good prose, and if the hanukah poem is yours, nice poetry too.
i do feel impelled to comment though that nuking islam is not a good idea, and i don't believe anyone but a dangerously disturbed individual would consider it.
your text imples that there is a vast swathe of deeply felt support for the current pre-emptive ways of the administration amongst the american people, and that they feel that it is christian to think that way.
i believe it comes down to resources and decency.
islam teaches discipline and decorum, something that christianity has hardly the will to try to do, especially after certain recent revelations about the western churches.
i would hate the islam meme to prevail, finding it regressive, barely post-medieval, and often barbaric. it does however communicate tremendous strength of purpose to its practicants, with abhorrent results.
your hateful idea is on the same level, imo.
making a bunch of martyrs out of a chunk of one of the most powerful (if largely deluded) world religions is so cretinous as to be unbelievable.
your website is really clear and easy on the eye, and your mind is quirky enough to be quite interesting, in this pablum age. i'm not surprised you have so little feedback though, you sound so insular in your pettiness sometimes.
i have bookmarked you as the only site where i go that i knew i would disagree with you politically probably 100% within seconds of imbibing at your well.
i come back wondering if you'll attract any serious (or playful) feedback of any quality, leading to dialogue, trialogue or better.
no luck.
vanity sites are ok, if aesthetic enough.
you must feel lonely, being intelligent. what made you warp to such a hard right position?
it's sad.
i love the open threads at kos. do you read them?
they're about the best belly laughs around the web, i reckon.
today's one on the colour coding reminded me of what you're offering on the subject.
no such laughs on your site, however, just the reiteration of the same old apocalyptic rhetoric that made me spend most of my 20's and 30's in a state of paranoia.
it's humour that will save us, if anything, and heart.
language is a wonderful gift, soft and powerful as water.
you have a great skill, please do not let it be wasted creating stuff like this. it's hitlerian in its moral perversity, and as absurdly reductionist in its proposed solution as were his plans for order and lebensraum.
your belief system is built on a huge flaw. the coming shakeup in attitudes you so correctly predict will thankfully be a polar opposite to what you espouse, and and once you see that's where the fun will be, rebuilding trust and removing the stimulus for islamic rage, not poking a stick into a hornets' nest, or better analogy: loosing off more ordinance and racist hatred into the massive arms magazine that is the middle east.
if we cleaned up our act in the west, sorted our energy needs, the money wasted in iraq insuring big oil et al. could be used in helping the peoples of the many other nations oppressed under tyranny, but without oil.
i don't mean necessarily with military means either.
there are a lot more flies caught with honey than vinegar, after all.
more programs to spread sustainable basic programs like clean water, eco-exploitation of resources, renewable energy, wi-fi, internet build us friendships that gradually transcend creed, because they don't depend on religion, but spirituality, which honours all humans as children equal alongside the creator.
i urge you to reconsider, and get a few laughs, if you still remember how.
thanks for listening.
good luck!

Posted by michael merriman at December 24, 2003 3:25 AM

Merriman's piece, with its well-nigh interminable flow of verbal burble, is a perfect example of the soporific denial that Vanderleun's post excoriates.

There are two and only two kinds of people living in the U. S.: those who are capable of understanding the grim truth that Vanderleun's post hammers home; and those like Merriman who will either awaken or die, which ever comes first.

I find myself agreeing that only another and more devastaging attack than 9/11 is going to wake this country up to the relentless and remoseless threat that it faces. And then it will indeed understand finally that extreme measures are the only ones capable of defending this country.

Al-Quaeda, and that part of the Islamic world whose suicidal malaise supports it, will have to be destroyed root and branch. It has thrown down the gauntlet, and the challenge is breathtakingly simple: either we destroy you, or if you wish to avoid destruction we leave you no alternative but to destroy us instead.

America has faced a similar challenge during the island hopping campaign in the Pacific durring WW2. The Japanese soldier refused to surrender even after the defense of an island was hopeless. They were sending a message to the American soldiers (and to the Americans back home) that said: "If you wish to conquer is we leave you no alternative but totally annihilating us (and the additional losses you will have to suffer as a conquence)."

And it was the quite probable prospect of the same demand for total annihilation as the price of victory in the Japanese defense of the home islands that caused the first and only use of atomic weapons in pursuit of a military objective.

Thus Vanderleun's prediction of a similarly annihilating response to a second attack on the American homeland already has a historical precedent.

With Islamist terrorism's challenge all but nailed to the spine of this planet, it is clear that the Merrimans among us also know, but are too frightened to admit it, that this stark choice is in fact the only one on the table.

Posted by Michael McCanles at December 24, 2003 9:02 PM

has it occurred to you that possibly it is not americans, or even america that is so hated, but its foreign policy?
these fanatics are not open to much in the way of reason or dialogue, yet the future generations may well be, if we presented a different face to the rest of the world.
imperial behaviour is rarely appreciated, except by quislings and puppets, of which there have never been a shortage to add fawning and sycophancy to fuel an already incendiary, societally solipsistic worldview that downgrades other nations as less valuable.
their methods are execrable, no discussion there; how do you think they became that twisted, was it just an ungodly mix of the koran and hatred given along with mothers' milk that rendered them thus?
their conclusions about us may be entirely erroneous. can we really and honestly say they have no legitimate grievances?
upriver from this phenomenon lies the cause, and none of us are innocent, save the children, because by default, willy-nilly we are part of this and we have allowed these causes to sprout and prosper with our implicit blessing.
i hope with all my heart you and those sharing your soporific, frightened worldview will awaken from the delusional corner your denial has painted you into, and enable you to enjoy civilised discourse with those with whom you agree to disagree, in a spirit of humility and appreciation for differing points of view.
disagreeing with the message is fine, but trying to tar me with adjectives makes the same mistake i did, swept away by horror, in my post above.
perhaps dialogue is fruitless between two such polarised opinions, but there again, perhaps not.
it would depend on the participators' capacity to liberate themselves from the folly of simplistic, black-and-white thinking, and their respect for the art of courtesy, a rare and lovely phenomenon.
may your nightmare never come true.......
if i am as deluded as i think you are, then fair enough: i'd rather die with my present system of beliefs than pass for living with one like your's.
if my intuition is correct, you think i might have to!
me, i hope you can allow other points of view, no matter how burbling, to occasionally cross your screen, without sinking into snarling from the pit whence it seems you chose to view the world.
best wishes from across the abyss that widens between us,
absolute certainty is absolute folly, in physics and in communication.
surely you must have understood that, with the obvious intelligence you display!
sleep well.......

Posted by michael merriman at December 25, 2003 7:14 PM

While I cannot hope to parry with the two of you in your hyper-extended,self aggrandising syntax, one thing rings clear:Mr Merriman ia like a boxing announcer who has never tasted his own blood. To think that radical Islamic terrorists, bent ,once again, on murdering thousands of our citizens as they go peacably about their day can be dissuaded by our relying on less foreign oil and softening our already generous and philanthropic worldview (we are by far the worlds largest humanitarian donors) is, in my view,the worst kind of head in the sand appeasement imaginable. The unpleasant, but undeniable fact is that there are evil intentions out there,bent on mass murder. It would be nice, Michael, if it were not so, but wishing will not change a thing. As for your thought that you would rather perish in your worldview than live in the one outlined by Mr. Vanderleun,I must reccomend that you retreat to your bed, pull the blankets over your head, and stay there.
As to how he came to such a hard position on the subject, I think I can address that one for you.
He lived in the City at the time, and saw the Towers fall with his naked eyes, and then made it his business, over the next several weeks to attend dozens of funerals, untill he could no longer endure them.Perhaps this would have galvanised your political views as well. That being said, civilised discourse is critical to our nation arriving at the best course of action, and I applaud you for your eloquent posts. I have watched Vanderleun morph into the hard liner that he has become,and, being a New Yorker, it occours to me that if you do not realise that the gauntlet has been irrevocably thrown down, you are simply not paying attention.
Myron Schpuggelstein.

Posted by schpuggelstein at December 29, 2003 9:15 PM