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Monday, December 06, 2004


american heroism

the revelation of the death by fratricide of army ranger pat tillman is, i think, not very surprising. extremely little truth is ever told to the proletariat in a militaristic state such as ours; the risk of alienating the people of their teutonic notion of heroic action is something the government and military are unwilling to run.

but it should be edifying in the sense of demonstrating the chaotic, senseless nature of mechanized war, and how antiheroic it is. it surprises me still that tennyson's vision of war still remains anywhere in the west, given all that it conspired to do. there is still a western enclave so foolish as to deny the great illusion? apparently.

i've thought that america's isolation from europe has, in some respects, too well insulated it from the effects of the first half of the 20th century on western civilization to cure it of its zeal for war. instead, i've come to view it much as rome to the european's greece -- a cultural usurper which comes late to the fray, naively inheriting the world at the top of the civilization's influence (for better and worse) and destined to artlessly oversee its decline into futility.

are these the antonine years?

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