A New Theory of the World

I heard on the radio this morning that the Administration (apparently with the consent of the consensus of opinion in the United States) has published the guideline the military will use when deciding when to kill without trial any American citizens found overseas aiding and abetting the enemy, or bearing arms against their sovereign homeland. I have no objection here: it is as we did against Germans and Japanese American citizens who crosses the seas and swore allegiance to National-Socialist Germany or Imperial Japan.

But at the same time, three Navy SEALS, the best and brightest of what is admittedly the best and brightest military forces of all history are on trial in Iraq for giving a terrorist a fat lip. The terrorist was dangling the corpses of captured, tortured, and killed subcontractors from a bridge by their heels, and inviting the press to come watch the crows eat their flesh. Meanwhile KSM is getting a civilian trial in New York, less than a mile from where the World Trade Center has not been, and continues not to be, rebuilt, and Abdulmuttalab the crotchbomber has been Mirandized and lawyered-up.  

So foreign enemy irregular combatants are granted the rights of American citizens, and American citizens are granted the rights of foreign enemy irregular combatants.

Taken by itself, it would seem to be not evidence of anything aside from either an erroneous political theory, or a psychological malfunction that cannot distinguish friend from foe, legal from illegal, American from Anti-American.

But then there was also this I saw today:

New Zealand Student Auctions Virginity Online to Pay for College

Wednesday, February 03, 20

A student in New Zealand has auctioned her virginity to a stranger for almost $31,900 to help fund her university tuition fees.

The 19-year-old offered her virginity to the highest bidder in an online auction on the www.ineed.co.nz Web site after she found herself desperate for money.

The student, who called herself "Unigirl," said that she was delighted with the outcome and thanked auction participants who had bid more than she expected.

"Thank you to the more than 30,000 people who viewed my ad and to the more than 1,200 offers made," she said on the auction site yesterday. "I have accepted an offer in excess of $NZ45,000, which is way beyond what I dreamt."

Read the whole thing here. I am not making this up. This is not a parody. Or, not a fictional parody.

My Libertarian and Liberal friends will rush to assure me that the financial transaction, provided that no fraud was used, and no rights violated, is entirely in keeping with the way perfectly rational creatures like Houyhnhnms should organize their affairs. My feminist friends, if I had any would no doubt rush to assure me that this is either (1) an example of ruthless exploitation of an innocent victim female-person by the Evil Empire of the Phallus or (2) an example of a self-empowering self-actualizing liberation of a liberated female-person from the Evil Empire of the Phallus (3) both at once. I admit I am making these answers up. No libertarian, liberal, or feminist has actually said such a thing to me, so this is actually a parody.

And there is this I saw yesterday: a piece by a Hollywood screenwriter listening in shock while an exec tells him to put more filth and smut into children’s programming, despite the bad ratings it might produce. The piece starts: 

A USA Today story informs us “Viewers are about to see full-frontal male nudity, heterosexual, homosexual and group sex, and graphic scenes rarely — if ever — seen on mainstream TV.”

A few years back, I got a real taste for how silly Hollywood’s obsession with force feeding America a steady diet of filth had become.

Read the whole thing here. I am not making this up. I only write science fiction about worlds that do not exist, but could. I am not that imaginative.

My theory until yesterday was that the nation was going mad, much as Europe had already gone mad. (What? Do youthink nations and tribes and peoples cannot go insane? History would seem to offer contrary evidence.)

It seemed like madness because of the lucid little unbreakable circle of the mind that their logic goes in, disconnected from reality, and connected to luminous, simple, but false ideas, like a psychosis or a split personality, and accompanied by the same neurotic tricks that mentally unstable people use to justify their fantasy-worlds, such as denial, projection, distraction, sublimation, changing the subject, attacking any questioner, ad hominem, ad hominem, and ad hominem.

Also, the word-fetishes used to defend the indefensible had that glassy-eyed repetitive meaninglessness the real crazy people have, of autistic children who sit and rock and do the same one thing, over and over and over. Like this:  "It’s Bush’s Fault." (But the current administration follows the same policy) "It’s Bush’s Fault." (But he is no longer president) "It’s Bush’s Fault."

Or like this: "You’re a Racist!" (But I merely said I oppose high taxes.) "You’re a Racist!" (But I merely said we should judge men on the content of their character, not the color of their skin) "You’re a Racist!" Picture the mentally defective child rocking back and forth, back and forth.

But, no. Mere insanity is a natural, almost a normal phenomenon. This is something else.

My new theory is not that the world is insane, but that it is possessed.

This theory fits the facts better. Look at modern art: do you think merely human insanity could have produced not years, but decades of insolently ghastly ugliness and vulgarity and called it art, and gotten away with it?

Possessed by what? I would call it the demons worshiped of old under the names Mars and Venus, by which I mean (1) a fascination and obsession with violence (especially illegitimate violence, i.e. legal power used unlawfully), loving bloodlust while hating it, secretly glorying in it while outwardly condemning it; and (2) an boring obsession with sex, both making sex banal as a mercantile product, and as desperately and pointlessly sought as a blubbery glutton throwing himself headlong on food that he stuffs into his dripping mouth with both fists — but a food made of sugar, paper mache, and plastic, which neither satisfies nor fills, no matter how nice it smells.

When a girl in New Zealand does the moral and mental equivalent of twisting her head around like an owl and spewing pea soup across her floating bed, I’d say it is more than mere madness.