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March 24, 2004



Very funny. And how reluctant would our military be to proudly announce they have defeated Bin Laden's "Nancy-Boys" or "Soccer Moms".

By the way, I support legalization of Janjaweed.


Thanks. I am just continuing a deplorable personal tradition which started back when Rwanda exploded. Back then I told a friend that I knew compassion fatigue had fully taken hold, because I would pick up the paper each day to read about mass slaughter and world indifference, and catch myself humming "Help Me, Rwanda" and "Toot, Toot, Tutsi, Good-Bye".

It's OK now, of course - Bill Clinton apologized, even though he claimed not to know about it at the time (odd that I did, but all I had was the NY Times). It was post-Somalia, George W. Bush said in 2000 that he would not have gone in either, and so it goes.

Ken Dow

Why is it that your "eyes glaze over" upon hearing of the rape, murder, and purging of very large numbers of people? Oh, yes..."compassion fatigue." That must be the affliction you suffer as a result of all those years of caring so intensely about what happens to other people. I recognize that it's a big world and most of us become inured to some degree to the suffering that occurs outside of our immediate sphere, but still, that post is really, as you said, "deplorable." One of the distinguishing traits of human beings beyond infancy is having the intellectual ability to comprehend the reality of things that are out of sight. Hide the toy from an infant or a dog, and he rapidly loses any awareness of its existence. You're referencing a true crisis. Actual people are being brutalized and slaughtered. It's just not funny, and you've distinguished yourself as being callous and selfish, (if not mentally undeveloped) to an extraordinary degree.


you've distinguished yourself as being callous and selfish, (if not mentally undeveloped) to an extraordinary degree.

I assume those choices are not exclusive - I would like to think I managed a trifecta.


A response!



I'll follow the link, say "thank you" for the kind words as I skip past them, and highlight this:

...recently, MM's blog has been awfully limp. My guess is that this has to do with the total collapse of any rational basis for trust in George W. Bush. Of late, MM has been flailing at Kerry, which is perfectly respectible, but unless I'm mistaken there just isn't the same love for the task I used to see in his writing.

I agree that it looks like a long spring and summer ahead of us. "Us", of course, being anyone who sticks around as my morale is ground down to a fine powder.

Anyway, I appreciate the clarification. Since members of the lying, crooked RAM hear explanation (1) a lot (hey, follow his links), I got a litle bristly.

On a sheer tastelessness front, however, well, I threw in the "glazed over" to warn folks that plot twists lay ahead. Since it was in there for shock value, I can't complain if folks were shocked. I also tossed in the bit about "it may be a wonderful opportunity for the US to show it is a multilateral do-gooder" just to show my sensitive, caring side, and you can bet that won't happen again anytime soon.

Now, there is a rule about never, ever explaining jokes, and I won't break that now. However, let me respond to this:

Look, can you imagine someone writing a post like this about mass murder elsewhere in the world?

No, I can't either. But the story *is* in Africa, and I have been reading versions of it since the Biafran babies in the early 70's. Tribal warfare with famine and starvation as a military tactic are common in Africa and rare elsewhere. My perception is that the American public is de-sensitized, and I chose a fairly ghastly way to illustrate that.

Secondly, I am intrigued by the notion that more folks in this country can identify Jar Jar Banks, and are familiar with the controversy around him, then will ever know about the "janjaweed". Steven Spielberg made "Schindler's List", and good for him, but is anyone in Hollywood ever going to make a big film about the Sudan specifically, or African atrocities generally? "Black Hawk Down" was not really about the locals, I don't think. "The Killing Fields" obviously doesn't count, and ties in to our post-Vietnam angst.

So, big finish, do I really think rape and murder are funny? Let me get back to you. Did I choose an arguably tasteless way to illustrate some of the challenges Mr. Kristof might encounter on his current crusade to rally the American public? I think so.

And I still say, we are not going to war against the janjaweed.

Ken Dow

We all have our aspirations. Nice to hear that yours is to achieve the trifecta of being callous, selfish, and mentally undeveloped. As the Air Force exhorts us: "Aim High." Once again, you remind me why I continue to visit this site for candid revelations of the conservative mind.


More deplorable conservative comedy here. Is this a full service blog, or what?

Ken Dow

It is a good blog. In all seriousness, I appreciate your needling criticism of the left (where I generally reside) and its inconsistencies. You generally point out legitimate weak spots rather than spew the utterly dishonest nonsense that is found on so many other blogs. I may not agree with you, but I think the bulk of what you say deserves to be addressed rather than dismissed.


Now don't go being pleasant and reasonable on me. I put up a post of questionable taste, and got the whacks I might reasonably have expected.


I am also left-leaning (in case it wasn’t already apparent) and I find this blog site much more entertaining and reasonable than other conservative-slanted sites. You guys don't seem to be completely out of your gourds.

TM: "And I still say, we are not going to war against the janjaweed."

You are absolutely correct, this country (for various reasons, among them I'm afraid is racism) will probably never involve itself in any meaningful way in Africa -- unless terrorists there can be linked directly to attacks on American (at home); we just don't have any national interests there, but we should have human interests there.

And I think adding humor to plights of others is often a satirical way of throwing off or rebelling against our physiological numbness; we’re bombarded by news of the suffering of others just as much as we are flooded by advertisements for products. So much that it all becomes a blur. Rather like the way battlefield doctors joke about amputations, etc.

Personally, I find nothing funny about a Sudanese Madonna holding a starving child covered with flies, but sometimes humor gets people to think.


Another response: http://www.seewhy.blogspot.com/2004_03_21_seewhy_archive.html#108025072365533306

When will the madness end?


Paul Zrimsek

Tom will have to speak for himself, of course, but the reason I'm sticking with Bush (apart from the fact that he's not Kerry, which is plenty) is that he is NOT "bad in a way that transcends politics"-- he's bad in a way that typifies politics. That is, he has not screwed up everything he's attempted-- he's only screwed up the usual number of things. I've found that those who see something uniquely bad in the very ordinary George W. Bush, leaving aside those who've simply gotten carried away with partisan fervor, are people who hold romantic notions about how government works when it's not run by people like Bush.

P.S. What's Canada doing about the Sudan? How's it working?

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