Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Cliche' Robot

I have a copy of the rousing if goofy '50s SF classic, Robot Monster. There are arguments as to whether it or the equally rousing and goofy Plan 9 from Outer Space is the worst movie ever made. I can't decide.

I watch Robot Monster about once every two months. I find it oddly comforting. It took me a while to figure out why. The movie is nothing but one cliché after the other, from the beginning all the way to the end!

It requires no thought whatsoever to figure out the movie. That guy in the gorilla suit, wearing a diving helmet with the antenna on top? That must be the alien invader (named Ro-Man, of course). The cave he's in? That's his Alien Base of Operations to Wreak Havoc and Destruction on Earth. The Lawrence Welk bubble-machine? His communications, obviously. The couple making out in the field as Ro-Man comes shambling by? What do you think's going to happen to them? The same thing that happens to stupid teenagers in horror films who open closet doors when they know perfectly well there is a guy with a butcher knife and a hockey mask somewhere in the house!

Just as watching a movie full of clichés means you don't have to think about the movie, so does having a head full of clichés means you don't have to question anything. Here is an example, disguised as a letter I received.

"Dear Mr. Wallace,

"I read about this website in The Washington Times. There was an article I was looking for regarding school administrators. Instead, I am reading diatribes about our leadership. Let me guess. This is an online libertarian publication."

He got that one right. Ro-Man would be impressed...although I ain't.

"Isn't it comforting to live in a country where you are allowed to be so brave as to stand up for your point of view while gratuitously deriding your elected leaders?"
Whoa, let's wait just a minute here. Who allows me to "stand up" for my point of view? I wouldn't have the freedom if "someone" didn't give me permission? Who is that someone to which he is referring? The people in the government? They "allow" me? They give me the right? He doesn't exactly say, but to whom else could he be referring?

My elected leaders? Did I or anyone else vote for Richard Perle or Paul Wolfowitz? Or those faceless dweebs infesting all the bureacracies? And why does he use the word "your"? They're not my leaders. The people in the government are supposed to lead us? To where are they supposed to lead us? Over a cliff? To hell in a handbasket? I'm not supposed to control my own life? I'm supposed to play follow the leader? Even if they're wrong and don't know what they're doing?

"Calling them names, and looking into what motivates them could make you a modern day Sigmund Freud."

Maybe Freud did call people names. I really don't know. I doubt this writer does, either. Yes, I do look into what motivates people. Everyone does, including this writer. That's one of the reasons he wrote this letter to me.

"What is remarkable about living in America is that we have a constitution that allows us the right to plumb the depths of a politician's soul, call him a coward and say he is a middle-schooler who needs to spread chicken blood on himself, while the writer not fear any retribution, as opposed to Iraq under Saddam and his sons."
Here we go again! The Constitution "allows" us? The Constitution does not "allow" anything. The Constitution is an enumeration of our God-given rights. To say the Constitution "allows" this or that is suggesting that our rights are dependent only on what is written in it.

Considering the Constitution is interpreted by the State, it means only what the State wants it to mean. This is why every part of it has been violated. These days, for all practical purposes, the Constitution is dead. My correspondent does not know that.

And yes, my God-given rights do allow me to plumb the depths of politicians' souls (if they have one), call them cowards, and say they are middle-schoolers who need to spread chicken blood on themselves. And like all God-given rights, it's fun! It's even more fun to make fun of brainless sea squirts who write retarded letters!

As for Saddam & Sons, they were originally placed in power by the US. At first Hussein was the US's ally, which is why we armed him in his war with Iran. The US did not give a damn how many Iraqis or Iranians were killed. In fact, the administration encouraged the deaths of both. The booger-eating Henry Kissinger commented, "Too bad they both can't lose."

Why did the US wait 25 years to take out Hussein? Why hasn't the administration taken out worse people, like Robert "Let's See How Many I Can Murder Today" Mugabe? Why hasn't it taken out the Saudi "royal" family, backers of the Wahabis who flew planes into the WTC and the Pentagon?

Questions, questions...and no answers.

"Maybe you are proud of what you have written regarding our elected officials."

I'm not proud of being disgusted by them. Interesting: first he says "your" elected leaders, then he says "our." Does he think "your" and "our" (meaning "him") are equivalent? This guy doesn't have a clue as to what he's suggesting. It's fascism. A nation of sheeple, blinding following their "leaders," even if they go hurling over a cliff, hands clapped over their eyes?

Norman Mailer, who is now 80 years old and finally growing a brain, recently suggested the natural condition of humankind is fascism. He has a point. Freedom, liberty, are recent conditions – the last two hundred years out of several thousand. And if freedom can be defined in one sentence, it's being free from the State. It means not following our "leaders" when they're wrong, and yes, it means criticizing and making fun of them.

"Great! As Yakov Smirnoff would say, 'What a country.' By the way, he knows about not confronting your 'elected' leaders. They call it a gulag."

This guy couldn't tell you where Smirnoff does most of his entertaining if his life depended on it. So I will: Branson, Missouri. And as for the Soviet Union, the reason it was the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany, Nazi Germany, and Red China, Red China, is because they were all fascist. The State everything, the individual just a cog. The nature of the State is always the same, whether over there...or over here.

"I'm certain that you can appreciate how fortunate you are."

I plan on staying that way, by opposing fascism everywhere I see it. Unlike some, who write letters supporting it when they are deluded into thinking they're supporting freedom.

"We have the best-trained, best-equipped armed forces to guarantee that you will have the right to disagree."

And that's why our soldiers in Iraq are buying their own armor, because they are so well-equipped!

The military protects my right to disagree? How does he figure that? The Founding Fathers were utterly opposed to standing armies, for the reason shown today: Empire. Does this writer know that the US has some 750 military bases in 140-odd countries – three-quarters of the world? If the US didn't have troops in Portugal, the Portuguese would prevent me from speaking?

When was the last time our "best-trained, best-equipped armed forces" actually defended this country? World War I? The U.S. administration purposely loaded the passenger liner Lusitania with munitions. That's why it went down so fast when the Germans torpedoed it. And by the way, the German government ran full-page ads in the Eastern newspapers telling people to stay off of passenger ships. There was no reason whatsoever for the US to get involved in that European -- not American -- war.

World War II? WWII was a direct result of WWI. World War II would have never happened if the U.S. hadn't gone along with the crushing reparations against Germany, allowing Hitler to rise to power. And the Great Depression – caused by State interference in the economy, not "capitalism" – also helped Hitler's rise. The Japanese wouldn't have attacked Pearl Harbor if the U.S. hadn't cut off their oil and other imports, and sent the Flying Tigers against them in China, egging them into a pre-emptive strike against us. And the evidence is overwhelming that FDR knew the Japanese were going to attack, and let it happen so Russia wouldn't have to fight a two-front war against the Germans and Japanese.

I don't remember Korea, North Vietnam or Panama attacking us. No one else does, either.

I'll tell you the last time the U.S. military defended the U.S.: the War of 1812. And that was mostly caused by the U.S. trying to grab Canada while Britain was occupied with France. Sheesh! I mean, doesn't this guy have any room in his head at all for any facts?

Here's a list of the countries the US has bombed since the end of WWII:

China 1945–46

Korea 1950–53

China 1950–53

Guatemala 1954

Indonesia 1958

Cuba 1959-60

Guatemala 1960

Congo 1964

Peru 1965

Laos 1964–73

Vietnam 1961–73

Cambodia 1969–70

Guatemala 1967–69

Grenada 1983

Libya 1986

El Salvador 1980s

Nicaragua 1980s

Panama 1989

Iraq 1991–99

Sudan 1998

Afghanistan 1998

Yugoslavia 1999

How many of those countries attacked the US? Hello? Hello! Anybody there? I'm waiting for an answer!

"I really do question your estimation of our leadership, but our armed forces that will guarantee your right to be a Braveheart at your keyboard."
At least he recognizes my last name (heck, maybe he doesn't!). Speaking of William Wallace, he was fighting against foreign invaders. England invaded Scotland...not the other way around. It was England's "best-equipped, best-trained armed forces" that rampaged through Scotland, raping and murdering. They're weren't defending England; they were invading other countries.

"I hope you don't mind a little sarcasm on my part."
Not at all. He's just not very good at it. Okay, the truth is that his attempt is pretty darned painful!

"I hope you don't think I am questioning your motives."

Of course he is.

"Heaven forbid!"

If Heaven would forbid politicians from breaking its laws, I'd be a happier man.

This writer is spouting nothing but clichés. It's almost as if his brain has been removed and replaced with a tape recorder. "We-should-follow-our-leaders- and-never-criticize-them [click] our-best-trained-and-best-equipped-armed- forces-are-protecting us-[click]." Ack! -- he's been taken over by the Cliché Robot!

He is convinced he is right, and I am wrong. I understand his point of view, but he does not understand mine. I know why; he doesn't. Here's the reason: a friend of mind recently told me, "The smart understand the stupid a lot better than the stupid understand the smart."

What can actually penetrate the mind of a man like this? I don't think it's reason, unfortunately. I suspect it's what is called "the School of Hard Knocks." Sadly, when the inside of his head is nothing but cliches' rattling around, it is the only way he can learn.

1 comment:

Daniel Ford said...

The Japanese wouldn't have attacked Pearl Harbor if the U.S. hadn't cut off their oil and other imports, and sent the Flying Tigers against them in China, egging them into a pre-emptive strike against us.

I'm afraid you can't blame the American Volunteer Group, aka Flying Tigers. Their first combat was 20 December 1941, twelve days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor (local time). For more about all this, see Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942, recently published by HarperCollins, and the Annals of the Flying Tigers for online resources. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford