Friday, April 12, 2013

Mad, Mad World

“We are great. We are free. We are wonderful.
We are the most wonderful people in all the jungle!
We all say so, and so it must be true.” 
--Ther Bandar-log monkeys,
The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling 

Team, this is all my fault. 
I screwed up with Cairo ... 
I let racism cloud my judgment ... 
I was so sure the world's ultimate terrorist 
must be Middle Eastern that... 
I never suspected he was a God-damn gook. 
I'll never be racist again. 
--Team America: World Police (2004)

Kipling's Bandar-log monkeys are considered insane by the other animals in the jungle because of their total self-absorption, lack of discipline and outsized vanity. A form of madness anchored in lack of self-awareness and ego, and by which definition we are perhaps all a little mad.

The sabre rattling by North Korea's leader Kim Jung-un provides a little diversion form the very real threats still facing the U.S. in its unresolved (unresolvable) military posture formerly known as The War on Terror.

The news dutifully churns out the "Mad Man" meme, but does Jong-un have a choke-hold on the title?  There are many ways to be mad.  The U.S. dropped the A-bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and we are still protecting Japan and Taiwan 67 years after the end of World War II. We are the idiots with an Army in South Korea 60 years after that war ended (another undeclared U.S. war.)

The U.S. is the nation which almost entered what would have been a devastating war over the Cuban Missile Crisis and which has a nuclear arsenal capable of frying the earth many times over, yet North Korea and Iran are the mad men. Certainly the leaders of these nations lack any finesse, but madness is as madness does.

Madness was invading Iraq in 2003, for instance.

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