Author Topic: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future  (Read 6762 times)

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« on: February 14, 2012, 05:54:49 pm »
WARNING: This post was written from the perspective of an American. All usage of "we" or "our" refers to America or western culture in general. Sorry.

Background: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html

So, on a whim I picked up a $1 book on a trip to DC last year. It's "Superpower Illusions" by Jack Matlock, wherein the Reagan-loving diplomat lays out just how fucking retarded we as Americans have gotten about the history of the Cold War and why it's fucking up our foreign policy. The short version as i understand it is that Reagan *did* have an important roll in bringing the Cold War to an end, but it was more because of his willingness to talk with the Soviets and give them a way out and less the saber rattling. That the biggest problems the Soviets had were self-created through the belief that they needed more control over their people and over the ideological discourse of the nation. By clamping down on their populace, they made western culture look more appealing.

What we're screwing up now is thinking that just "being stronger" than another nation and yelling at them long enough will make them fall down and get into line. That's bullshit. The harder we clamp down on our own people, the more vulnerable we are to internal strife and collapse. And leaning on other countries isn't enough, we have to show them how much more awesome it is to be on our side by making it more awesome to be on our side. You want freedom? Our artists are so free we let them just splash paint on a canvas!

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2012, 06:01:46 pm »
The end of the Cold War was just as much Gorbachov as it was Reagan.

This is an interesting article though. I have a response to the art angle rattling around in my head, but it's not done quite yet.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2012, 06:03:59 pm »
The end of the Cold War was just as much Gorbachov as it was Reagan.

And it was just as much McDonalds, Pepsi Cola, and Levis as it was the two of them.

Their system didn't work, and eventually ran out of steam...Reagan sped things up a bit, largely by bankrupting us while spending them into the ground, militarily. 

Contrast that with our system, which operates like a well oiled machine...One that uses us as fuel.
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 06:05:04 pm »
The end of the Cold War was just as much Gorbachov as it was Reagan.

This is an interesting article though. I have a response to the art angle rattling around in my head, but it's not done quite yet.
The author's argument was that a more moderate republican or democrat might not have been able to convince congress to start the process of curbing the arms race, which I kinda believe. The book is totally worth the read just to hear someone who actually worked with Reagan bitching out the idiots trying to claim his Sacred MantleR.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 06:06:48 pm »
In fact, if we had a brain in our collective heads-of-state, we'd be tempting the Iranians with luxury goods, instead of slapping them with sanctions and saber-rattling.

Of course, getting the Iranians to cooperate is not precisely what our government's owners have in mnd.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 06:09:04 pm »
In fact, if we had a brain in our collective heads-of-state, we'd be tempting the Iranians with luxury goods, instead of slapping them with sanctions and saber-rattling.

Of course, getting the Iranians to cooperate is not precisely what our government's owners have in mnd.

Now I'm picturing something like "Persian Idol."

That would also probably help the Iranian government to maintain control and cut down on riots.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 06:14:02 pm »
In fact, if we had a brain in our collective heads-of-state, we'd be tempting the Iranians with luxury goods, instead of slapping them with sanctions and saber-rattling.

Of course, getting the Iranians to cooperate is not precisely what our government's owners have in mnd.

Now I'm picturing something like "Persian Idol."

That would also probably help the Iranian government to maintain control and cut down on riots.

See?  That's win-win.  You're a fucking genius.  Why you aren't in the state department is a complete mystery to me.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Don Coyote

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 06:15:06 pm »
In fact, if we had a brain in our collective heads-of-state, we'd be tempting the Iranians with luxury goods, instead of slapping them with sanctions and saber-rattling.

Of course, getting the Iranians to cooperate is not precisely what our government's owners have in mnd.

Now I'm picturing something like "Persian Idol."

That would also probably help the Iranian government to maintain control and cut down on riots.

See?  That's win-win.  You're a fucking genius.  Why you aren't in the state department is a complete mystery to me.

It would probably be better than American Idol.

Elder Iptuous

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 06:15:38 pm »
Interesting article, QG.  i'll have to check out that book.

Twid.  Iran does have an entertainment industry.  I would be surprised if they didn't have a variety show like american idol.  they're doing it everywhere else....

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 06:15:38 pm »
Now I'm picturing something like "Persian Idol."

That would also probably help the Iranian government to maintain control and cut down on riots.
There's an Arab language Idol-type program, but they write poetry instead of singing. I can't remember much else about it, but they talked about it on NPR a while back.

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 06:16:04 pm »
In fact, if we had a brain in our collective heads-of-state, we'd be tempting the Iranians with luxury goods, instead of slapping them with sanctions and saber-rattling.

Of course, getting the Iranians to cooperate is not precisely what our government's owners have in mnd.

Now I'm picturing something like "Persian Idol."

That would also probably help the Iranian government to maintain control and cut down on riots.

See?  That's win-win.  You're a fucking genius.  Why you aren't in the state department is a complete mystery to me.

It would probably be better than American Idol.

Even with the sound off.  Persian women make my pants tight.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 06:18:40 pm »
Interesting article, QG.  i'll have to check out that book.

Twid.  Iran does have an entertainment industry.  I would be surprised if they didn't have a variety show like american idol.  they're doing it everywhere else....

Oh, I know. Picturing a country without an entertainment industry is impossible.

North Korean Idol would probably be hilarious.
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 06:19:19 pm »

Elder Iptuous

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 06:20:25 pm »
Even with the sound off.  Persian women make my pants tight.

hell yeah.  there's some real beauty there.
add in the exotic aspect of it.... oooff.

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Re: Absurdism, the Cold War, and the Future
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2012, 06:20:35 pm »
Now I'm picturing something like "Persian Idol."

That would also probably help the Iranian government to maintain control and cut down on riots.
There's an Arab language Idol-type program, but they write poetry instead of singing. I can't remember much else about it, but they talked about it on NPR a while back.

Poetry's too cerebral. It's gotta be trite pop music. Trite pop music the contestant never even wrote.
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