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Blind Date With Satan

Posted by Bob · May 19th, 2004 · 7 Comments

Someday in the future I can imagine a game show on TV where the contestants will be all trying to win a blind date with Satan. They’ll be made to do so many things they would “never do in their normal life” like pretending to support someone only to pull the rug out at a critical time, optimized to do the most damage. Twisting facts and and conspiring would also be traits never realized in “normal” life that would surface, and luckily for the contestant, those traits would be razor sharp. And of course, you would get style points for pounding your point home while showing a total lack of respect for your opponent.

The person who showed the most duplicity, the most original use of trust as a weapon, the person who really excelled at this?no excelled is not the right word ?who really enjoyed this would get to meet the one entity that embodies all these traits to perfection. Imagine having your picture taken with the baddest of the bad. Your friends would be envious for the rest of their lives. Heck, even your children and grandchildren would hear about you. They would be famous because you were infamous.

And after that could you really go back to your old life? How do you go back to the old 8-to-5 when you’ve tasted the excess, the power, the riches, the orgies?

This game started long ago. You may be the next contestant.

This was once a show reserved for “evil empires” led by “hell-bent dictators”. Those leaders brainwashed their people into believing anything! Oh yes, Cuba, we’re talking about you. And don’t try to hide, North Korea, come out from behind China. And Iran, you’ve been quiet lately but we don’t forgive you for taking hostages and holding them for 400 days. And move away from Syria, don’t make me separate you two. Sit down Vietnam, you’re not going anywhere, the stink is still in our noses from the 58,000 of our sons you killed.

And what’s this? A new contestant? From where? What do you mean everywhere and nowhere? Oh?terrorism? Why of course we’ll make room. Sit anywhere you like but what are your qualifications? 3,000 dead innocents on one day? On American soil? Be careful contestants, we have a really inspired contestant here!!!

September 11th. All those dead innocent people. You had to feel sympathy for those people and the families, how could you not? They had nothing to do with any of this yet they died in the middle of it.

There was our anger. There was world support. We had countries giving us their word that they would help in hunting down and eliminating terrorism anywhere it was found.

There was Afghanistan and we were elated about how fast and furious we delivered our righteous wrath.

Where is it now?

Where is world support for our destruction of terrorism? Where is our righteous wrath about Saddam and Iraq?

Somewhere we made a wrong turn. The parade of nations marching to a common cause has lost its step. After Afghanistan, the cause changed from being a world cause to being an “American” cause. IF Iraq was the place to be to fight terrorism, why isn’t the world there with us? Look, I ask this with all sincerity…where are they? I cannot help but think that, even with America’s awesome strength, there is room for allies.

What did they see that we didn’t when it came to Iraq? Wasn’t Saddam a threat to the world? Wouldn’t a suitcase nuke have shown up in Israel or Saudi Arabia just as likely as America? Considering what happened in Spain, is any European country “safe”?

So why aren’t they helping now? So what have we done to lose their support?

Perhaps Colin Powell’s words from this weekend can shed some light.

“At the time that I made the presentation, it reflected the collective judgment, the sound judgment of the intelligence community. But it turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and, in some cases, deliberately misleading.”

Deliberately misleading? It appears that our allies have taken offense at our attempt to mislead by “cooking the intelligence.”

But even without most of our allies, we launched an invasion and toppled Saddam. That’s a good thing, right?

Yes and no. The humanitarian support is surely pouring into Iraq now. Schools are opening, electricity is coming back up, hospitals are open, clean water is flowing, life is returning to “normal” after two wars. The country is huge and most of the violence occurs in certain select areas. It’s fair to say that 90% of Iraq is at a delicate peace.

The problem is that our allies feel Iraq is an American war and we lied to them in our attempt to get them to help us. Is this what America does in “normal” life?

We went to war almost alone. Is this what America does in “normal” life?

We were caught abusing prisoners in Saddam’s jail. Is this what America does in “normal” life?

Which leads me to ask an even larger question…”What do we do in OUR normal life? Is handling of this war just a symptom of a greater American ill?

When did discussion about American politics become such a contact sport? When did the gloves of civility come off? When did it become OK to smear a hero’s war record, compare a Senator to Adolf Hitler, or demean someone else’s view to the point of personal insult?

When did “Liberal” and “Conservative” become curse words?

And perhaps the most offensive, when did the word “Hate” become so prevalent in political debate?

I would respectfully suggest that we as a society are well on our way to a “blind date” based on how we treat each other. The Rushes, O’Reillys and Frankens of the world rely on ratings to survive and that means inflammatory statements and debates but we have no such need. Even bringing readers to a blog does not require the loss of mutual respect.

Quite honestly, because some talking head needs to be an a**hole doesn’t mean that is how its done, no more than kicking down doors and beating up bad guys is the way to handle justice. You wouldn’t use Janet Jackson and Britney as role models for your daughter so why do YOU accept these guys as role models for you?

So, is it mutual respect …or are you the next contestant on Blind Date With Satan !!!

Categories: The Decline of America


7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lisa // May 19, 2004 at 12:23 pm

    For several days now I have been wanting to address that huge issue raised toward the end of your post, Bob… the missing civility in political discussions in an internet forum … the fact that it seems like it has become some sort of swear word to say “Liberal” or “Conservative” while in the cyber-presence of some contributors… and the apparent inability for some to remain on topic as they post comments and responses.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your guest blogger posts, and I am equally appreciative of the pieces posted by this forum’s Host (Rick), despite the fact that I do disagree with a large portion of what one or both you may have to say in any particular post. 🙂

    And initially I was reading all of the comments to every post, as well. But… after several articles… the comments started to sound a lot alike… over and over and over and over…(you get the idea). I felt a bit like I was watching Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and simply reliving the same scene: a topic is raised, comments are posted, and somewhere along the line it becomes a “Me vs. You”/”Liberal vs. Conservative”/”Bush is Bad vs. Clinton is Bad” discussion. It always starts the same way and ends the same way and, quite frankly, it got to be boring reading … not to mention the fact that I pretty much despise Bill Clinton but even *I* don’t give a rat’s a** about where in the hell the semen stained dress might be so about the bizillionth time that question came up was just one too many for me.

    You’ve done an excellent ( and quite succinct) job of voicing concerns that I am sure are shared by many. Thank you (sincerely) for so eloquently stating what I am sure many of us have been feeling for some time, now.

  • 2 nick meyer // May 19, 2004 at 1:19 pm

    Bob your entries never fail to make me stop and think and then reread again. All I can say at the moment is WOW. Pretty heavy stuff.

  • 3 Nat // May 19, 2004 at 2:52 pm

    Somthing very similar to this “game show” has already been done. America has already been there, done that and got the T shirt.

    The name of the game was “The Clinton Administration” where the winner – being the person you described as “the person who showed the most duplicity” – was Bill Clinton.

    However, there was a slight twist to the ending. He couldn’t go on the blind date with the Devil because HE WAS ALREADY MARRIED TO THE DEVIL’S SISTER!!


  • 4 Rick // May 19, 2004 at 3:53 pm

    Enough people have written asking me to write posting guidelines and enforce them via moderation, so I will be doing that.

    Because of my own personal commitment to allowing people to make horse’s *sses of themselves if that’s what they wish to do, I allow posts like the last one from Nat. You don’t have to respond.

    When I write the posting policy, it will be what’s minimally required to keep things “on track” — and I’m going to allow people to vote on it.

    I don’t want a million repetitive posts like Nat’s driving people away. (And, Nat, you should recognize from some of the comments that even people who agree with you are saying they are tired of your posts; they’re some of the very people asking me to turn this into a fully-moderated blog.)

    I’d like to keep the posting as free and open as possible. I’ve never before killed any posts except those which were spam, e.g., advertising porn, body enhancement creams, get-rich-quick schemes, etc.

    Anyway, until I get a policy written and it’s voted on, I won’t change my pre-existing approach.

    Thanks for understanding. Again, feel free to ignore Nat and continue in the on-topic discussions as if he weren’t here.

  • 5 Groundpounder // May 19, 2004 at 4:23 pm

    How ironic. The “Greatest Generation” gave us both unprecedented national wealth and prosperity, and TV game shows. One has thrust us, albeit reluctantly, into the position of global leadership, and the other has devolved into the primordial ooze that is now Reality TV.

    American politics has always been a contact sport. A gentleman’s game, a bit like rugby. No contact away from the ball. The problem is that the god-makers found it easier to win by destroying the opponent rather than win on the merit of their own candidate. We, the people, fell for it, hook, line and stinkball. Shame.

    Just a quick aside. I want to thank you for your warm reception. I am a Marine, and hence the moniker “Groundpounder”. I do hold firmly to my opinions, unfounded as they may be, and will defend to the death your right to hold yours. Make them worth while please.

    I am able to speak remarkably clear will both feet in my mouth and have become proficient at apologies. They, however, can be quite garbled.

    Nice blog Rick. I will be more than happy to kick a buck to you but you’ll have to come down to the shop to pick it up.

    I hope that over the course of time I will be able to contribute something of value.

  • 6 Rick // May 19, 2004 at 5:08 pm

    Heh…funny you should mention the buck.

    I’ve been looking for ways to help recoup the $85/month I pay for keeping my servers online. Only three people have ever actually donated anything. 😉

    For anyone who seriously considers supporting this blog, though, there’s another way to do that — and to get cool stuff in the process.

    Just click on the “store” link on the main page and buy something! 😉 I get a percentage for everything that sells and you get some stuff! (PLUS, you help advertise the blog, which may lead to more readers, better discussions and further support of the blog by those people!)

    The articles Bob and I have been writing, I hope, help stimulate some discussion on what we think are important issues (well, important enough to write about), but it’s really when other people start to get involved in commenting that the blog, in my opinion, becomes interesting.

    I’m glad for those who contribute. And for those who are not desirous of writing, because they disagree, that’s one reason the blog is here. There’s a right way and a wrong way to discuss things in a free and open society — we’ve had plenty of examples of both here. And disagreeing is not a problem.

    So…thanks for the support…and continue to join in. If this blog ever becomes a truly worthwhile thing, it will be because it’s a small percent me and a big percent people who comment.

  • 7 Bob // May 19, 2004 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you Lisa, I genuinely appreciate your words.

    I hope I can say the same when you see my next post!

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