[lit-ideas] Re: Five Years Ago

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 09:11:13 -0400

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lawrence Helm 
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 9/12/2006 12:27:29 AM 
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Five Years Ago

The sentence jumped out at you?  Where did it jump from?  No never mind.  
Suffice it to say that there has been from the days of the enlightenment a 
predilection in the church to accept literal meanings of the text over 
scientific advancement.  This is nothing new.  This is not a great leap 

A.A.  We fight court battles over here about whether Darwin or Creationism 
should be taught in schools to children.  Kind of reminds one of Galileo, eh?  
That's not losing ground to you?  Shall we rename the schools madrasses?  
What's in a name, right?

L.H.  Suicide-mass murder by jihadis?  Suicide-mass murder is their middle 
name.  You should read Martin Amis article.

A.A. What do you think I quoted?  The point is, without Iraq, those suicide 
bombers would not exist.  I guess you missed a little point like that.  Maybe 
you should read Martin Amis.  

L.H.  How many rights have you lost, Irene?  Feel a bit like living in a Gulag, 
does it? 

A.A.  Well, nowadays when I make a call, especially on my cell phone, I can't 
be absolutely sure that nobody is listening.  They say they're searching for 
patterns, but ...  The sad part is that they're searching for a needle in a 
haystack while the doors are wide open and security is big business.  Also, 
I've heard people interviewed who have positions like yours (David Frum, 
National Review; I thought you were just on this list as the ex-Marine, but 
you're in an actual segment of the population), and they use your wording, 
traitor, anti-American.  Traitor?  Anti-American?  For talking about the U.S.?  
This was unimaginable only four short years ago.  I looked on my Vineyards of 
America calendar from Wal-Mart yesterday, and 9/11 was called "Patriot's Day".  
I thought, oh my God.  If that's not like the Soviet Union, Patriot's Day.  
I've known people from the SU, and now from Russia, and almost to a person 
they're very careful never to talk politics.  They know the hazards of
  being called a traitor for saying their leadership might be doing things 
differently.   We even have secret prisons now.  That's in four years.  So, I 
may not have overtly lost rights, we can still talk about politics, but I've 
lost that indescribable feeling of being an American.

L.H.  But if you find yourself going down the tubes, grab hold of that little 
handle on that porcelain thingy and pull real hard.

A.A. I heard a discussion last night.  Someone mentioned that he had friends 
who just came back from Europe.  He said they were received the way Soviet 
scientists used to be received.  Respectfully and with regard for their 
erudition, but with sympathy as well for the society in which they lived.  And 
all we can do is make a joke out of it.


From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Andy Amago
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 9:09 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Five Years Ago

This sentence jumped out at me:  "More, we regard the Great Leap Backwards as a 
tragic development in Islam's story, and now in ours."  This does describe the 
battle between Creationism and Darwinism in the U.S.; the merger of politics 
with religion; the flap over whether to keep God in the pledge of allegiance.  
A Great Leap Backwards straight into the New Middle Ages in these here United 
States.  And who much cares?  

This passage speaks to the utility of our invasion of Iraq:  
"By the summer of 2005, suicide-mass murder had evolved. In Iraq, foreign 
jihadis, pilgrims of war, were filing across the borders to be strapped up with 
explosives and nails and nuts and bolts, often by godless Baathists with 
entirely secular aims - to be primed like pieces of ordnance and then sent out 
the same day to slaughter their fellow Muslims. Suicide-mass murder, in other 
words, had passed through a phase of decadence and was now on the point of 
debauchery. In a single month (May), there were more human bombings in Iraq 
than during the entire intifada."
And to the loss of our rights in the U.S. and the call for censorship in 
universities:  "Islam means 'submission' - the surrender of independence of 

The bottom line in my opinion is that we're fixated on them even as our own 
country goes down the tubes, embodied in the very fact that we're fighting some 
ridiculous war in Iraq while our ports are untouched by security, etc. etc. 
while we lay the groundwork for a police state.  

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