The award for best rebuttal of disproportionate stupidity this month goes to Maximilian Forte (aka Dr. Max Rat) at Open Anthropology. I'm not even going to summarize his recent encounter with ignorance; it has to be read in full. Read it now. Seriously.
Upon reading his post I was once again brought back to the awkward time- and culture-warp experience I deal with every time I return Stateside. I find the "us" and "them" justification of horrors against humanity to be particularly severe in my home country. Infuriatingly so. In the "war" in Iraq as in Afghanistan, it is impossible to throw around the word "terrorist" without feeling hypocritical. And yet the labels are taken for granted across all sectors of society. "We" are ultimately right: you can tell, because we have the military power to back it up. "They" are absolutely wrong: you can tell by the color of their skin and, let's face it, they're just not like us.
The truth is that we are all rats for the way we treat other human beings and the way that we allow them to be treated (more often than not on the basis of an arbitrary hierarchy of superiority). A world without borders will never exist, not because of geography, but because of humanity's repugnance towards itself.
The highlights of this eloquent and brilliant post (aside from the strong desire the interchange induces to bang your head against a brick wall) are the following obvious facts that warmongers and liberals alike are consistently afraid to admit:
1. "Salam murdered a foreign occupier." and "Salam got murdered in his own country by foreign occupiers."
2. "If you don’t like it, then stay the fuck out of Afghanistan, and you won’t get killed."
Not bad for a rat cowering in an ivory tower, eh?
In other news, Google truly is the key to understanding humankind; namely, how amazing it is that people have managed to maintain their stewardship of the planet for so long. In other words: "We. Are. Doomed." Check out these suggested search results based on keyword requests in Google:
I like when people ask me why I'm an anthropologist and what insight my research on the Internet could possibly provide in understanding human society. It's priceless!
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