Saturday, November 10, 2007

Decadence, like charity, begins at home

David Seaton's News Links
To be decadent is to do things a certain way because they have always been done that way, to endlessly repeat oneself until becoming a parody of oneself.

To be decadent is to turn what was once fresh and charming into a tic, into a mannerism, so that what once was seductive becomes grotesquely repellent.

Fatigue disguised as youthful energy, boredom disguised as fascination... Capped teeth exposed in an achingly wide smile under cold, watchful eyes that see nothing but surfaces.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that there are no second acts in American lives... The question today is will there be a second act in America's life? DS

William Pfaff: What's Happened to Pakistan?

Abstract: American pressure on Musharraf has alienated a part of his army, spurred the rise of Islamic radicalism, inspired an enormous rise in anti-Americanism, and now, in manipulating the return of Benazir Bhutto as agent of American-desired political liberalization, Washington has precipitated Musharraf’s coup. Washington also wants Musharraf to be a democrat. The return to constitutional government and the empowerment of civil society now are blocked, even though elections are promised for February. It could end in the wreckage of still another Islamic nation – following Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestine Authority and Somalia. In this case, it concerns a state possessing nuclear weapons. All are victims of history, their own. But to the extent that American intervention is involved, they also are victims of a colossal American ignorance of other people’s history, and indifference to the consequences of manipulating other societies.(...) It is easy to destroy. What follows is another matter. READ IT ALL

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