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If you would let me explain,” said Khalid. He let his face compose itself, he sought the dignity of the earnest student encumbered with the truth and the need to spread it, and he leaded forward in piety and humility, even as the red-nosed plastic clown examined him like an interlocutor. “Although these people around us seem very nice, they are actually devils. Not in their daily demeanor, which as you can see is moderate and full of love of family and fun, but in the economic implications of the resources they require to live in such invisible comfort. They have no idea what crimes are committed in the name of this monstrous pillow of comfort, and if you tried to show them logically, they would not be able to process it. It would seem a delusion, a bad dream. If they looked at the cesspool of the camps and the degradation and depravity visited upon those children, they would say, ‘Oh, it’s so sad,’ and perhaps even give a dollar or two to some charity and feel good about themselves for a day. And yet they are as responsible, in their addiction to the great comfort – the cocoon of pleasantness, not sensual pleasure as you can see, but the pleasantness of driving down the street and buying their child a milk shake …
from Stephen Hunter, Dead Zero
I love Hunter’s novels, have read most of them repeatedly. I’m midway through this one, and it’s my least favorite so far: in fact the last few have OD’d me on the Swagger mythos: I default to my perennial pacifism, back to my anti-imperialist, Tolstoyan-Christian bias.
But the passage is the best I’ve encountered for expressing Illichian consciousness of the evil of developed imperialisms. I had that consciousness before Illich explained it (in his first book, in his talk of the late 1960s, in his founding of CIDOC (in Cuernavaca, Mexico) … just as I had had the foundation-repugnance necessary for understanding his Deschooling Society on first seeing prepub fragments in NYR, 1970.
The perception is put in the mouth of jihadist terror: still …
Illich was a guest on Hugh Downs’ daytime show, his repugnance at “American aid” lit Downs up. Downs insisted Illich return the next day to continue his probe of consequences to “helping” South America. But the next day Joe Garagiola introduced the show, Downs looked shaken, ashen, and no mention was made of Illich. Cancelled without notice.
And the devils don’t know they’re doing it! Can’t be told! Won’t be shown! They crucify Jesus all over again before tolerating awareness: and anyone who in any way resembles him!
2011 05 02 Wow, consider the above in the wake of the US killing Osama binLaden! Totally lawless, the international crimes committed, a long list of them! And dig this: we gave him what he wanted! martyrdom!
Yahoo! Ride ’em, cowboy.