Sunday, July 26, 2009

(inspired by A--m's post) one of the most

frustrating things that happens in American life is the way that longevity, the ability to maintain some sort of position in the public eye for 2+ decades somehow morphs into respectability.

This happens in entertainment, where it is really just an irritant, and it happens in the world of politics, where it is often much more upsetting.

In entertainment, two examples I can think of are Madonna and, what's his name, Liv Tyler's father.
former secretary of state Steven Tyler

Both of these individuals have managed to stay popular by parroting popular themes in contemporary pop music. This is fine, it takes a certain undeniable skill.

In politics it happens with pretty much everyone over the age of 70, no matter how black their hearts or their records of public service.

Henry Kissinger may be the most singularly immoral and dangerous American of the 20th century. By all accounts, he is a brilliant man who believes in absolutely nothing other than the pursuit of his own power and influence. Say what you will about the corruption of a Bush or a Nixon, but I feel very strongly that they had some sort of ideology. This is not to suggest that it was reasonable, or that they were not lovers of power, but I in some way, they both felt that they were pursuing a course whose ends would justify the means.

Kissinger was Nixon's sec. of state, and prior to the 1968 election he offered several people jobs in the administration, the people responded, "if Nixon wins", to which Kissinger said, "no matter who wins". He was entirely unprincipled.

In and of itself, this would be merely distasteful, in a secretary of state during the late 1960's and early 1970's, it was particularly disastrous.

Kissinger was (more than any other man), responsible for the war crimes in Cambodia, and for political assassination in Latin America.

It is insulting to human dignity that we should pretend we have anything to learn from the council of this man.


RemyLBO said...

absolutely. He's the worst.

I was trying to compare him in my mind to Dick Cheney, which is more of a super villain.

I've decided that Cheney is more of a classical super villain because he really does have very clear goals and agendas. He also has his own twisted moral system, which is fascinating in a comic book sort of way.

Whereas Kissinger is just a power hungry fuck with much less clear goals, except that they are always maniacal.

I'm certainly not trying to say that one is more evil than the other, just that Cheney fits a classical narrative better.

RemyLBO said...

along those lines, a few months ago Cheney was left and right trying to criticize Obama. Why should we listen to this fuck? He lost and everything he did was wrong, why treat him like he has wisdom.

More recently it's his daughter that is on all of the TV shows and Dick has taken a step backward from the spotlight, but I'm not sure why people treat Elizabeth Cheney as if she as actually speaking her own mind, and not a puppet for her father

ben said...

It is strange. Part of it is simply the fact that they are no longer in office. I think that as a country we have a sort of little kid to parent relationship with out of office elder statesmen.

When someone is in office we act as though everything they say must be taken with a grain of salt, because it is apparent to us that they are pursuing a particular political agenda.

Somehow, when people leave office, no matter how little trust they inspired while there, we assume that they are speaking entirely with disinterest. It makes less than no sense.

by the by. I google searched "who is worse, Kissinger or Cheney" and got this:

How about this poll instead:

Which is worse?

A. dog crap
B. pig crap
C. cow crap