Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005
 
Fighting the last war. The Bunster himself - to whom I denied a link in that last post on the grounds that too many links would spoil the aesthetics - has a neato quotable line:
I also expect that many leftists have had the psyches shaped by the battles of their teenage years, and for many of them hard-core Christianity was the enemy in those days, whereas Islam hardly figured, and they’re still fighting those battles
Talking of old battles¹, I have been thinking recently of all the harm done to Iraq by French Resistance movies. Go back one generation further than the one mentioned by Blithering Bunny, and you find teenagers who grew up in the shadow of WWII. The fact that their fathers saved the world² naturally put them in a bad mood, but they didn't go so far as to wish the Nazis had won. The next best thing was thinking that the uncool Dad-like way of fighting Nazis was to do it in itchy uniforms. The cool way was to wear neckerchiefs and excitingly tight black sweaters and ambush German patrols.

(Don't take this as slagging off the French Resistance. France did have to pass through a period of reassessment in which the myth of a nation united in defiance was exploded. However I think the cynicism has gone too far, and we are in danger of forgetting real heroism.)

The end result was that all the soldiers vs irregulars movies made after 1945 have uniforms on the bad guys. All very understandable, but the effect on the impressionable minds of our intellectual class has been deleterious.

On the subject of world affairs³, Normblog writes:

I think many who say they think better of China than of the US wouldn't put their money where that part of their mouth is if it was a matter of where they had to live, or if they had to seek redress for an injustice done to them, or if they were to be tried for something they didn't do, or in terms of their opportunities for free expression and political association, and so forth.


¹This phrase was awarded an Honourable Mention in the 2005 Golden Paperclip Award for Most Tenuous Connecting Text.

²Does not apply to Germans.

³First Prize.