The Americans who voted for George W. Bush wish to return their television. Over at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
Relatedly, I have been reading Catch-22 for the second time lately, and it is fantastic. Sort of a drifting cloud of contradictions and rotating viewpoints, stepping forward and back through time to mull over the same events again and again. Alternating ludicrous humor with moments of clear beauty which set you up for horrifying episodes of staggering pain and violence. I can’t really get into it all right now, but I may need to start up some novel-blogging ala Defective Yeti on Moby Dick or something. Anyway. I hit this sweet little passage the other day, when Joseph Heller pretty much summed up our situation with Halliburton and private “security companies” in Iraq, but from back in time:
“‘Frankly, I’d like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry. If we pay the government everything we owe it, we’ll only be encouraging government control and discouraging other individuals from bombing their own men and planes. We’ll be taking away their incentive.’
Milo was correct, of course, as everyone soon agreed but a few embittered misfits like Doc Daneeka, who sulked cantankerously and muttered offensive insinuations about the morality of the whole venture until Milo mollified him wth a donation, in the name of the syndicate…”
-this just after Milo had his planes bomb his own squadron for a hefty profit paid by the Germans.
“‘Milo, this is Alvin Brown. I’ve finished dropping my bombs. What should I do now?’
‘Strafe,’ said Milo.
‘Strafe?’ Alvin Brown was shocked.
‘We have no choice,’ Milo informed him resignedly. ‘It’s in the contract.'”