Thursday, September 08, 2005


Bill Whittle's Tribes

I have seen links to Bill Whittle's Tribes piece up at EjectEjectEject! for a day or so, and it sounded vaguely familiar. Hadn't there been some kind of blogging about "Tribes," and that must be why people keep making statement about people being pink and grey ...

Well, tonight Papa Ray, one of me esteemed readers, sent me a very brief note with the link to Tribes, and said, "I wish every American would read and think about. Pass it on, its that good."

Papa Ray has made mention of his service in Vietnam in comments, and reading some of his insights for those of us "post-Nam" have been humbling, to say the least. So when Papa Ray thought we all ought to read Tribes, well, that's what I did. (I wonder if he has that effect on his Grandbabies?)

Here is how Bill begins his manifesto:
I’m generally an optimist, and it’s been my pleasure to be able to write mostly about the good and the noble things in our lives. But the events in the Gulf – of Mexico – have brought to a head a summer and a year that has been getting progressively uglier and more painful to watch.

Who can not see the way the country has changed, not since 9/11, but before that – since the 2000 election? Who cannot feel the split, the division, that rips like a shredding sail on a broken mast, canvas tearing like the sound of musketry, as the rigging falls to the deck?

This breaks my heart. It just breaks my heart into little pieces. I have said less and less as I see more and more, because deep in my core I still don’t want to believe that some Americans could willfully and consistently do such destructive things out of such petty and base motivations, things which in time will make the horrors of New Orleans look like a flea circus in a small tent, with the much larger carnival raging unseen in the background.

I’ve taken sides in these essays, obviously – that’s what I do. But I have never, until now, felt the need to take the gloves off and really let fly. I always feared I would regret it, later. I still do. Only now, I fear I will regret it worse if I do not.

So now we must look at Tribes.
I don't have time tonight to comment more thoughtfully -- I am up way too late, watching Nicole Kidman in Dogville (that's a post in itself) -- but I want to make the observation, that if Bill Whittle has been holding back from "letting it fly," please, please someone keep him in a state of righteous indignation for a week or so straight, so he can fire off a dozen more of these!

More later. (On both Tribes, and Dogville. I am beginning to suspect there may be some relation between them...)

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