Sunday, August 19, 2007

Occasionally, something intelligent appears...

...even in the New York Times. There are couple of brief goodies in today's Book Review. One is *this letter from Howard Zinn, shedding a little righteous light on the idiotic assumptions we make about the morality of war. (You'll find a link in his letter to the review in question.)

And then there's Dan Chiasson's clear-eyed review of Poems From Guatánamo: The Detainees Speak, which is a great example of a critic usefully looking past the book. Referring to the heavy censorship of the poems for "security" considerations, Chiasson writes:

"Given these constraints, a better subtitle might have been “The Detainees Do Not Speak” or perhaps “The Detainees Are Not Allowed to Speak.” But the best subtitle, I fear, would have been “The Pentagon Speaks.” To be sure, it’s hard to imagine a straightforward propagandistic use for the lines “America sucks, America chills, / While d’ blood of d’ Muslims is forever getting spilled”; but you can’t help suspecting that this entire production is some kind of public relations psych-out, “proof” that dissent thrives even in the cells of Guantánamo. (Does that sound paranoid? Can you think of another good reason the Pentagon would have selected these lines out of thousands for publication?)"

You can read the full review (it's worth it) by clicking here.

*You have to register to look at the NYT online, but it's free, and worth the nuisance just to keep an eye on the mindfuckers.


Anonymous said...

I see today that the American Psychological Association, that bastion of caring and empathy, voted to allow its members ethically to participate in Guantanamo "interrogations" as long as they do not involve "water-boarding" (simulated drowning) or "mock executions." Somebody needs to have his head examined.

BitterGrace said...

Yeah, it's getting harder all the time to tell the mindfuckers from the mindfuckees.