Friday, March 28, 2008

Where Matters Stand (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer on the current state of American politics:

I am often reminded of the time H.L. Mencken was interviewed by a young newspaper reporter. The question was asked: "why, if you find so much that is unworthy of reverence in the United States, do you continue to live here?" Mencken responded: "why do people visit zoos?" I share Mencken’s sentiment, even though I regard it as something of a slur upon the rest of the animal world. Should I ever witness California brown bears organizing an invasion of Europe for the purpose of destroying their Russian cousins, I might be inclined to treat the collective madness of the human species as characteristic of all living beings. But there is little evidence of other species devoting their energies to the annihilation of their own kind. Perhaps we are the best evidence for Arthur Koestler’s view that mankind was an evolutionary mistake: providing a killer ape with great intelligence may not have been the wisest of experiments.

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