Taciturn and awkward, sure. There's usually something about Japanese studies kids that doesn't fit in with mainstream America. I'm one example, I guess, so it's not necessarily a bad thing (or is it?).
Anyway, I haven't read Jimmy Carter's book on Blair and Bush, but I did buy his book "Peace Not Apartheid" for my mother for X-mas last year, and read parts of it, which were quite good.
And although the large majority of the (neo-)Republican party is certainly morally bankrupt, the (neo-conservative) Democrat party is no better (Obama is vigorously endorsing the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007--the first major step toward war with Iran-- and the neo-cons are now lining up behind him). And, though he's behaved commendably since his retirement, Carter is at least partially to blame for the predicament we're now in (I think it was he who began the military build-up in the gulf in the late 70s; before that, we really didn't have a significant presence.)
So when you look to American history to see what strains oppose the sort of reckless behavior now going, it's found in two places: the Marx-influenced, anti-imperial Left, and the non-interventionist, paleoconservative Right. And it seems that these two strains are beginning to merge into a coaltion against the two major parties, both of which seem to have been hijacked by the neo-conservative movement.
OK, that's enough politics for the day. Don't worry, I'm not getting too involved. I'm still reading lots of Japanese literature. Yesterday and today: the major plays of Chikamatsu.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
This just in from Grady Glenn: