Apr 07

First We Take Manhattan

What can I say? I’m a sucker for Technopop.

Dear Brian Williams: Leave the rhapsodies to Cohen
By Christine Emba, Washington Post
April 7, 2017

Brian Williams is a student of the arts.

We were reminded of this Thursday night as he waxed rhapsodic over the sight of 50 cruise missiles streaking towards Syria, an offensive authorized by President Trump in retaliation for the chemical attack that killed at least 70 civilians this week.

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams said on his MSNBC show, “11th Hour,” over Pentagon-provided footage of Tomahawk missiles launching from Navy destroyers. “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapon.’ They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them a brief flight over to this airfield.”

He then went on to ask his guest, “What did they hit?”

But more offputting than Williams’s complete misreading of a well-understood song is the starry-eyed boosterism hiding behind it. This is the sort of mindless championship that is dazzled by displays of power and dismissive of their consequences, that is delighted to see that Something Is Being Done without asking whether it’s being done well or justly, and that reflexively embraces militarism as a sign of strength. It’s not policy analysis or practical consideration, in which one might justifiably debate whether this latest airstrike was the right choice. Rather, it’s a celebration of action for action’s sake — something we should have grown out of over the past year, all things considered.

Presumably those “beautiful” Tomahawk missiles hit real airfields, manned by real people, in a real country where, for better or for worse, our own violent involvement will only deepen. Those fearsome armaments aren’t just fireworks, after all, and our military operations in Syria aren’t just entertainment to be judged on aesthetics alone. With that being the case, the media response should not be one of self-congratulation and awestruck prattle but of actual reporting: of the outcomes of action, reflection on the decisions that led us here and a sober discussion of what to do next.

It’s possible that I’m asking too much from a system primed to celebrate excitement of any kind. Maybe I should lighten up and learn to love the smell of napalm in the morning. That’s the quote, right?

There is nothing I hate more than these mindless mendacious morons (to call them mediocrities is to define the Bell Curve down) mouth their teleprompter platitudes and mentally masturbate to war porn. You are disgusting deviants who should be shut up and quarantined in Spandau before you infect others.

Yeah, I’m looking right at you- liar.

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I’d really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don’t have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I don’t like your fashion business mister
And I don’t like these drugs that keep you thin
I don’t like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I’d really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those

And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I practiced every night, now I’m ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

I am guided by a signal in the heavens
I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

Ah remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me, I brought your groceries in
Well it’s Father’s Day and everybody’s wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

It smells like… victory.

1 comment

  1. Vent Hole

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