Sep 9, 2005

hail to the chief

i am alas, a tad busy today with that potent combination of cricket and literary research, but those wandering aimlessly in search of enlightenment should head towards rhetorically speaking, where resident liberal-in-chief bookdrunk, has his heckles up in the most eloquent of manners.

first on the subject of the alarmist "baby with two mothers" headlines that have been flying around and the ludicrously apocalyptical reaction of everyone's favourite foaming-at-the-mouth reactionaries LIFE ( "When Christians show up, babies are saved.")

Sometimes it's good to try and understand something before you declare an attempt to end disease as 'abhorrent and contrary to public opinion'. It's hard for something to be contrary to public opinion when we've only just heard about it; I'm also not sure I can trust the condemnation of people who havn't apparently paid any attention to what this research actually does. Idiots.
and secondly, he gives a nice update on the hunger strike/desperate plea for civil rights at guantanamo bay/the land that justice forgot.

The military authorities have not commented on the allegations of further abusive behaviour, pausing only to argue that 'only 76 prisoners at the base were refusing food'. So only 76 people feel that they have to threaten to starve themselves to death for basic human rights. That's alright then.

so in essence this post can be summed up as "yeah... what he said."

and he has a full time job.

what a trooper.

3 comments:

Devil's Kitchen said...

Andy,

Who, exactly, grants these"human rights"? Do you believe in a god? If not, then human rights are simply a construct of humans, and can be denied by them.

In any case, do you think that these people's human rights are being violated as much as in, say, Iran, where they recently hanged two 18 year old boys for being gay?

I would suggest that, badly though the US may be behaving (in our eyes), there are other places at which you should be directing your vitirol.

Furthermore, whilst I also enjoy bookdrunk, I would recommend that you find your own voice, something that you really care about. If you hate Bush, fine; however, use your own research to fisk him. You are an articulate and imaginative guy; use these skills to find your own identity, rather than being in thrall to someone else's.

Always a joy...

DK

Andrew Field said...

dk,

to your final point, i will (as i did in post) hold my hands up and say "shame on me for my laziness. twill not happen again."

however.

on the subject of human rights, being a student of literature i am hopelessly aware of the subjectivity of rights. i struggle with the conflict between theoretical subjectivity and pragmatic objectives on an almost daily basis (the most simple case being as you demonstrated - if i claim no culture/system of beliefs as objectively correct then on what foundation do i attempt to erect a system of human rights that isn't entirely mobile?).

i would say that in my opinion the glue that binds the pragmatic and the objective to the theoretical and the subjective is discourse. good, open discourse (vigorous public debate, the parliamentary system (as decrepit as it is now) and free speech etc.) it is in mu opinion through this process that a livable median can be constantly struggled over.

hence, although my anger is of course raised by regimes such as we see in iran and uzbekistan, these are nations that already find themselves firmly outside of what is considered acceptable human rights. what must be fought for are the gray areas. the hypocrisy, the hidden and the facile justifications of a country that is of such power that its key role in constructing and transforming the general conception of what constitutes acceptable behaviour is indesputable.

this is not to belittle problems elsewhere or to over-inflate the severity of the problem in america. i merely feel that the significance of america as a world power translates into a heightened significance in the construction of any constructed human rights.

plus of course, uzbekistan and to some degree, iran, are (by any economic or military standards) small countries who already recieve vocal criticism from government level sources. america has no comparable opposition or superior. hence to a certain degree it is the responsibility of those within (specifically) america and (more generally) the west see that their (abuses of) power does not go unchecked.

see you in cloisters my friend.

bookdrunk said...

Yes, resist my thrall. Resist! Resist!

*ahem* Either one of you want to go for a drink later?