"As you say,
David, more or less helpless scapegoats are a desideratum in the absence of
the Enemy, though one must remember that Darth Vader *has reared his ugly
head again in the West in the form of fundamentalist terrorists (who are not
harmless, as the Soviet Union wasn't, but who do, like the latter, also
perform the function of re-channelling all kinds of aggressions to
contribute to (inter-)national "unity"), in the Muslim world there's the
same tendency (applying there to the USA). One wants to ask "Where will it
all end?" ~ of course, it won't. The prospects of a genuine reconciliation
are minute, as René Girard suggests at the end of _Violence and the Sacred_,
in the new crisis of sacrificial violence we are suffering in East & West.
My strongest feeling at present is that I want to return to the Ardèche &
bury my head, over the hills and faraway. Ah well...
True, too true, Martin, though I'm very wary of a mis-reading of the whole
of human history by way of the Sept 11th as some perspectives would almost
push us. It is with us now, but, like all things, it will fade too: the
generation who fought in the trenches of WWWI are all but gone now and the
terrible trauma that mass and State-directed slaughter bequeathed is fast
becoming 'History', a subject for the occasional tv film perhaps, an echo on
Armistice Day, a gradual declining population of once a year plastic and
But the need for the Enemy abides, otherwise the Corporate States, the USA's
Unlimited and the UK plc's, themselves become the focus of question.
Extremist Islam is a convenient target, in that it is apparently monolithic
and Other, but of course that is an illusion, and not sustainable, so my
fear is that the Enemy is going to become everywhere, and nowhere, and
identifiable only by being Not Like Us.
Which direction, if the Beast so chooses, if a Machine can be said to
choose, is one that will entail a disfigurement of language so great that
even the fugitive survival of poetry would be in doubt.
A Chide's Alphabet
Painting Without Numbers
----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin J. Walker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: Ah well