Wednesday, November 10, 2004

William S. Burroughs tells the story of a couple of tribes in the Amazon that were always fightin, carrying on, kidnapping each others' women, and so forth. The authorities in Sao Paolo or wherever were concerned and sent some anthropologists in there to study the situation and see what could be done about it. They came back with this opinion: the tribes should be left alone to their ways, because, "they have nothing better to do."

Pictures of fighting today in Fallujah reminded me of this poignant story; it's an addition to the long list of humanity's great triumphs.

I'm sure everyone fighting is convinced of the rectitude and glory of the mission, and many others are watching from the sidelines with great horror, joy, or somehow most applicable to all of us, fascination. We are fascinated with the horror - it's just the way we're built. The galactic anthropologists, looking down from their UFO, sigh and take notes.

We could so easily make the world work for everyone. But we keep on fighting.


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