- War, Peace, and Absurdity
- Adventures in an American World of Frustration
- Related: Why the US Can’t Break Its Addiction to War
Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch
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September 22, 2016 | Recently, sorting through a pile of old children’s books, I came across a volume, That Makes Me Mad!, which brought back memories. Written by Steve Kroll, a long-dead friend, it focused on the eternally frustrating everyday adventures of Nina, a little girl whose life regularly meets commonplace roadblocks, at which point she always says... well, you can guess from the title! Vivid parental memories of another age instantly flooded back -- of my daughter (now reading such books to her own son) sitting beside me at age five and hitting that repeated line with such mind-blowing, ear-crushing gusto that you knew it spoke to the everyday frustrations of her life, to what made her mad.
Three decades later, in an almost unimaginably different America, on picking up that book I suddenly realized that, whenever I follow the news online, on TV, or -- and forgive me for this but I’m 72 and still trapped in another era -- on paper, I have a similarly Nina-esque urge. Only the line I’ve come up with for it is (with a tip of the hat to Steve Kroll) “You must be kidding!”
Tom Engelhardt created and runs the Tomdispatch.com website, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author of a highly praised history of American triumphalism in the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Each spring he is a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Joe Scarry | It's A Lock: Why the US Can’t Break Its Addiction to War, Joe Scarry, Scarry Thoughts / Rise Up Times
[Franklin] Spinney talked about the systemic nature of the problem — military spending that penetrates every single Congressional district. In effect, we’re stuck. To break the hold of war on the US, we need to break the hold of military spending on every Congressional district.
Let’s admit it: we’ve got a problem.
Related: Tom Engelhardt | A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington's 15-Year Air War