Monday, July 28, 2008

John Perkins Interview

John Perkins is the author of the best sellers Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Secret History of the American Empire. The books have made a big splash, and I really wanted to like them, but I found Perkins's tone to be self-aggrandizing, and he really only got out of the biz when the checks stopped coming in. I really think he over eggs the pudding, much as Simon Winchester did in The Professor and the Madman.

In person, he was a very pleasant fellow. I was a bit combative, and for this I must apologize. I get a bit defensive when I run into what I presume to be knee-jerk anti-Americanism. Absolving Arab and Muslim empires for their bloody expansions in the past just gets under my skin. The "West" isn't the only expansionistic and imperialistic culture around. It isn't the first and it won't be the last. Our world has been a long history of peoples invading peoples, and to hold the West up to specific and, I believe, disingenuous scrutiny shows a lack of awareness of world history at best and willful cultural mendacity at its worst.

Enjoy, if I haven't scared you off.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

MicroFiction - 4L3X4ND3R

He said, "Where is the romance in sustainability? It is the drive that makes us human. Burn through every resource, burn every field and bridge. Forward ever forward. Advance or perish. Death and oblivion are at your back. Innovate. Expand. If the universe has taught us anything, it is expansion. When expansion ends, contraction begins. Yes, indulge yourself in petty romances of bucolic splendours of times past, lost in nostalgic reveries. However, I, for one, intend to be the alien overlord who is welcomed."

I said, "Bold words from a six year old."