Michael Benson on Thu, 15 Jun 2000 22:31:38 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> re: "The wicked" and WW-3

Weber & Weber ask, rhetorically:

>Are we just blowing smoke--or is it mushroom clouds? 

But it seems more like attempted comedy (or maybe that's just the 
only way these weird fantasies can reasonably be processed). If 
Dragan Nikolic is a "poor soul" -- I mean, that one deserves a 
whistle of appreciation! -- I suppose Ratko Mladic isn't an angel of 
death, but just an angel (admittedly, one with certain carnivorous 
tastes), and Radovan Karadzic is a kind of misunderstood clown -- 
Chaplinesque but with vaguely sadistic overtones (and never mind that 
he was responsible for raining high explosives down on Sarajevo for 
four years). As for Slobodan Milosevic, the poor guy, look how 
misunderstood _he's_ become. 

Then they rave on about how Russia "willingly" dissolved the Warsaw 
Pact -- this after Velvet and other revolutions had simply erased 
that sad alliance of slave states from history (further, the Warsaw 
Pact was a creation of the Soviet Union, Russia was one component 
part of that multinational empire, the rise to sovereignty of Russia 
under Yeltsin spelled the definitive demise of the Soviet Union, and 
anyway there was never any "understanding" with either the USSR or 
Russia that NATO would be dissolved -- either ratified-explicit or 
behind the scenes-implicit).

Tom Keenan correctly points out that the Weber's bizarre "wicked 
hem in the righteous" mail is particularly offensive -- though 
again, another approach one could take is that it's a failed attempt 
at (gallows?) humor. We're told that "The Russians have protested, 
the Chinese government has demanded another investigation, and 
Yugoslav Minister of Information Goran Matic has asked the U.N. 
Security Council to disband its 'illegal, illegitimate and biased' 
war crimes tribunal and sack Carla Del Ponte without delay." Well, 
last time I checked, Russia had brought Chechnya to its knees 
(reducing Grozny to rubble and conducting massacres of civilians in 
the process) and, just two days ago, arrested the head of the only 
independent TV station left in the country. The Chinese government, 
which annexed Tibet and has almost totally destroyed Tibetan culture 
(not to mention massacring its own people in the notorious Tiennanmen 
bloodbath), also has every reason to protest international human 
rights tribunals and other inconvenient potential incursions into its 
sovereign right to do whatever it likes to one fifth of the world's 

As for citing such figures as Goran Matic, this is where the Weber's 
sense of humor truly comes into its own.

Strangely, Weber & Weber seem simultaneously to position themselves 
in such a way that Eichmann-in-Jerusalem and Pinochet-in-London 
(the latter, alas, for such a short time!) serve as fitting examples 
of what the wicked ultimately can expect (in their case, of course, 
the wicked being Arbour, Del Ponte, and their "lynch mob" -- not 
Serbia's poor, misunderstood, victimized war criminals!). Here their 
inspired froth really makes the kind of cork-screw turns difficult 
for even hard-core aficionados of fractured logic to follow. 

But what the hey, Tom, we might as well read it on nettime -- it's 
not as if this kind of stuff can be taken very seriously anyway. What 
was it that Orwell wrote, about the left's lunatic fringe being its 
own worst advertisement? But probably I'm doing the Webers, and the 
left, a disservice. In aligning themselves with such noted
humanists as Li Peng, Vladimir Putin, and Goran Matic, they've 
probably -- well, left -- even the looniest leftists far behind.

Michael Benson

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net