Top critical review
Reflective of the Times
on July 6, 2004
O'Rourke breaks down a Nobel laureate set of assertions by advocating the post-Reagan pan-national wisdom: 'tis better to feel good than to actually DO good...Morning in America is no-risk, baby!
Seriously, o'Rourke is basically asserting that death, the avoidance of it, the fear of it, the threat of it, must, in teh post 9/11 world, be central to our lives.
Problem is twofold. One, there are ALOT of people who think thatdeath is nowhere NEAR the worst thing that can happen to ya. Who think that there are ALOT ofthings actually worse than death, and who have actualized themselves tothe point that they cen clearly articulate those things, people and ideas for which they would be willing to die. That sensibility has been edged out by citizenship defined as the right to Road Rage on the way to getting home in time for a microwave meal and FRIENDS (or JOEY, sorry).
Two, what kind of world, and way of being in the world, springs from the social primacy of fear and the political primacy of death, when all of that is combined with the illusory expression of the American Dream through Reagan's long lens?
Well, it produces a world that encourages interlocking elites like O'Rourle to advocate the sending of the masses upon whose back they stand to give up their life in service of both the fear and the illusory sense of "American citizen" as equal to "I have the right to feel good!!!!"
The only counter to O'Rourke foolishness is intimate awareness, and moment-to-moment education, towards the end of promoting a society interested in pledging not to a flag, but to the Constitution, a society that wouldn't know the names of all the FRIENDS' characters, b/c their mind is filled with the names and votes and positions of their representatives, local to global.
In other words, Peace doesn't kill; a fundamental failure to understand what citizenship MUST mean in a democracy (or even in what we have in the States, a represenatative republic, and not a democracy) kills not only you abut everyone else. And when radical statists like the Bsuh cabal can enact nuclear petulance in the sandbox of the world, citizenship, fearless, knoweldgable and empowered, in the only countervailing force, the only other superpower.
O'Rourke's book is Kryptonite to that notion, and crippled in its ability to move anybody forward to do anyting other than fear fear itself and fear death, and beg for Hobbes' Leviathan.