Volume , Number 0
There are no articles.Commentary
There are no articles.Culture
There are no articles.Features
There are no articles.
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Stop the Insanity!
dont care about typos, only content, and that this reflects badly on the whole left, no less. Be serious folks. Does Z look like it was created by bumbling folks who have no aesthetic or "professional pride?" We profread it up the kazoo. Do we need to repeat that? We prufread it up the kazoo. Up the kazoo.
To catch every error would take another couple of full time employees since we wouldnt "hire" an exploited, oppressed person to spend their life prooffreading, or proofreating and answering phones and sweeping, which is how other periodicals address the problem. Any new Z staff would need to be full participants in all levels of the operation, etc., in accord with our values which we have stated elsewhere. We cant afford more prufing, financially or structurally, while maintaining our standards of organizational equity and justice. More, as socially responsible "consumers," we feel that readers should prefer a typo or five or even ten, to a periodical with a hierarchy of pay and job allocation designed to employ lots of proofreaders for little cost and a few publisher/editor types who wouldnt know a days work if it bit them. Does the editor of Time proof it? Or do anything, for that matter, that isnt at the pinnacle of publishing power? Well, that isnt our model. With Z you get the knowledge that all the staff have comparable work conditions and that all are empowered and paid equally. The political confidence this should give you regarding the stability of Zs editorial direction should make a few extra typos bearable. We are, of course, sorry about those typos. We bet they bother us much more than they bother you, but reading the magazine ten times over is enough even for Zs empowered staff. So view the whole picture and kick up the morale, okay?
Would that our corporate printers mixed up Z pages were the only sign things are going to hell in a hand basket. But no, on top of that, the country is berserk about Clintons sex life. One wonders, assuming one is interested at all, if Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are cool with Bill, and if Bill isnt using his position to compel sexual favors, which no one has claimed, what exactly is this about?
It reminds us of the Al Capone prosecution. You remember: the Feds got Capone on income tax evasion because they couldnt prove murder and mayhem, even though everyone knew it to be the case. In Washington, as usual, we have a person (and a government) who is guilty of worse crimes than Capone, yet he is hounded for alleged crimes that are doubtfully criminal, much less immoral.
So lets turn to something that actually matters. The insanity of the U.S. being hell bent on bombing Iraq, again. Half our countrys commentators accept the inane claim that we are doing it due to Husseins alleged "weapons of mass destruction." The other half wonders if Clinton is wagging the dog to cover his "sexual" indiscretions. No one, of course, questions the right of our news media and policy makers to discuss, in public, when to off a head of state and interfere in the sovereign rights of a country, willy nilly.
Well, sorry, we dont buy any of it. U.S. foreign policy is not undertaken to serve the interests of single individuals, even presidents, nor because of the military might of a military mouse.
Last time down this path the stated reasons for the Gulf War were the threat of Iraqs amazing military machine, which proved to be obvious nonsense the minute the U.S. and Iraq squared off. (The irrefutable evidence that we had helped arm Iraq and that Hussein was our buddy until he got uppity helped make the case.) Far from a difficult "war" between military masters, it was, as noted at the time by U.S. pilots, a "turkey shoot," in other words, a massacre. So what was the motive? Well, at the time the U.S. was demonstrating to the world that our will was law and that disobedience would not be countenanced. We were also reinvigorating the military industrial complex in the face of modest attacks on it in the post-Cold War conversion era.
So why cant this be the explanation this time, too? Well, for one thing, if we bomb this time, it wont achieve much of anything military or social, just corpses. As to the military industrial complex, it is already doing fine thank you, and this crazy undertaking threatens to awaken opposition to it, possibly helping to explain why all manner of military figures are urging that we back off.
So what the hell is going on? Arguably, a component of it is undermining the UN as an arbiter in U.S. policy. But thats an iffy explanation. So it appears that the threat of bombing is the outcome of a subtle slippery slope dynamic, although we hate to say it. The U.S. has been asserting itself for nearly a decade as responsible for enforcing world affairs as we decide they ought to be. Going down this path we have flexed rhetoric and money and muscle in a trajectory that now has an internal logic and infrastructure of its own. It is hard to put breaks on the infrastructure, even when the logic turns sour. If we bomb Iraq and kill tens or even hundreds of thousands of incidental targets, it will be for no other reason than to show that we carry through with our threats. Bombing to make U.S. war rhetoric real serves no constructive end for any constituency, even elite politicos and capitalists, who will, however, unlike moral human beings, not mind the carnage. The only proper response from moral humans, of course, is resistance by any effective means people can sensibly muster.
Finally, what about our current economic insanity? Financial collapse in Korea, Indonesia, and perhaps, down the road, in the U.S. These economic collapses are big time phenomena. What is causing them? Some might argue that these are inevitable outcomes of our social and economic institutions. A different read on the events, however, in these "insane" times, is that while the current economic events are the possible (even actual) outcomes of our basic institution, they are not inevitable. Rather, this time, greed has gone berserk and the results, which could have been avoided, arent even going to benefit the greedy.