I've just learned that 52% of my Facebook friends are Democrats and 48% are Republicans, so I went to read some of their blather. One told me that there is an alarm clock that will wake you up to the smell of bacon. Another of these alarm clocks will wake you up with the voice of Jeeves. This led me to the discovery that the actor Stephen Fry is on Twitter. Fry tells me that there's a website called Freerice.com.
At Freerice.com, you can answer vocabulary questions, SAT style, and for each correct answer, you donate 10 grains of rice to a starving child. So I found it a little ironic that the first question and answer pair were pretext = guise and the second one transitory = fleeting.
There is no way, no way I say, that answering vocabulary questions via mouse clicks in my 11th floor hotel suite in San Jose feeds children with flies on their faces somewhere half a globe away. Unless somebody with a strange sense of humor has decided that it should. That person or persons are the hucksters behind Freerice. I say hucksters because, all conspiracy theories aside, this is how it comes to be that a great deal of injustice is done to the laws of physics and the principle of cause and effect. We get people to believe that certain things are correlated, like Madoff and security, like Tehran and transparency. Hey, anything's is possible for the credulous.
Physicists tell us that there is a such thing as remote entanglement, a phenomenon in which two atomic particles react to one another as if they are in immediate proximity no matter how far they actually are from each other. As far as I'm concerned it's a bogus claim. When you entangle my cell phone connections to the dark side of the Moon, I'll believe it. Until then it's just something somebody wants me to think about. It's brain candy. It makes me feel smart 'knowing' it just like the ability to count Mafia Wars energy points, dancing pinhead angels, Whuffie, carbon credits and other mythical currencies.
I understand now. Finally, once and for all, what the purpose of war is. The purpose of war is to destroy myths. The purpose of war is to restore human faith in cause and effect. The purpose of war is remind humankind of its limits. And now I understand how that can be a good thing.
I've never believed in the term 'senseless violence'. The only truly senseless violence is that generated by things without senses like volcanoes & tornadoes. People get violent because they sense a reason, even if that reason is only a belief, as in "I believe you need an ass-whooping today". That is purposeful action, Hurricane Katrina was not. People may decide not to grant any sensible purpose to an ass-whooping but they'd be wrong. Just as surely as they are wrong to suggest that any weather event constitutes a moral test for a political leader, unless somebody with a strange sense of humor has decided it should.