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War of the Worlds

Rod Amis - Unbound

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The World's Magazine: generator21.net

Event # 283: War of the Worlds

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LAST WEEK's EDITION

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Our 'Palladin' logo. NEW ORLEANS, 24 SEPTEMBER, 2001 - This town is hurting right now. It's the fallout from the terrorist attack. People aren't taking planes like they used to, and that's death for a town where one out of six people work in the hospitality industry. The hotels are practically empty, as our the bars and restaurants. Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme's place closed early on Wednesday night because their hadn't been enough clientele to cover his overhead. Normally, people are lined up waiting for a seat. Everyone I know who works in the service industry down here was whining this week about possibly not being able to pay their rent next month. So the vulture side of New Orleans is coming out very quickly.

I tried to cover that in this week's RDR, if you are inclined to take a gander.

It's already coming out that I'm an anomaly down here. I do exactly what I say I shall, and I show up to appointments early. New Orleanians aren't used to that type of anal behavior. They can see I don't fit in. I'm trying to adjust to their lifestyle, but I'm not sure I can adjust my own. So I'm considered "eccentric" yet again...

The First Woman asked me for my phone number last week, but then she didn't call me. I can't figure that out. You know, Loyal Reader, hearing her voice is something I live and dream for/about. But I have not pushed, I don't think. I know she has gone on to the rest of her own journey and it's impractical to expect her to respond to my own. Still.

Last's year's ruminations should have revealed to you that I am the eternal torch-carrier. I am like a pit-bull in that sense; if I find something wonderful I just can't let go.

I need to, though.

What Is This Week's Theme About?

It's like this: even as we prepare to go to our "War on Terrorism" here in America, many of us in this country have accepted -- at the very least since Patrick Buchanan's speech at the 1990 Republican Party Convention, that there is a "cultural war" being fought here in America. It's the old Left versus Right war, of course, with tinges of (Christian) religious fundamentalism tossed into the boiling stew of our lives. Though, I guess I shouldn't discount Joe Liebermann's highly public "moral" crusade. He may run for President, after all.

My point is that now the "cultural war" is being waged on the world stage, since we couldn't resolve it within our own borders.

It's not a stretch to make the intellectual argument that, as we move toward shaping the world in our own American image, we have cut to the chase and decided that it's another grand Crusade: Christian (Western) ideology against Muslim (Eastern) ideology. And like the Crusades of the last mercantile era, you're a heretic if you think that Secular Humanism might be a better way for all concerned.

Neither the Western nor Eastern fanatics would buy that. So you'd better quiet down and squirrel away a few nuts for the hard times ahead.

But Homey don't play that.

I guess I feel it's part of my duty as Editor and Publisher of this World's Magazine to be slightly contrarian, both politically and philosophically. The corporate-controlled media won't and can't be expected to do that.

The last thing any of them would want to be branded is "Socialist," since most of them don't understand what socialism even represents. Besides, they have to pander to the corporate advertisers who pay their bills and the conservative think-thank flaks who provide them with "insider" information at cocktail parties inside the Washington, D.C. ,Beltway. I'd love to have their expense accounts, IF I didn't have to sell my soul and objectivity in the process.

And now we are making this War of the Worlds, East/West, First World/Third World, a litmus test of both patriotism and freedom. Bollocks!

An animated butterfly image. The inference can be taken from what many of you have posted to our VOX POPULI page that Americans have not, while becoming a service society over the last thirty years, become as squishy as the marshmellow center of a hunk of S'mores -- that we are pumping ourselves up to rise to the challenge a devastated nation did sixty years ago. But there is something hollow at the center of that argument. Are we trying to convince the rest of the world, or ourselves?

While Mr. Bush's speech was a moment of (ephemeral) epiphany, in that he overcame his mush-mouthed curse long enough to deliver the best presentation of his political career, can America, as a softened, consumerist and selfish nation "stay the course" when the body-bags start to be shipped back home? Or will political expediency and the life of luxury enjoyed more than at any time since the Roman Empire, and its attendant excesses, quickly call a halt to the notion of "resolve" and the hysteria cry of vengence?

Perhaps these are questions best faced in the dark night of our souls...

One thing is certain: After all the flag-buying and -waving, after all the wall-to-wall media saturation, it will be impossible to turn back from the course on which we must now embark. Is it a course to suffering and devastation, or towards an new engagement with the world we have tried -- especially under this Adminstration -- to ignore?

You can tell me a year from now.

THINGS I CARE ABOUT THIS WEEK

1. The prospect of being paid to do what I love.

2. Rejoining the commerce of women.

3. Getting my publishing schedule back on track.
Thanks for coming back this week.

"Work like you don't need the money,
"Love like you've never been hurt,
"Dance like no one is watching..."
Rod


This is another Web site made on a Macintosh.

Apple Computer's Think Different logo.

ROD AMIS has published this magazine since 1990. It first appeared as a hardcopy 'Zine. In March, 1996, he launched it here on the Web. Rod was a Contributing Editor at Suite101.com, where he wrote the " 'Net Publishing" feature. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, NRV8, and at WebLab's Reality Check site. Rod was also a contributing writer on technology for Faulkner Information Services. He wrote Web issues for MethodFive.com's Hyper newsletter.

Rod was a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he wrote over two hundred articles on web design and development issues. He was also principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviewed technology issues weekly, producing 383 editorials. He became the Managing Editor for Electronic Mail/Newsletter Publications at Andover.net at the end of February, 2000, and left in September of the same year. He was a contributing writer for ACCESS magazine, which appears both on- and offline for 10 million readers in 100 newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Boston Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Denver Post and Orlando Sentinel, among others. Rod was the US reporter for Silicon.com, a division of Network Multimedia Television in London, UK, reaching 3.5 million European readers, until May, 2001.

Rod lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, right now. The new home of the magazine. But he plans to return to Serbia next year.

He continues to be committed to integrity, chastity and a dose of humility.


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