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another WAR 2003 Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 18th April 2003
  #751
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Brian, it's such a hot issue that Hans Blick commented that weapons inspectors had better be in there ASAP to be along side the US army 'discovering stuff', or the credibility of the US will be severely tarnished Undeniably there is a climate of global mistrust of the US.
Even that depends on perspective, and you immediately allow that Hans Blix has better motives and no agenda of his own. Why? How do you know this, or is it just natural to assume he's pure of motive because you agree with his position?

I see a different possibility. How stupid do you think Hans Blix will look if there is one or more large caches of weapons found that cause many people to say, "Wow, how did they miss that?" Or, "Wow, that's exactly what Colin Powell said they had at the UN meeting".

How willl the credibility of the UN inspection team be impacted if it turns out that Hussein really does have stockpiles, after Blix refuted the US contentions made by Colin Powell. I've acknowledged that Us credibility will be impacted if they find none. Can you acknowledge that if the US and UK were right all along, the UN takes a hit?

Pleeeeeeease don't say they just needed more time. Come on, guys. The UN inspectors were there for 7 years starting in '91, before Hussein kicked them out in '98, and they weren't sure what he had even then. The only reason they got back in in 2002 was because the US and UK threatened force. What a joke. Gee, that's about 4 years for Hussein to do as he wished, sans agreement. The US has had about 1 week to look so far and people are already impatient with them. Is that fair?

So I see a good deal of motivation for Hans and the UN inspectors to cover their own a** by being the ones to find the stuff, after the US and UK became fed up with the never ending saga. But of course, it is only the US that would have any agenda. Naturally. Hans and the UN are good and kind and it is only George and the US who are capable of ulterior motive.


Regards,
Brian T


P.S. The US has already publicly stated that any weapons found would be confirmed by third parties. And they have already debunked a number of "finds" reported in the news media by excitable reporters.
Old 18th April 2003
  #752
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Logan
I see nothing positive about any of this. Take care Logan
Exactly my point and far from a "red herring". You don't even see a bunch of smiling Iraqis able to actually say what they think out loud for the first time in their lives as being worth a single sentence, or even a single word, in a single post AFAIK, since there must be some sinister ending to that story in your way of thinking. You can't even acknowledge an astounding amount of newfound freedom for women and girls in Afghanistan even exists. Your quote was "no freedom no school no food and no safety." That is not accurate, and you know it. Dude, women are driving cars there for the first time in who knows how long. Yours is a negatively skewed outlook.

I'm not trying to be rude, but if you really "see nothing positive about any of this", that is your choice and it hardly seems a balanced one to me. I see good and bad here, and I choose to acknowledge both of them as I roll along. But no one said you had to do likewise, though I think it's a good idea.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 18th April 2003
  #753
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

anyone reading this stuff?

http://argument.independent.co.uk/lo...host=6&dir=140

just curious as to yalls opinions...
Old 18th April 2003
  #754
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith
anyone reading this stuff?

http://argument.independent.co.uk/lo...host=6&dir=140

just curious as to yalls opinions...
For BrianT this will only be "hard to connect".
Written by pessimists that have missed a slice from the cake.
Right?

See, I am not all that free of acknowledging.

And you can have more of awfully decent statements like that.
I am appreciating that your former agent in Iraq has been kicked away, and as I stated before I hope the new situation could help its neighbour Iran to get liberalized and as I stated as well appreciate that the bombers have partially used none explosives.

But neverttheless. The whole story remains a crime from its beginning whether that point of time to be seen as weeks or over 30 years ago and there is no excuse. No. Absolutely none.
Neither any humanistic American presidents, nor empathic soldiers, neither car driving muslims.

Do yourself a favour, go back in this thread and check out what you havn´t ignored. You will find that a bunch of people gave you all kind of different arguments, all of them worth pausing and checking your spiritual provisions and that nothing could make you really think.

You don´t really want to know, you want to keep Disneyland alive over whatever comes down the road. That is your goal.

If it wasn´t this way you would had made some progress through the last weeks. Inevitably.

And don´t you think I would want to provoke you leaving the discussion ( at least with the others ). I am actually interested to read what you list.
It hepls me to understand better how intellectual ignorance functions. I have always been wanting to understand how that works, seriously.
One day I would like to understand what e.g. a multi millionaire thinks when he sees starving people around. Like a former friend of mine. She came back from India and said "Sheesh, it´s disgusting there. They just leave the deads lying alongside the street. You have to step over them."

I really want to know the technique how you keep your man walking over the water.

Ruphus
Old 18th April 2003
  #755
Lives for gear
 

Ruphus,

You mean the part when I posted this:

"I actually began to go back through this whole thread, as a sort of evaluation of how I handled myself, along with you guys as well.

There are some compelling points made all around, a few poigniant moments, a bit of unversal wisdom here and there, and of course some pretty funny statements, looking back now with 20/20 hindsight."


Or the part where I posted this:

" To be fair, I'll have to admit that the Halliburton thing is looking pretty unsavory at this point. That's disappointing, and if it really turns out to be an inside deal, I expect it will get busted pretty hard by the Democrats around election time, which would be fine by me."

I would venture that during this thread, I've acknowledged a number of points of view that are different than mine as being valid.

Your turn.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 18th April 2003
  #756
"But of course, it is only the US that would have any agenda. Naturally. Hans and the UN are good and kind and it is only George and the US who are capable of ulterior motive."

Brian really, your statement about paints a picture of you backed in a corner holding a gun with paranoid eyes flashing. Is it really just the Bush administartion that walks the true path?

The US is on a global warning right now. What for? For being a rouge state with weapons of mass distruction! It needs to be brought to heel.

"So it is good and proper for me to acknowledge that Bush may have had poor or dishonest motives, or that the US government has made it's share of mistakes, etc, but for many of you it seems that to acknowledge any good that may come from any US action whatsoever would be an admission of some strange concept of defeat.

I do not understand that."

Brian, what dont you understand about the phrase - 'deep mistrust'?

You keep trying to put a scary situation in braids and a white party dress.
Old 18th April 2003
  #757
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Brian should work in PR.

He could become popular like Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (the Iraqui Defence Minister)and have his own web page.

Brian, I gotta hand it to you for actually staying here to bother arguing your case (which of course you're entitled to!)

This has stopped becoming a discussion though. It has gotten stuck.

This kind of 'stuck' is what is pushing Europe and the US apart, and has kept the west from the east. It's fundamentally different world views.

Please someone move this along it's getting boring (which is a shame 'cos it's been so good!)

I would move it along but I don't know how.
Old 18th April 2003
  #758
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
Ruphus,


I would venture that during this thread, I've acknowledged a number of points of view that are different than mine as being valid.

Your turn.


Regards,
Brian T
Brian,

the point is actually not so much about acknowledging, but more about regarding.

If you´d taken the given arguments into consideration you now would be more sceptical about what happened in Iraq and about the motives behind American politics in general and your posts would had very likely changed in so far that they were revealing you being aware that the information being spread in compliant media had to be taken conservatively.

For my part as it appears overly sceptical to you I want you to know that any item that could give me hope about the mightiest and most influential state to be willing to bring freedom, justice and fairness over menkind would be wellcome anxciously.

I would acknowledge and consider it with greatest desire, believe me. As I told you before it is a personal stress to be conscious in a world like the one we have, and while you are right about stealing joy of life I am no masochist by nature.

But unfortunately this will stay the most improbable case in the world as long as this state is an instrument of an economical system that just grounds on principle on injustice.

It is a sad fact that all information that I gather, and I give a fair measure about information, confirm this again and again and even rather worse the more I see.

And I do like good news. One of that kind for me e.g. is the impression that the American population despite of some cultur setback like in music - where a drawback from the great seventies to todays monotonous hollow rap and plastic stuff occured - on the general intellectual side is developing.

I believe that meanwhile there is a much more autonomous thinking part of population in the states then decades ago. I even do not believe in the numbers published about the part of population agreeing with the invasion in Iraq. And alone in the music forums like here and on others I think to witness more progressive minds than reactionary ones.

I bet if you had unmanipulated selections despite of all the medial disinformation there would be another crew sitting in the white house. Not much more better maybe for the time beig, but a bit yet.

And while I´m about regarding positive events, see what I had posted over in another forum lately:

Dear cineasts and more you, American friends,

a German film director has written a critique about an American colleague´s work and I found it so interesting that I thought to share with you, although there is some singing track listening waiting for its awful performer in the meantime. ( cats music :o )

You have certainly thought about the fact that willing doesn´t mean a thing in life when it lacks imagination. Even more that often exactly there where exceptional will is placed the opposite might be witnessed.
As these two components, will and imagination, in general complement each other in contrary, despite to the simple common idea of will which would guarantee success ( meaning in reality that it might need only a little bit of will to an approach, the more the goal is pictured in mind, while the biggest will would fail when there either is no or the wrong imagination ) I find very interesting what the commented movie might content.

Let me translate some passages into Pidginenglish.

"The man´s name is Barry, he lives in San Fernando Valley. During his meagre days he has no sense for time. It just passes by. Same with the nights. Lights on, lights off. Sometimes he calls somewhere and will be connected to female voices who ask him if he´d be laying on his bed naked.
His life doesn´t really happen, it just goes on.
...

Then several things happen like crime and love. But the film maker doesn´t really tell this story, he rather hinders it.
The film appears like a nervous tracker dog that would be seeking for moments outside the plot. Moments within which the person Barry Egan becomes visible from inside.

For example when Barry visits his family ( seven sisters with their people ) and experiences their rituals as a chain of stressing events. A group of laughing and smirking Californians who unspoiled carry their trained selfconfidence in front. The pressure with which each works on the fulfilment of his role leads to Barry getting out of hand when he wrecks a window before his family.

When Barry weeps he won´t know why. It just happens and in the same time as it seems like he´d be doing it on order.
One just as often in this film involuntary laughs about the crazyness of the situation, about the touching vehemence with which the director forces its seriousness.
...

The art / show of this movie is that it derives much further reaching conclusions from such microscopic social miniatures.

Barry is an American, thus lives in a steadfast that is trying to reproduce its own image and is leaving no room for individual marks.

This film plays like a tender, comical, harmless comedy, but has a dark, sad and raging heart. It tells from a country that forces uniform thinking and behaviour patterns on its citizens in a way that it chokes their emotional and analytical connection to themselves, so, that the pressure either brakes them or makes them giving up.

Unconventional thinking shall be ghettoisized ( right spelling?) and deceased in the long way. The motor for that is fear.

The film offers instead of a general society analysis the psychogram of an individual who like a fish wriggles in the net of the system and who finally succeeds to tear of a mesh by falling in love and being loved. Nothing works anymore except the love.

"Punch-Drunk Love" places his poor fool in the middle of a world that leaves no place for conspicuous brakes of rules. It is this much too conclusive world where one can have more than 500 TV stations in 50 states, where Bill Gates, Ted Turner and Geroge Bush organize the daily routine. Where "individualism" on the one hand is a term which spends national identity, but where in the same time it is more large-scaled to detect what distinguishes yourself from the other.

But America is at the same time populated by people who are plagued by a deep yearning after individuality. People who have an enormous interest to be not remoted, but to find self discovered ways of communication and to implement their ego into the home country instead of being eaten up by the habitat.

The director of this film, Paul Thomson Anderson just like Michael Moore, both Americans who love their country with heart and soul, they esteem its opportunities, they even celebrate consciously and unconsciouly its esthetical ductus. They represent the side of the continent which will not support the push into an uniformed compulsion democracy.
They remember us that the USA as hardly any other still brings up many of leading intellectuals, artists, philosophs and authors, that the subversive power is almost endless.

Who today speaks with New Yorkers or Californians about the national selfestimation, feels how much Andersons´s film has to tell about how people there today are torn apart and how much the tension in his shown hero is representative.
So, when there is a film this year with a contenting and artistic as well as visionary demand than it is "Punch-Drunk Love"

It is less a narration than it is a poem, or a dance, a melody, or an abstract painting that alters its surface within each second.

In his furious fusion of speech, movement, noise, music, colours and choreography as a subjective ecstasy, which once again demonstrates to the actual cinema, that there has not for a long time been tried out all that there could be and that it only depends on the creative liberty when a movie telling would reach its border.
...
This film will not disappoint anybody who would still be in search."


This about accepting in general what there is as positive.

Greets,

Ruphus
Old 18th April 2003
  #759
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
"Weapons of mass distruction" was uttered at every junture as Bush & Blair sold us this war. There cant be many around that didnt't become totally sick of hearing this phrase. So far NONE have been found and now, wouldnt you know it, "liberating" Iraq is the 'new original reason' for the war!

This is a TOTAL about face. We were lied to and fed constant bulsh!t to back this war denial of this fact is idiotic.

There was a left over Bush senior agenda for the war, Bush junior spun us a yarn to get it achived.
Watched "JFK" a few to many times have we?

The amount of coalition troops lost is unfortunate. They were professionals though that gave they're lives for the freedoms that we are blessed with. The amount is also less than half (so far) of the number of firefighters (alone) that we lost on 9/11.
As for WMD's.....chill a second. They'll find those. It's only been a week since they've been able to stop heavey fighting. That could take a few months...it will be necessary to debrief those that know.
Also...what about those 150 children that were in prison for not joining saddams "hitler youth".
Paint as you will...this thing has NOT gone down the way you (et,al) hoped it would have(thank God).

...oh in reference to an earlier post here (i believe) and other conspriacy-types...that report on us fireing on a russion diplomatic convoy was bogus. They took some small arms fire from....? and after pressing the issue with the russian's they've dropped it.

Also..as to France, Germany's & Russia's "sincere" opposition...well we're starting to see what thet're aggenda's were aren't we. Be thankful Jules that your current leader has more insight than a majority of his citizens. Neville Chamberlin would be proud of you guys...heh
Old 18th April 2003
  #760
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Logan
There was a better way and it would have come to pass with UN and world support
Are you kidding?
....click your heels three times and come back to reality....
The UN was NEVER GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS. France and Russia (Permanent Scecurity counsel members) were NOT going to allow change. They were doing too much buisness with saddam. And saddam wasn't leaving for any other reason.
Old 18th April 2003
  #761
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BevvyB
Brian should work in PR.

He could become popular like Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (the Iraqui Defence Minister)and have his own web page.

So I suppose this means I'm being equated with a pathological liar?

Thanks. That was nice of you. I'm sorry that merely disagreeing with you results in that assessment.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 18th April 2003
  #762
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littledog's Avatar
 

Ruphus:

You might want to be careful about drawing too many generalized conclusions about Americans from watching movies. Filmmakers have no less of an agenda than anyone else in society, to say nothing of artistic license.

I certainly wouldn't want anyone to judge the German people from watching "The Triumph of the Will".

Political "media manipulation" while not impossible, is certainly more difficult when with a flip of the radio or tv dial (or via internet) you can pretty much get your news from any country of your choosing. (In the past, of course, that wasn't true). Where I live, for instance, one of the largest public radio stations features the BBC news all day long.

The phenomenon that bothers me most (currently) in the USA is the rise of masses of right wing media demagogues who blur the line between news and entertainment, usually in a call-in/talk show format. They intentionally appeal to the lowest common denominators of hate and fear, racial prejudice, anti-intellectualism, and other forms of ignorance - as it results in good ratings.

Typical example (from a much longer diatribe) just last night as i was driving in my car: "Why the hell should any of us care if someone stole a lousy 7000 year old smelly sandal from a god-forsaken museum?"

As artists we are used to the sad reality that a large segment of the population disdains any art that is challenging. The same disdain is directed at most "pure research" in the sciences that can't be seen to have some immediate practical application (like more TV movie channels on their cable line). None the less, it does seem that the currents of anti-culture, anti-intellectualism, and xenophobia are running disturbingly strong these days, and that's alarming... to me, at least.
Old 18th April 2003
  #763
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

No. That was me being silly.

Hard to tell the jokes from the truth any more on this thread.

I don't think he's a pathological liar. Merely completely bonkers.

I would say don't take it personally but everything on this thread seems to have become personal.

Old 18th April 2003
  #764
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
[B
Brian, what dont you understand about the phrase - 'deep mistrust'?

You keep trying to put a scary situation in braids and a white party dress. [/B]
That's one perspective. From my perspective, like the Stones, many here just want to "Paint It Black", no matter what it is.

Look, Jules, I've said that the Halliburton thing is looking ugly now. I've said that they may not find WMD, and if they don't then they will have lied, and at that point myself and a lot of other people will be pissed and will remember that, come election time. I did say 1 week was a little hasty to decide that.

I've said that Bush's motives may turn out to have been bad and wrong. I've said if the US doesn't give Iraq real autonomy and leave it better than it found it, that will be a disgrace and prove the most pessimistic about the US as correct. But we can't know that for a year or two. I've said the same about Afghanistan.

Because I look at both sides and come to some different conclusions than you, I'm like a paranoid backed into a corner with a gun in my hand and flashing eyes? Or I'm now equated with the Iraqi Information Minister, the current laughingstock of the world? That seems uncool to me.

I've reversed myself on a few issues, like Halliburton, as things have unfolded. And I've acknowledged possibilities that disturb me.

What I don't see is people who have predicted nothing but gloom and doom acknowledging that things have not been as bad as they predicted thus far. What I don't see is some people who ridiculed the idea of Americans being welcomed by Iraqis willing to acknowledge that it happened. What I don't see is fairness.

I'm the one who's paranoid? Define paranoid.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 18th April 2003
  #765
Lives for gear
 

FWIW, I think THIS is very healthy. I know.....that optimism thing again. Sorry.

When is the last time these people were able to protest freely? That in itself is a victory for them. I think it's awesome. They must be freaking out that nobody is going to put them in prison or shoot them for doing it. I would protest too. They need to have their own government ASAP. I hope they can work out the huge differences between the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, though.

The way I see it, maybe wanting their own government badly enough and wanting the US out of there ASAP may unite the factions enough to overcome some of the differences. Otherwise, it may be hard to keep Iraq as a single country. Saddam's iron rule has overshadowed many old divisions. I pray that there will be some grace and mercy between the Iraqis and that the people can finally govern themselves. And I also pray that the US will do the right thing and help, not hurt, that goal.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 20th April 2003
  #766
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
And I also pray that the US will do the right thing and help, not hurt, that goal.


Regards,
Brian T
I´m hoping with you on that, Brian.

LittleDog,

I don´t rely merely on film directors and would´t claim my impression being defining exactly the truth anyway.

I just compare my subjective impression from many years ago with today. On my past visits to the US I had the impression like the sentence "I´m not interested in politics" ( just like politics would be a separate profession thingy ) would had been sort of fashionable, while today I think it would be less thelike.

The other thing is that I believe that film makers like the two mentioned above would had no chance 15 or 20 years ago, from institutinal conditions as well as from consumers.
( Remember "Fitz the Cat"? It ended in the porno shelfs of video stores.)

Secondly I had some political discussions here on internet with Americans where I pointed to some of the explosive circumstances that have been mentioned in this thread too ( like relationship between dicators and the US politics e.g. ) or also to the nonesense of nationalism, patriotism and the transience of administrative institutions as well as to the destructive nature of religions, just to name a few. All very sensible topics which have been taboo not too long ago and not only in the US.

( Just like over here where people almost jumped to your throught when you dared to mention fashists in the courts and economy, corruption, political supression, election manipulation and some years earlier even just inflation. "Germany HAS NO inflation!" heh )

Now, alone from the behaved and thoughtful reaction from the vast majority that responded to my posts I conclude a big difference to what you in average had to expect years ago.

And I tend to believe that the sceptisizm in the US now against the political leaders must be unique for quite a while.

Then again what you mentioned about media control and about even worse its trend therein I know of that and am aware of it as serious and very sad matter.

Naturally I understand it in detail better from what I witness over here, where the same phenomenon is going on.

I am really deeply concerned about this.

At this point without even thinking of the buy up of the press and the consequences I want to mention alone the development of my daily reading, which is the SPIEGEL.

This has been the most important political paper in Germany and an example for many editorial offices in the world. All due to his founder Rudolph Augstein. The only public person in my life who made me cry ( although without doubt there have been also other impressing personalities ) when he died not too long ago.
Although himself rather a political right than left he was a real democrat. A democrat like I´m not aware of any. That´s how it came that his magazin was maybe the most investigative one in the whole world. At least until about 15 years ago, when he decided to take more care on his private life.
Up from there the critical reporters slowly were pushed out while conservatives slipped in.
Meanwhile the SPIEGEL since quite a while isn´t by far anymore what it once has been. When you dig into it you understand that it has become a clear conservative thing and that they gather their news at quite a part by making deals. You give me information that I can print and I don´t tell public about this and that. That´s how it goes now, and while they from time to time seem to still reveal some topics they usually only publish about politics and biz people entirely who have been served to them by colleagues from the league in question. But even then they avoid to drive the line to coherences.

And in the last maybe 3 years things have become much worse as they obviously have substituted a bunch of reporters with Pisa youngsters who can´t even write correctly and are politically dump as you can´t believe. Exactly the kind that it needs to help protect a system of manipulation and corruption.

The hard thing is that I have to stick to it, because this magazin in general still is the best that you can get.

That says it all. Don´t ask me about the press culture of the coming years. I even wonder if the internet will be kept for long as free as it is.

BTW; American adresses have repeatedly been down conspicuously through a period of ~ 4 months around end / beginning this year so that it looked like sort of a concerted step to me.

I don´t know if it had to mean a thing and I wouldn´t even personally care about observation issues ( anyway frisked is 100% ), but if it started one day to make sites or posts invisible .. the idea is just scary.

This and other aspects are no black paint. I am rather hoping, hoping, hoping. With my generation I have witnessed some outstanding historical events, but I am absolutely not eager to witness dead earth.

Ruphus
Old 22nd April 2003
  #767
There are a lot of "Europeans are from Mars Americans are from Venus" TV debates on the two different views of the world in the context of this recent conflict.

Here are a few observations I thought were cool:

1) With no wars on it's OWN shores for the last 100 years, America feels somehow it has 'learned' Europe's lesson in war & diplomacy. (this is viewed as a bogus standpoint by Europeans)

2) Right now, America is in a position to end ANY countries rule with sheer military might (cue big cheer by the Hawks) so.... as long as it wants to DISTROY stuff it will be fine. BUT if you want to BUILD things, (and this IS a fundamental characteristic of the American way) you need partners and how are you going to get those by ignoring everybody's wishes.(Hawks look at feet & kick dirt)

3) Liking and not liking the UN when it suits America is no way to behave.

4) Europe can tend to get left with a lot of the 'aftercare' duties.

My view - In these 'expert panelist' debates, there seems to be a 'never again' lesson that Europe is now itching to teach the US. For many in Europe, Bush's sheriff badge seem to be made of thin tin, no one here is going to upgrade it to Silver, let along Gold for the time being. "Sit back down at the UN cowboy" seems to be the general message. No doubt, while he remains in office, Blair will continue to clamp himself to Bush's leg in the hope he can dissuade him doing anything too stupid in future.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #768
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by recorderman
Are you kidding?
....click your heels three times and come back to reality....
The UN was NEVER GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS. France and Russia (Permanent Scecurity counsel members) were NOT going to allow change. They were doing too much buisness with saddam. And saddam wasn't leaving for any other reason.

What recorderman said.

It's pretty extraordinary that some people still wish Saddam had been left in power. Leaving him another ten years would have cost so many more lives than operation Iraqi Freedom did.

Whatever you believe the real motives were, the net result is still many lives saved...and people free from a despot.

FWIW I live in Europe...in France actually, in an Arab/African neighborhood of Paris. I'm still happy to see Saddam go. Hope the new government works out better for the country.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #769
Lives for gear
 

Look, America is a weird place. Lots of good and lots of bad.

There is no parallel historical experience. How can Europe and America relate specific experiences and infer prophetic meaning from them, given the astoundingly different history and current position of each?

The French Revolution? Bloody Mary? The Spanish Inquisition? The rise of the Third Reich? The Holocaust? The current ethnic cleansing in modern countries who's boundaries were artifically and arbitrarily set, trapping ancient enemies inside the same borders? Boys and girls, we can't even comprehend Chirac!

Americans in general can relate to none of that outside of some sort of Grimm's Fairy Tale surreallity.

And can Europeans comprehend nearly 30,000 firearm deaths a year in the US, but yet a continued commitment to the 2nd Amendment? Millions of people in prison, with an inordinate percentage being African Americans? A literacy rate below that of about 50 other countries?

We are so different as countries in many ways, pure and simple, though in my travels I have found that often individuals from different countries can get along famously. I have dear friends in Mexico, Spain, the UK, Canada, etc.

It has only been since WWII that the US has been in a position, almost even required, to assert itself globally, and only since the fall of the USSR in 1991 that the US has been the sole superpower. No one could have known 50 years ago that the US would become this dominant, militarily, economically or culturally. Exactly how do you prepare for the unexpected and the unprecedented?

12 years is a very, very short time in human history. And the position the US now occupies is almost bizzare. It could have gone better, but it could have gone far worse as well. There is no doubt that far, far fewer people have died in wars since West Europe quit running the show. That is a fact to consider, when dispensing advice. And just to note, WWI was the "War to end all wars" as far as Europe was concerned. WWII started 20 years later. "Lessons learned" maybe, and maybe not.

Europeans managed to get about 75,000,000 people killed in a period of about 30 years, and it wasn't that long ago. Many millions of people still living were there, including both my parents and those of my wife. And yet, in spite of all the horrid fears and dire predictions and huge marches, in spite of thousands of nuclear warheads, only a tiny fraction of that many have died fighting in the last 60 years since WWII. Viietnam was awful, but the casualties from that war would have been merely a blip on the radar screen in WWII, a single battle in some cases. It's all awful, but let's keep perspective.

The European predictions of doom are interminable, yet somehow they have never been realized in this time. Americans and Europeans may not fully understand each other, but here is one possibly strange perspective that has occured to me, as an American, heck, even a Texan at that.

You Europeans had centuries upon centuries to do as you pleased. You mostly screwed it up. Wars, wars and more wars. But for whatever reasons, a country that started from scratch only a little over 200 years ago is now the defacto world leader, and it has only clearly been so for a dozen years.

Maybe you guys could give us a bit of a break while we try to figure this thing out? Because the vast majority of Europe's negative predictions, taken as a whole, have failed to materialize.

To keep pace with the Eurocentric first half of the 20th century, America and the USSR would have needed to manage to kill off another 100,000,000 people or so in the second half. But it didn't happen. Nothing like it happened, even with the existence of far more ominous weapons. Maybe Europe has less wisdom to share than it believes?

And maybe Europe's bloody history taints it's view of the future unduly, while the US' relative youth and success makes it tend towards being overly optimistic. Maybe neither is fully correct. Reading this thread might tend to suggest that, I suppose.

Just food for thought.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 22nd April 2003
  #770
Lives for gear
 

(Man, that's some novel up there, above, eh?)
Old 22nd April 2003
  #771
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

this thread just became interesting again
Old 22nd April 2003
  #772
Well balanced view there from Brian on the Euro / US viewpoint.

But here "Maybe you guys could give us a bit of a break while we try to figure this thing out?"

Well... you see, if you had a better president who's eyes weren't quite so close together and who was a better orator, politician / statesman who could stand on his own two feet without ALWAYS being linked with his so called 'great advisors' we all might be a lot less 'panicked' about this "unexpected" and "unprecedented" situation. Bush Jnr just seems a puppet controlled by his dad's cronies.

No, along with Blair clamped firmly onto the left leg, young Bush will have to drive along along with all of old Europe shouting directions at him.

If the US had elected someone more presentable as a leader, Europe wouldn't be so worried now.

Bush hasn't passed the test to be driving the world on his own.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #773
Well balanced view there from Brian on the Euro / US viewpoint.

But here "Maybe you guys could give us a bit of a break while we try to figure this thing out?"

Well... you see, if you had a better president who's eyes weren't quite so close together and who was a better orator, politician / statesman who could stand on his own two feet without ALWAYS being linked with his so called 'great advisors' we all might be a lot less 'panicked' about this "unexpected" and "unprecedented" situation. Bush Jnr just seems a puppet controlled by his dad's cronies.

No, along with Blair clamped firmly onto the left leg, young Bush will have to drive along along with all of old Europe shouting directions at him.

He hasn't passed the test to be driving the world on his own.

What a horrible thought that is!

Old 22nd April 2003
  #774
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 

I don't know if this is bait or not, but...

Quote:
If the US had elected someone more presentable as a leader, Europe wouldn't be so worried now.
Who the US elects should not be a concern for our European friends, outside of social conversation. What the US stands for in all measuarable areas is far greater than the interpretation of one man's perceived fitness to do the job. Is President Bush the do-all-end-all? By no means, but he displayed something that has been seriously lacking in his predecessor: courage. Courage to take a stand and do something about the attacks on US homelands...

I believe it to be inappropriate for Europeans or Asians to question the qualifications of the current administration, just as it is highly inappropriate for Americans to doubt the abilities and motives of French, Chinese, Russian, or Martian for that matter, leadership.

There are enough issues voters must contend with...It seems US politics has gravitated toward a collection of special interest groups (Abortion groups, NRA groups, civil right groups, environmentalist groups, hyphenated American groups, religious groups...the list goes on forever)... How Europe will perceive our politicians is not on the list, though. I sincerely hope that the LAST thing on European voters' mind is, "Gee, I wonder how the Americans fee about candidate XYZ?"

Frankly, when any nation starts worrying about the perception of an elected official in the overseas arenas, nationalism and autonomy are automatically forfeited...anywhere you look, this isn't a good thing.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #775
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Midlandmorgan

Courage to take a stand and do something about the attacks on US homelands...
I don't get you saying that Bush is willing to take a stand against attacks on your homelands after the previous president didn't. Correct me if I'm wrong but that may be because you weren't attacked during Clinton's presidency.

Comes back down to simple stuff again.

Connecting 9/11 to Saddam has already been discussed.

Anyway

I'd prefer it if the US would have just said that they wanted to rid the world of an evil dictator. I get that.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #776
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quite a mix up. The one demands no foreign to interfere in questions about American presidency while his government has done this much too often, the other one compares European and American history on a moralistic level.

Moral is nonesense on principle, but if you can´t stop believing on that basis, please remember that you are not even natives. Thus you might friendly count in the millions of natives that were taken for a ride in the craftiest ways thinkable and killed without pardon. You might want to remember on what todays American nation was mainly grounded.
European criminals were exported to the new world and marked its history.

Their heritage until today is a weird mix of morality in conjunction with the unfairness of the colt.
So today when opening a bank account there might be handled a pistole to you as promotional gift and software games have to be brutal to gain interest at all. Even strategic PC games before delivered to US market have to be made up with some killing and slaughtering to find consumers.

There you have the sense of hanging to doctrins of nation and moral.

Cheers,

Ruphus
Old 22nd April 2003
  #777
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

I would like to compliment Brian on his last post - well written and most thought provoking.

I was a little surprised at the 75 million figure. It was a shock to realize how many people had died in such a short time frame. Do you have any more information about how it breaks down? I seem to remember that the Russians alone lost 20 million in WWII. Then was it about 12 million exterminated between Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, etc.? I guess a lot of the rest were German and Japanese civilians in the firebombings. The actual military casualties must have paled compared to the civilian ones, with the possible exception of the Russians.

We certainly can be a frightening species.
Old 22nd April 2003
  #778
Lives for gear
 
malice's Avatar
 

ho yes, it was around 20 millions german death ...


malice
Old 22nd April 2003
  #779
Lives for gear
 

Depending on who's estimates you believe most, the Russians lost about 25 million in WWII, half of them civilian. In one battle alone, 300,000 Russian soldiers were surrounded by the Germans and were purposely starved to death. By way of contrast, there haven't been 300,000 killed in armed combat in decades now, AFAIK. There is no question that Russia lost the most people and there is also no question that Russia had a great deal to do with the defeat of Hitler, at tragic cost.

Slightly off topic, but if you really study WWII history, the Cold War comes as no surprise. The Russians lost 25 million (1 in 4 adult males died) and vowed never again to suffer that way. Coupled with the political mandate to spread Communism throughout the world, this made a formidable, and to the West, frightening combination.

The US saw itself as the continuing defender of democracy. As such, the USSR could not be allowed to go unchallenged. Failure to act sooner had just precipitated a horrible war, a situation the US was not anxious to repeat. And so you get the arms race. The USSR ultimately lost.

Really, it all makes sense, given the history. That doesn't make it smart, wise or good, but it does follow some sort of logic in it's own way.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 22nd April 2003
  #780
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
Quite a mix up. The one demands no foreign to interfere in questions about American presidency while his government has done this much too often, the other one compares European and American history on a moralistic level.


A form of morality, or if you will, behavioral philosphy, is a prerequsite for any social interaction outside of anarchy.

So some sort of morality must exist in a culture. Yours is not an really an argument over the existence of morality. Yours is simply an effort to disallow other morals than your own.


Errrrr, ummmmm, your underwear is showing.........


Regards,
Brian T
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