Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘nutmeg

You’re Gonna Have to Face It, You’re Addicted to War

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I now wish to call attention to another form of addiction, which has not been previously identified. It is more like gambling than drinking, since the people afflicted are ravenous for situations that will cause their bodies to release exciting chemicals into their bloodstreams. I am persuaded that there are among us people who are tragically hooked on preparations for war.

Tell people with that disease that war is coming and we have to get ready for it, and for a few minutes there, they will be as happy as a drunk with his martini breakfast or a compulsive gambler with his paycheck bet on the Super Bowl.

The late, great Kurt Vonnegut, writing in The Nation about America’s addiction to war, and more specifically the addiction to preparation for war. Given the date of the issue (December 31, 1983) and the content of the last few paragraphs, it seems to me that he must have written this in response to the invasion of Grenada:

Suppose we had an alcoholic President who still had not hit bottom and whose chief companions were drunks like himself. And suppose it were a fact, made absolutely clear to him, that if he took just one more drink, the whole planet would blow up.

So he has all the liquor thrown out of the White House, including his Aqua-Velva shaving lotion. So late at night he is terribly restless, crazy for a drink but proud of not drinking. So he opens the White House refrigerator, looking for a Tab or a Diet Pepsi, he tells himself. And there, half-hidden by a family-size jar of French’s mustard, is an unopened can of Coors beer.

What do you think he’ll do?

The invasion of Grenada, of course, was undertaken because of the fervent Communist desire to disrupt the world’s supply of nutmeg and thereby ruin Christmas. Or something like that. An imminent threat. You can see we had no choice. Via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 2, 2008 at 3:04 pm