There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

War and Metaphor (and Mom)

Something useful, if irritating, to read...

How Bush's Metaphorical War Became Real

I have been “enjoying” this article on AlterNet, one of my favorite sites (thanks to Elisabeth for reminding me to look!) by my hero George Lakoff. He is so good at identifying metaphors the conservatives use to manipulate people, but what I have been waiting and waiting for is for his lovely think tank to come up with some good metaphors we can use to promote ourselves as the virtuous and correct thinking ones. Hmm, maybe they are, but are not sharing them beyond policymakers and speech writers. I guess the Bushies read liberal websites, too.

What is pasted below is a comment on the Lakoff article someone wrote that could have been made by me (spelling errors not mine).

I'm Weak and unpatriotic
Posted by: Madnessfilm on Sep 12, 2006 4:15 PM
I am anti war period. If that makes me weak and unpatriotic so be it, better than sending my kids or anyone else's kids to die for no apparantely good reason. The "war on terror" should be waged against this administration, which uses terror to control the populace and scare reasonable people from standing up to them. ENOUGH already, I don't agree that by killing Iraqi women, men and children we are going to be safer. It's immoral and unjustified. Didn't we learn anything fromVietnam, the only way to stop people from killing us is by treating them with respect and dignity. Vietnam is one of our largest trading partners and the wounds of the war are slowly being healed. We should be trying to heal the Muslims anger with peace and not with bullets and force.

Yep, I am “weak” like that, too. But in some ways it takes a lot of strength to stick with one’s convictions in today’s environment, when some of those subtle metaphors are used to make anyone who is against war on principle into someone who “hates our boys over there.” I don’t hate people in the military, though I don’t particularly think it’s a great career choice (“oh boy, I want to kill people for a living” (and yes, as I have said before, I think most military jobs are about killing people or helping others kill people)).

What I end up shaking my head over is WHY it is so hard to choose peace and so easy to choose war? What is it about human animals that they seem compelled to form factions and turn on one another? Maybe that will be my next career, studying why this type of aggression “won” out in evolution. Eh, I guess natural selection is to thank, since the peaceniks are more likely to get wiped out by war mongers than vice versa. But, that doesn’t make mongering wars the right thing to do.

And on another note or two…

Today would have been my mother’s birthday if she hadn’t managed to smoke herself to death in 1984. For someone so overly medicated, she was a good mom. I am glad I got her crafty gene and not TOO much of the Canova family tendency to nasty ole mental illnesses. (You should have SEEN my mother’s mother and siblings. The best thing I can say is that only one of them had to be separated from society because of her illness (kleptomania). I sorta wish the kids had been able to meet her. On the other hand, perhaps one reason they are relatively well balanced is that they didn’t get the passive aggressiveness heaped on them from their grandmother that I got from both my mother and grandmother. Hmph.

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