September 08, 2004

Keep Hate Alive

You know, there's a time to remember your history, and there's a time to just let the past go.

Time to remember: When someone suggests a bad idea that's failed repeatedly in practice before. That's when it's helpful to note that said idea has failed repeatedly in practice before, and, ah, not to be rude, but is there by chance anything substantially different about it that won't guarantee the same failures this time?

Time to forget: When everything around you gets tangled up in a no-win grudge match.

Gradually being lost in an orgy of multiculturalism in the U.S. is the acknowledgement that many people came to this country specifically to forget the no-win grudge matches; they were even willing to surrender some culture to do it. What this province did to that one in 14-what-the-hell-ever, versus what that country did to oppress this one in 16-ought-who-knows, versus . . . enough, said those lucky enough to get on the boat. Just enough. Leave all that Serb-versus-Croat, English-versus-Irish, this tribe versus that tribe stuff in the old country. Forget it.

It's instructive to remind yourself what happens if you don't let go once in awhile:

I had an 'interesting' exchange with an acquaintance of mine. He was saying something along the lines of "what the fuck are you people grieving for, they were goddamn russians". When I inquired whether he was actually insane, or just pretending to be, he replied: "did they grieve for us when Estonians were loaded on to cattle cars?"
Please, do not miss the priceless response to that query. Posted by Ilyka at September 8, 2004 10:55 AM in hell is other people