May 29, 2003

Useless Nations

Conrad has the best line on the current situation in Africa:

Man first developed in Africa, but ceased doing so there some time ago...

The linked article is to a description of a charming cultural display of alternative cuisine choice (or an act of cannabalism, as we unreconstructed non-PCfied Haters prefer to say):

The militiamen calmly cooked the flesh over an open fire before throwing their victims, some of whom were still alive, into the flames. "They were both moving, although very weakly," Ruta said. It is accounts like this that have galvanized the horrified world into action.

Conrad then goes on to lambast the alleged "galvanized" world, and specifically the United Nations -- which Our Tax Dollars™ supposedly pay to solve these very "problems" -- for basically shrugging its collective shoulders and saying "Africans -- what more can you expect from them?" Reason No. 9987 why the UN building should be slapped with an eviction notice and its occupants shipped off to the Orkney Islands.

Posted by Andrea Harris at May 29, 2003 11:47 PM

Andrea the line is actually from P J O'Rourke. Can't remember which book but it is called something like "A brief History of the world" or something like that.

Posted by: Todd at May 30, 2003 at 12:02 AM

P.J. O'Rourke has not written a book called "A Brief History" of anything. It may be a chapter in one of his books. The line is probably from his story on Somalia. But I have no intention of going back and looking it up right now.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 30, 2003 at 12:22 AM

"All the Troubles in the World," I think. Though it might have been, "Give War a Chance."

Posted by: Larry at May 30, 2003 at 01:43 AM

It's from "A Brief History of Man," which is a chapter in Republican Party Reptile.

Posted by: Danny at May 30, 2003 at 04:16 AM

This seems a trifle harsh on the inhabitants of the Orkneys. Still, it could brighten an otherwise dull afternoon in the village of Twatt, which is undoubtedly the best location.


Posted by: Dr. Duncan Cadd at May 30, 2003 at 07:05 AM

Village of Twatt, eh? And who among us has the courage to resist? The fortitude, the rectitude, the...oh, forget it...

Posted by: Misanthropyst at May 30, 2003 at 08:27 AM

My brother was talking just yesterday to an American minister who has worked as an evangelist in Africa. The minister said one of the men who converted to Christianity through studying with him was a cannibal. The now-former cannibal said that the best meat he'd ever had was the flesh from a young girl's thighs and buttocks. Now, if that doesn't make you shudder nothing will. Of course, that's just cultural diversity, nothing as bad as, say, a law abiding American citizen owning his own gun. At least the UN is consistent - they think Africans can't be held accountable for their actions, and Americans shouldn't have any actions uncontrolled enough for accountability to be an issue. In their world, it's a Nuclear Family of Papa UN, Mother Gaia and all these little children-citizens needing managed.

Posted by: susanna at May 30, 2003 at 12:41 PM

What did the Orkneys ever do to you? :)

They are a wonderful place filled with very pleasant people, they do not deserve the UN. Why not stick it in Brussels or maybe Paris?

Posted by: Andrew Ian Castel-Dodge at May 30, 2003 at 01:19 PM

It's not like this kinda stuff is new.... I remember reading about the same thing happening over 20 years ago.

The UN was worthless then and is worthless now.


Posted by: lplimac at May 30, 2003 at 01:56 PM

Man didn't necessarily originate in Africa; so I'm told by my academic colleagues in antropology tell me. We don't even know exactly what we're looking for...what with the competing humaniods, etc. As one wag in the field put it: "It's the only place they're seriously looking." I asked why, he simply said: "They ([he Africa researchers] write better grants." ! It's a relatively new field, he tells me, so expect different, competing theories in next century. As many of you undoubtedly know, a great deal of cultural anthropology has been discredited already. (cf: Margaret Mead0

Posted by: John at May 30, 2003 at 02:08 PM

Hmmm. In that case, I could come up with a couple theories of my own...

Posted by: McGehee at May 30, 2003 at 05:18 PM

One of my archaeology proffs was of the opinion that it wasnt exactly Africa that humans originated, but rather in that area between Africa and the European what is now known as the Arabian Peninsula. While Leaky et al focused on the Transvaal Valley, Dr. Whalen was toodling around in the SW desert mountain lines on the other side of the Red Sea.

Boyfriend at the time thought he was god. The females in the Anthro dept were convinced he was a male chauvenist pig because he never took female students with him on his trips to dig there. Wonder if any of them understand WHY now????

I doubt it.

Posted by: Sharon Ferguson at May 30, 2003 at 05:32 PM