The Spiders is an astonishing e-comic from Electric Sheep. Smart mobs, SETI (Japanese teenagers join in the Search for Excellent Terrorism Intelligence), counterantifeminist guerillas in black burqas ... All very Diamond Age.
I have said it before and I will say it again: We New Yorkers just want the head of Osama bin Laden on a goddamn pike. That's the World Series victory we want for our Canyon of Heroes parade. Saddam? At best, that's the Mets finishing third instead of last for a change.
You talk about the failure of public diplomacy: We needed to unleash a lightning network counterjihad on this armed Wahhabist Jerry Falwell. We needed to show every little pissant Osamawannabe that if you fuck with us, miniature airplanes piloted by Yoohooo-swilling nerds from MIT are going to fly into your cave and laser-designate you for a personalized Special Ops assault that will make you begin to doubt whether ash-Shaitan ar-Rajim isn't the one actually running the world now.
The desirable message: "Kill people and die swiftly. Period. Express your dissent peaceably--get a blog or something, join the European antiglobalization crowd--and live."
But every Aiman az-Zawahiri video that shows up on my television screen--making steam pour out of my ears like I'm freaking Yosemite Sam--says this to the world: "See? We were right! Those Americans can't tell their ass from a hole in the ground. So join the party!" And you KNOW where those fuckers want to hold the next party: Same place the Republicans threw their last do. My stomping grounds. I take this personally.
I sit here watching Musharraf on the Sunday talk shows. He shrugs off withdrawing troops from South Waziristan and says he has no idea where the Toothache Sheikh could possibly be. Here's the downside to outsourcing: that part of your operation no longer necessarily shares all your organizational priorities. For example, bringing the head of Osama bin Laden as opposed to not having to fight an Islamist insurgency or coup d'etat inside your borders.
And now what is Police Commissioner Kerik going to do as head of Homeland Security? I have a vaguely positive impression of the NYPD these days: They handled the convention fairly gently overall--with a couple of nasty incidents--and, I suspect, some collusion in the BS that got published in the tabs.
But Kerik has been sucking up to Bush like an old school West Side Highway crack whore, as in this speech last summer.
The NYPD union went for Kerry in the November elections, and Kerik did his bit as a Bushite attack machine talking head. I don't think he gives a shit about the "first responders," the "heroes." Homeland Security is a huge pork barrel, the GOP's in power, and Hillary Clinton is our Senator. The result? Bush to City: Drop Dead. The best that can be hoped for: Kerik turns out to be politically savvy enough--his bootlicking skills are good, but can he kick ass?--to shunt some of that pork to the city so nice they named it twice.
Bloomberg is actually sort of all right, kind of, if you ignore the fact that he's the corporate tenant and real estate developer's asshole buddy--and figures he can fix the schools by installing Snapple vending machines. That has some upside to it, I guess, done in moderation: I'm not a rabid East Village lefty, after all; owning a rental property is part of my personal financial plan. But I think we ought to punish his Republican ass harshly in the next mayoral election anyway. Moderate, pro-business Republicans: take your boy in hand or go extinct.
My personal, humble, angry opinion as a payer of property taxes in the five boroughs and worker in a building that had to have the ashes scraped off it back in late 2001. I have breathed the atomized flesh and blood of people I once rode the subway with. I remain a very angry man.