Thursday, June 03, 2004

Brilliant Satire at The New Yorker

After a week or so, this story might be removed; if so, the link won't work any more.  If that happens, try running a Google search on the title; you might be able to find a cached copy.  I've copied only the first three paragraphs as a teaser, under fair use guidelines. 

Issue of 2004-06-07
Posted 2004-05-31

Knowledge is not important. The armchair warrior strives to attain a state beyond knowledge, a state of deep, non-knowing connection to the universe: in particular, to that portion of the universe which is rich, powerful, or related to him by blood.

The unenlightened speak of “failures of intelligence.” But the armchair warrior knows that “intelligence” -- the effort of the mind to observe facts, apply reason, and reach conclusions about what is true and what ought to be done -- is a delusion, making the mind turn in circles like an ass hitched to a mill. The armchair warrior feels in his hara, or gut, what ought to be done. He is like a warhorse that races into battle, pulling behind him the chariot of logic and evidence. When the people see the magnificent heedlessness of his charge, they cannot help but be carried along.

The warrior spirit resides in the hara. It is this spirit, and not any deed, that is the mark of the true warrior. Thus, a man who has avoided military service may be a greater and braver warrior than a man who has served his country in battle, sustained grave wounds, performed “heroic” deeds, and been honored with clanking, showy medals pinned to his garment. [...]

What is interesting about this is that it is linked to, on the Prague Daily Monitor  ("The most complete source for Czech news!") home page.  Why such attention in Prague?  It appears also on babble  ("An independent magazine of the green and radical left in Great Britain") under the title: "The martial wisdom of Midland, Texas."  It is echoed on the blogs, Original cynDoug's Dynamic Drive, and The Left Coaster,  and on れいこぶろぐ。  (which is not an English language blog.)   The Left Coaster providers references to the real BushidoThe Hamster  links to it with no comment.   I mention these to give credit to those who found it first.