July 05, 2006

Imperialism as Farce

A hundred million dollars to build up Iraq's soccer team would do more for nation-building than any other damned thing we could possibly do -- why nobody sees this is totally beyond me.
And you thought nation-building was hard! You silly, silly person.

Think of it as Empire run by the Marx Bros.

And our foreign policy is perfectly captured in the lyrics to one song in particular, from Animal Crackers:
Spaulding (speaks): Well I'm certainly grateful for this magnificent washout, eh, turnout, and, eh,
now I'd like to say a few words...
(sings) Hello, I must be going.
I cannot stay, I came to say I must be going.
I'm glad I came, but just the same I must be going.

Mrs. Rittenhouse: For my sake you must stay.
If you should go away, you'll spoil this party I am throwing.

Spaulding: I'll stay a week or two.
I'll stay the summer through.
But I am telling you that I must be going.

Mrs. Rittenhouse: Before you go will you oblige us
and tell us of your deeds so glowing?

Spaulding: I'll do anything you say.
In fact, I'll even stay!

All: Good!

Spaulding: But I must be going.

Jamison: The Captain is a moral man.
Sometimes he finds it trying.

Spaulding: This fact I'll emphasize with stress:
I never take a drink unless somebody's buying.

All: The Captain is a very moral man!

Jamison: If he hears anything obscene,
he'll naturally repel it.

Spaulding: I hate a dirty joke, I do,
unless it's told by someone who knows how to tell it.

All: The Captain is a very moral man!
Hooray for Captain Spaulding!
The African Explorer!
So. There you go.

Via, where you will find still more black war humor, this time in the form of original war poetry, in a collection edited by one Eugene Volokh.

And Professor Volokh even wrote some poetry himself, including this:
In my youth, the world was quiet,
No-one called me off to war.
Who can blame me? Should it shame me?
Just got lucky, nothing more.
Write a poem now, stay at home now,
I am safely thirty-four.
Not so fast, Gene. Not so fast.