Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The blood of tyrants

Today is Bastille Day in France, a celebration of the overthrow of the French monarchy. Here is a song which celebrates the overthrow of tyrants. It is the French national anthem. Please go read the English translation of the lyrics and come back.





. Okay, you're back. So what do you think? Suitably bloodthirsty? Not exactly your typical national anthem, eh, what with all that bit about bloodthirsty ripping of babes out of wombs and such.

Some say that we need our own Bastille Day to overthrow the tyrants who control our nation (who, I might add, are not our elected officials -- they are, for the most part, puppets of the real rulers of our nation, the wealthy elite that prefers to work behind the scenes). The problem is what happens next. Once a people becomes accustomed to blood, there is no end to the blood. Rule of law is over, and rule of gun is the only rule. The end result, typically, is that the worst amongst us come out on top -- those with the least morals, the most willingness to kill upon the slightest whim, the least consideration for the least amongst us.

For the French, the result of overthrowing the monarchy led inevitably to Napoleon, who killed millions during his quest to conquer Europe, including over a million Frenchmen whose lives he threw away. While it would certainly be satisfying to take the puppet George W. Bush to the gallows and stretch his neck, and past that point take all the rulers of America and stretch their necks -- Richard and Helen DeVos, the Olin family, the Bradley family, the Scaife family, etc. -- then what? That road inevitably leads down the same road that the garroting of the French royal family led down -- blood, misery, and millions of dead.

One of the geniuses of our founding fathers is that, by and large, they did not massacre the supporters of the English monarchy once the pro-monarchy forces lost and American independence was secured. Instead, they exiled those supporters to Canada. There was no bloodbath on American soil outside the blood of soldiers. Perhaps, if we are forced to fight a new war of independence against a new monarchy, that would be a reasonable solution for dealing with our own monarchs. Except instead of sending them to Canada (which undoubtedly would not want them), I have a much better idea. Send them to Iraq. Naked. With no possessions. No servants. No soldiers or guards. Drop them naked and alone into the middle of the Sadr City suburb of Baghdad. Hey, if it was good enough for our founding fathers... oh wait, I forget, our founding fathers didn't ship the supporters of monarchy naked to Canada. They tarred and feathered them first. Hmm... stock tip: buy stock in feather companies.

-- Badtux the History Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 7/14/2007 11:19:00 PM  


and where is the band
who so vauntingly swore
that the havoc of war
and the battle's confusion
a home and a country
should leave us no more
their blood has washed out
their foul footsteps pollution
no refuge could save
the hireling and slave
from the terror of flight
and the gloom of the grave
and the star spangled banner
in triumph doth wave
o'er the land of the free
and the home of the brave

the seldom performed or noticed 3rd verse.

the minstrel who knows that the last words of the anthem are NOT "play ball."
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 15/7/07 9:21 AM  

While there is a certain appeal to your idea, unfortunately, the immediate result of a revolution is often a civil war. And, we've been through one of those before, and I have no desire to see another one. It was bad enough in the 1860s; I shudder to imagine what it might be like in the 2010s.

Of course, given the way things are going in Iraq, we may get to witness a civil war up close. :-(

# posted by Anonymous : 15/7/07 10:31 AM  

Indeed, revolutions rarely turn out well. I am aware of no revolution that has not ended up with a bloodbath. What about the American Revolution, you say? Well, the American Revolution was not exactly a revolution. What it was, was a civil war between two parts of a nation (England and its colonies) that had grown apart with time. Wars of secession like that one can sometimes turn out reasonably well, but that is the exception to the general rule.

But hey, we're Americans. We don't need to obey any steenkin' rules of history. I mean, it's like that general rule that occupying a foreign nation against the will of its people is always a bloody mess that ends with either genocide or defeat. We're Americans, so we don't need to obey that rule. U S A! U S A! U S A! Woot!

- Badtux the History Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 15/7/07 12:53 PM  

Badtux, have you seen these?

The Trap: Episode One (Adam Curtis, BBC

The Power of Nightmares Part 1: Baby it's Cold Outside - by Adam Curtis

If you watch them, you'll see why I thought of them when I read this post.

minstrel boy,

you recommended a book somewhere, in someone's comments and I just finished it, along with two others by Loewen.

Thanks for the recommendation, I learned a lot.
# posted by nunya : 15/7/07 2:38 PM  

That scene from "Casablanca" still brings a tear to my eye. When you are in for a fight with TPTB, you better be bloodthirsty. That being said, we have no need to worry about a Bastille Day in this country, blood is so-o icky!! And up to now we have given away much of what our forefathers worked and fought for in exchange for a chimerical promise of a piece of the pie. Literally speaking, a crumb is a piece of the pie.
# posted by montag : 15/7/07 4:33 PM  

Indeed. Anybody who thinks the French are pussies needs to listen to that song. A little too eager to throw their lives away for glory (I understand that French soldiers were practically *fighting* for the privilege of being dropped into Dien Bien Phu long after it was clear that it was a suicide trip), but lacking in the martial valor? I think not.

I wouldn't complain about Americans being pussies, BTW. Most people, regardless of their national origin, do not like violence and will resort to violence only if left with no choice in the matter. Thus far our monarchs have left us some choice, the better to keep us on the ranch where we sheeple are more easily fleeced. I fear, however, that they've forgotten the lessons of Bastille Day...

- Badtux the Bastille Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 15/7/07 5:10 PM  

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