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December 14, 2002

Return to Neverland

sometime last summer, i took my three cherubs down to the theater to see the sequel to that beloved flick, 'peter pan'. i myself have never seen 'bambi', 'peter pan' or 'gone with the wind' and am generally immune to the drama emoted by people who have. now, these many months later, something about that flick brings me back to the question of america, the improper empire.

if this generation of republicans can do anything to save their reputation in the pantheon of american history, it will be to convert this nation into a proper empire. i hope to see it before i die. why just yesterday i heard that several baltic states have been slated to join the european union, that south america is going the way of africa and that the world is crowding to sell autos to the chinese crowd. all very well and good in a 20th century way, i suppose, but america can head in a direction that is truly great. like the agency of oscar goldman, we have the technology, we can be better, stronger, faster.

of course this is no easy task. how exactly does one create a democratic empire? i think it is accomplished by emphasizing the right values for the empire and the right values for the people. our problem is that we blur the distinction. we'll speak of this in detail as time goes by. (i did see casablanca).

i cry at movies. i never used to. i could sit through the excruciating pain of the rape scene in 'billy jack' as a teenager over and over again with no ill effect aside from the embarassment of the memory as i now recount it. today, however, a combination of emotional maturity and unwillingness to prejudge has left me vulnerable to the hack devices of the filmmaker's art. but something about 'return to neverland' just crushed me as i sat watching a young animated girl and her dog try bravely to make it home as the air raid sirens began wailing.

now christopher hitchens is mulling over the question and i think he's on the right track. what should happen when the biggest kid on the block is actually kind, sensitive and interested in the welfare of the smaller kids? oops, well there i go blurring distinctions. but hey i only have so much space here.

given the full and permanent conclusion of the african american project, to establish and maintain world class civil liberty in the wake (and midst) of abject hatred. america will have earned stripes worthy of initiating and supporting such projects *and interventions* elsewhere.

if we could march through baghdad with the credibility of a march from selma to montgomery, you'd be surprised at how welcome we would actually be.

Posted by mbowen at December 14, 2002 07:12 AM

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