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The State of the Civilization archive

Michael Moore Deported To Canada
"Then, when they realized they had Michael Moore (Paul Wolfowitz's "Jack of Clubs" in The Alternative Deck), the scramble was on to establish his Canadian citizenship and get him headed due north pronto..."

Once Upon A Time In Freedonia
"I am writing this from that slice of the millennium in which Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California..."

The So-Good Man
An unstable fable

Barbra and Others Redux
"They're back - hypnotizing us. Holding their hands up just right with fingers kind of all pointing to our very souls (it's called doing a Bela Lugosi in the industry)..."

How To
"It's not just Rohypnol, he mediates. People are using [carefully stated list of street names of illicit substances], too. "What many people donít realize is that drugs [which are] readily available as recreational drugs, if used at slightly higher doses, can put the victim out for a couple hours so that the accused can [carefully listed list of enticing one-sided sexual options]!"..."

How Nations Have Birthdays
"Jasco is four of the twelve steps madder than Zeitl. Among political anthropologists, degrees are vital. Madness being a measure, in certain ancient ways, of freedom. Freedom being here, at least, not a kind of power..."

Academics Anonymous
"A leading follower of Michael Jackson said in his life he was very, very aware that ironic distance became academic distance too easily now. One day he was a high school rock band troublemaker and the next day somebody hooked him on Communitarianism so he got tenure at Oshkosh College..."

Responsibility One
"The Commissioner gets off to a start of some kind. He wonders rhetorically what responsibility is. Is there a thing - responsibility - such that we can point to it directly, as a whole, in its own light?..."

What's War For?
He gives them the nation-state... rising from the power of kings... controlling through violence... and... violence as the key organizing principle... Hobbes in fact its correspondent... the institutions, like slime-backed salesmen prancing before the used cars of the professions and the finance companies of academic self-interest...

Apocalypse, so far
911 comes up in the New York State Lottery on the first anniversary. There is a considerable rushing to religion. People seem actively interested, all of a sudden, to be part of something by being subject to it...

Canadian Content Blues
In the United States, it says, a publisher can make money even if 50% of the copies of a given title are returned. In Canada, a 25% return rate means the publisher is losing money. Chapters, the Titanic-ish book seller which has been allowed to occupy seventy percent of the market, could return up to sixty percent of a single title...

The State of the Civilization #1
Civilization, it seems, is more than the flush toilet. Itís a sort of recording. Itís the intelligent, human or important stuff we did. And itís how we put History and the World and some of those other wisely capitalized categories together...

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