Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Dweenles in our midst
Written by: Goemagog

In a game called Starflight 2 (apparently there are more in that series nowadays) there were three alien species that claimed credit for the universe. Two believed that they disseminated truth and wisdom, the third wanted to apologize. The Dweenles, as fictional species go, were very depressing, eager to take the blame for anything and unwilling to acknowledge that they had ever done anything that benefited themselves or anyone else. If you wanted to kill them, they'd agree that they had it coming.

I used to think that this was just a silly simplification of a sociological mindset. I'm now thinking that it was probably the most realistic part of the game. Societies the world over are obsessed with destroying themselves, albeit not from a collective sense of guilt but of inferiority. If they'd just change this to that or replace that dictator with another, they think things would improve. There are very few cultures that actually want to sustain themselves, and most plans for improvement involve butchering however many millions of people were part of the old order. This is why socialism is the greatest evil our species has ever known.

A week or so ago, I was watching some television and caught a show I was only mildly familiar with. Andromeda has a fairly simple setup. A great civilization signs a treaty with a species that reproduces by using other sentient species as hosts for it's parasitic offspring. Militants within said great civilization decide that the great civilization is destroying itself so they launch a civil war to take over the government and prevent humanity becoming a galactic salad bar. In the first battle of this civil war, the hero of the show and his ship (but not the crew) gets frozen for a few hundred years. He wakes up to find the great civilization destroyed, crushed between the militants and the parasitic aliens. He gets new crew, and immediately sets out to rebuild a civilization whose crowning achievement was collective suicide.

Okay, so the hero of the show is a fucking idiot.

His new crew accidentally sends him back in time to the defining battle of the great war he missed most of. They find themselves in a position to ambush the militants right before the militants ambush the civilization's military in the key battle of the war.

1) he's the captain of a military ship
2) his ship is heavily armed
3) his government is at war
4) his enemies are in front of him and unaware of his presence
5) his enemies are about to destroy his civilization's military, dooming trillions to be alien buffets or slaves to the surviving militants.

What does our intrepid hero do?

He decides that he doesn't want any of the militants to get hurt, so he tries to run away. His cowardice is portrayed on the show as a sign of great moral fiber. The moral of the story seemed to be that if we encouraged our military to do the right thing and not fight, we too could be assraped by our enemies so that their young could eat our rotting flesh. I'm not being sarcastic, that actually seemed to be the moral of the show.

Did people in ancient Rome write about the glories of the barbarians? Did the Indus Valley civilization espouse collective guilt? Are we plunging into a new dark age where superstition disguised as social awareness justifies witchhunts on a stalinesque scale? Can a civilization so obsessed with looking "civilized" hold off the barbarian hordes or are we to be the last free people?

Goe, heeds the Derb.

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