.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Strange Disconnect, starring Jane Russell

Tonight I read a headline notifying us that, at age 89, Jane Russell is the latest of the celebrities from my very earliest days to skate out of here.  For a split-second I was jolted by the news, and I wondered why that should be.  Then I realized that such a thing is often happening to me these days.

When a personality of yesteryear has long ago fallen off my personal radarscope, it's as if the only existence they had ever had in the subsequent years was the one that they had held in my mind during the brief moments when they were objects of nationwide attention, and I forget that in all the time since then, they have kept right on living and kept on eating, drinking, sleeping, and doing all sorts of other things, the same as me, before their time really did run out,in everybody's minds.

Therefore in that first split-second, the news caused some shock, and it was just as if I had heard about Ms Russell leaving here sometime in the 1940's instead of now.   That's a strange disconnect for the aged mind to have, but there it is.

One problem is that as far as I knew, Jane Russell was as big in the news as she was in the chest only for a very short time -- the picture that you always saw of her was the one of her wearing a low-cut dress that showed off her frontal appendages to good effect.  And there was something about her being under the unlikely wing of that highly eccentric and questionable billionaire, Howard Hughes.   He was usually associated much more with the wings of airplanes, including, well into the age of metal aircraft, a gigantic one made of plywood that he piloted just once, over some water at Long Beach, and that was it.   And I never understood the big fuss that was made of him, and of the Spruce Goose, and even of his connection with Jane Russell, who was supposedly an actress but was mainly a pin-up rivaled only by another actress whose pictures today are rarely seen, Betty Grable.

For the problem also is that I didn't share the excitement that Ms Russell's various physical attributes stirred up in the rest of the universe.   She was never my type, and instead I went for the likes of women with a quieter, deeper,and more subtle kind of bearing and beauty, like Jean Tierney and Ingrid Bergman.   Now there were some women!

Nevertheless I'm glad that Ms. Russell, 10 years my senior, lived for such a gloriously long time while undoubtedly continuing to make people as happy as she did in the days of old, even it was from one brief study of that one publicity shot that for a few moments brought giddiness to so many consciousnesses all over the world.

The important thing to note about all this is how perfectly it illustrates the undying nature of womanly inspiration.  An image such as that likeness of the Jane Russel of yore would have been, in all its details, as well understood and and appreciated by the ancient Romans as it was by the panting males of my time and as it will be for the many generations to come.   Everything else can and does change in a jiffy, but not this, and that's a big relief.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prevalence of Being Wooden-Headed

Right now, having been alerted to it by someone's comment to an article on the Internet, I'm reading Barbara W. Tuchman's 1984 book "The March of Folly."

It would be interesting to see what would happen if this book could be required reading for every Presidential aspirant.   But I already know what would happen.   Practically nothing, when it would come to whatever the eventual winner would do.   So far B. Obama's career illustrates this perfectly, especially in his foreign policy.   The names of two places, Afghanistan and the West Bank, are plenty enough all by themselves.

Tuchman's main point is that folly -- that is, pursuing policies that run exactly counter to being in the nation's or other large entities' best interests -- goes hand in hand with political control, and this causes periods of good governance to be on the infrequent side.  Instead of calling this process "being stupid," she prefers to use the more polite phrase, "being wooden-headed."  

Tuchman (pronounced "Tuckman") must have suffered from a real embarrassment of riches when she decided to write a book on that theme, and in its first chapter she as much as says so, when she gives a long recital of the numerous instances throughout history when not so much one of them but a group of rulers have acted as if their brains had been fashioned from the  cut-off butt ends of logs in a Virginia sawmill.  She settled on using her book to study just four: the irrationalities of the Trojan War, the venalities of a string of six popes during the Renaissance, the stumbles of the English that brought on the American Revolution, and the deadly foibles of the Vietnam War.

If she were still alive, imagine the field day she would have in these first years of this latest century.   But her dates were 1912-1989.

So does this mean that the odds are heavily that our leaders are more apt to follow mistaken policies than they are to do anything else?   Does this mean that listening to candidates state their intentions, and engaging in voting,and all that, involve odds that should be confined to bets on broken-down nags in horse races, and that it's all just formalities for appearance's sake, just like fancy, expensive weddings, staged as if the resulting numerous days of highly difficult navigation that lie just ahead can't possibly exist?

The answers to those questions are too painful to be easily put into words.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

With Egypt in Mind

What a shame it is that revolutions can't be viewed as being just rumpled, impromptu, improvised, unscheduled elections.   Elections, moreover, that are held with a minimum of fuss and muss, and especially without any beatings, shootings, imprisonments, and all the other countless ways that humans have cooked up to mistreat each other.

But the trouble is that once people are in power, they become so fond of the many perks that that situation offers that they start looking on themselves as being the personal owners of that power, and they convince themselves and their underlings that they are justified in holding those offices not just for a long while but for the rest of their lives.   And so they wheel out the guns and clubs and resist with might and main all efforts to remove them from those positions before they're ready, regardless of any common decency.

Right now, as we speak, this is a truly amazing time to see and -- if you are in the right place, or the wrong one, depending on your view of things -- to experience this situation and the attempts of revolutions to change it, in all that process's varied ways, thanks to the Arab world and thereabouts, because in that region it is happening in so many different countries, and all at the same moment!  That can't be repeated too often.  All at the same hour.    This has to be the first time in human history that this has ever happened.

Let's call the roll, off the top of my head, as best as I can remember, as I reckon.   First Tunisia (with that ousted leader, Ben Ali, now having had a bad heart attack, no doubt from his having had to make an unscheduled removal to the unsavory deserts of Saudi Arabia), and next Egypt, with a revolution that was a thing of beauty and a classic, as revolutions go, and now, having been so inspired, protestors are on the march in Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, and Libya, while stirrings are being made in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and other places -- all of these in countries with rulers who have been running things for longer than it should take for any sensible person to realize that there are others in the country who should be given their turn at the job.

But then I've never seen anything wrong with politics being run on a quota system, since it is supposed to be taken part in by all the people and not just a favored few or one or two.

Too bad I can't include the American state of Wisconsin in that,  but anyway, there, surely with Egypt on their minds, people are on the march, too, against the attempt of incoming woodenheads to cut the teachers right off at the knees, by destroying their unions.   It is the teachers, after all, who are the keystones of the American Arch, not the police, as so many seem to believe.   People rarely seem to realize that they are usually in far more danger from the society's ignorance than they are from ordinary criminals -- and lawmakers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Invasions and Indiscretions: The Berlusconi Affair

Things are not going well for the Italians these days.  In the wake of the successful chasing to Saudi Arabia of the former Tunisian despot, Ben Ali, and while the Tunisians are trying to sort out the big mess that he left behind, a number of them, seeing that his leaving didn't immediately create numerous job openings, have fled to a small spit of land in the Mediterranean called Lampedusa Island.   This island happens to be in the clutches these days of the Italians, and probably has been for a long time, and they are just as quickly screaming bloody murder, with warnings that this development, if not nipped in the bud instantly, will have dire consequences for all of Europe.   You would think that these several thousand young Tunisians were the first outriders of the Mongol Horde back in Genghis Khan days, when they are instead just job-seekers who see themselves as having been freed by the Revolution to try their luck in the much larger and more prosperous EU.

But at this "crucial" moment in history when not only Rome but all Italy and even far beyond is about to go under for good this time, at the hands of the latterday Carthaginians, the Italian leader, a man named Silvio Berlusconi, can't spend much time thinking about it.   He is badly distracted because in the meantime the women of Italy have decided that it's time he was put on the run, too, a la the golfball smacker, Tiger Woods, because of what they see as his sexual preferences for a long string of beautiful women younger even than Woods' picks, none of them Berlusconi's wife.    So now, just yesterday, a judge has finally ordered the premier to stand trial.

The main importance of this is that it should remind one of the moment when it became evident that the U.S. was going to experience the latest big unraveling of its inner sensibilities, a process that if anything, now almost 20 years later, has become accelerated with the recent successes of the country's prime unravelers, the Teapublicans.  That moment came when the Repubs tried to remove Bill Clinton from office on the grounds of sexual impropriety -- a moment of grand hyprocrisy that today is even more gigantic when one considers that nothing ever resulted from the suggestions of a few progressives that GW Bush should be impeached for the infinitely greater crime, actually a long series of crimes of many kinds, that he committed by ordering the invasion of Iraq, on the grounds that it had had a hand in the 9/11 attacks, when it was the easiest thing in the world to see that the Iraqis were absolutely blameless in the matter.

Not that what Bill Clinton did was a crime at all, not when you recall that a Republican U.S. president of the 1920's, W. Harding, was guilty of many more sexual indiscretions than Clinton was ever accused of committing, yet no attempt was made to prosecute or even accuse Harding.

I remember hearing how the more urbane Europeans, especially in France, were bemused that Clinton's fellow countrymen would have put him and the U.S. through all that nonsense with the Senate trial and the rest.   They couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.  Resisting the female temptations that political power can attract was well understood in Europe, and if someone occasionally stumbled, especially as lightly as Clinton did, what was the difference?   What was all the fuss about?

S. Berlusconi is sure to be thinking along those same lines today, and wondering what is happening to the sophisticated Europe that he used to know.

Oh, that's right.   Watch out!   The Carthaginians are coming!

Formative Years

Fifty-nine (59) years ago today I took the most fateful train ride of my life.   Newly inducted into the U.S. Air Force, along with several other guys also from D.C., I rode up to cold, upstate New York to begin basic training.

I always mark this anniversary, because of all the ramifications that my joining the military that day in 1952 turned out to hold for the future conduct of my life.

This shows that at the age of 20 my formative years were still far from over.  So when do a person's, or at least my, formative years ever end?   Even today, so much later, I still have good reason to think, Not yet!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Oldest of the Old

My wife's stepfather called her the other night and informed her of his notion that, with the death recently of a 92-year-old, he, at 88 or 89, is now the oldest Rainbow (or "black") man in his town.   Located in west-central Florida, 25 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, it is a largish town, relatively speaking, because among other felicities that are unknown to any town within decent driving distance from here (25 miles), his has its own Wal-Mart.

Hmm. That said, I could say that I am the oldest Rainbow man on my road, though that is helped along greatly by the fact that I am also the only Rainbow man on this road, and have held that dubious distinction ever since I moved here. That is not my fault. I didn't move here to keep company with the Euros, those curious folk who, setting aside a few small tricks of the light, are basically the same people as the Rainbows that I left behind in D.C.  I moved here to keep company with the trees, the soil, the creek, and the sky.

You should not be surprised to hear that there are several Rainbow women older than my wife's stepfather in his town. This is because when when they are young, women are generally smarter than men of the same age, save only for their propensity to mate with those dummies who, among other things, really believe that whatever they attempt, they will never become severely crippled or die, a state of mind that makes guys of that age easy pickings for every nitwit bumptious scheme that comes along, like doing the warrior bit.

That ensures that the women who do make those otherwise unhelpful couplings will reach the esteemed state of widowhood soon enough, and thereby they have a guarantee that their fondest dreams will come true.  For the data that I have collected, meager though its sources might be, strongly indicates that the very deepest desire of a great many women is to do anything that they damn well please, even though that carries the great danger of being precisely nothing.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Calling Forth the Mob

Recently, a guy, a sportscaster, I think, severely downrated S. Palin's qualities as, shall we say, a sensual inspiration.  That is, he didn't think her image was one that could be profitably summoned to a man's mind in order to intensify the sensations while engaging in sex, whether or not with an actual woman at hand.

Some men in the accompanying comment section disagreed, and said that thoughts of her are indeed just such a bolstering force, though others said that she quite definitely would be a big deflater.  I'm in that latter camp.

In my eyes neither she nor any of the other unaccountably  large number of howling female werewolves on the right wing has the slightest bit of sex appeal, no matter how they look, and despite the fact that they are women, a group that otherwise does such a stellar job and is in complete charge of supplying the inspirations that bring about so much enjoyable entertainment, relief from certain tensions, and even that absolutely essential process, the only thing that the Life Force really asks of us -- the continuation of the species.

Until Palin came along, I didn't feel as strongly about that, and I was  even willing to give the most noisome harpy till then, Ann Coulter, that leggy and pleasant- enough-looking "dirty blonde" with the demonic grin, at least a drop or two of benefit of the doubt.   But I've heard and read about how Palin speaks, and now any leeway in that matter is gone, gone, with no exceptions.  

I don't know.   Maybe I'm too old for certain things.   But I'm still far from dead, and that is brought out most vividly by views of certain film actresses, all at or above the age of about 37.

The trouble is that S. Palin has betrayed the whole concept of womanhood.   She always thinks in terms of waving guns and shooting things, and, even worse, the only arousing I've ever see her doing is not of the libido but of the rabble, and that was shown numerous times during the election campaign of 2008.

In fact, there's not a doubt in my mind that if she were ever called upon to do it by her admirers, she would jump at the chance to get a lynch mob all worked up enough to pour out on some night-time roads and head for the homes of the objects of her contempt, drag them out, string them up in trees, douse them with gasoline, set them afire, and then  hang them in nooses till their heads were bent in severely unnatural alignment with the rest of their bodies.

No doubt at all.   And she would enjoy the experience, and would push having a reality show displaying it, to be broadcast of course by Fox News.

Of course, when called upon to defend herself, she would say, "Who?  Me?   I was just kidding when I made that speech.   And why are you picking on poor little me again anyway?   See?  You always do that."

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Ice Master

A short while ago I read a book that I bought through Amazon, called "A Furnace Afloat,"  by Joe Jackson.   It told of how, in 1866, crewmen on an American clipper ship accidentally set fire to their beautiful vessel, and it burned to the water, setting them and the rest of the ship's company cast away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for over two months, in the pre-radio age.

I seem to be in a period when I'm interested in true stories about survival while one is exposed to the elements and stripped down to the barest essentials of food, water, and a place to sleep.

Now I'm reading another book bought through Amazon, "The Ice Master," by Jennifer Niven, and it's in something of the same vein.   It's about an Arctic expedition launched in 1913 by a Norwegian named Stefansson on a ship called the Karluk.   In the first years of the 20th century,  right before World War I, the urge to "discover" things that were already there was still something of the craze that C. Columbus had started long before, and "crazed" is the right word to use in general for the people in this book.    I am about a quarter of the way through, and already the question that keeps running through my head is,  "What were they thinking?"

Stefansson, who raised all the money for this expedition and was supposed to be leading it, had in mind finding a lost continent that he was absolutely certain lay under the Arctic Ocean.

Today we would find that notion ludicrous.   What would they have done with such a thing even if it had existed?   What's the point of finding a continent if you can't march up on its sands, plant the flag of your country or whatever country financed this scam, proclaim yourselves to be the new owners, shoot dead all the present residents that come out to welcome you,  hunt down and try to kill or enslave all the rest, steal all their gold, food, dwellings and any other property you can find and declare to be your own,  cut down all the trees, kill all the fish and the other wild animals, cover the land with concrete and with sports stadiums filled with screaming drunks, and with skyscrapers and other mountains of garbage, slice off the tops of geology's mountains, fill the valleys and caves with radioactive waste, load the air with toxic compounds, and in general make a big mess of things.

This plot had just recently been neatly foiled by Antarctica and its only humanoid inhabitants, the penguins, and it's hard to see how even a little of that "progress" could've been thought achievable under the waters of the Arctic Ocean at and around the North Pole.  But Stef thought he'd give it a shot anyway.

Stefansson's people did make a start.   His noble scientists, standing safely aboard the Karluk and after professing to be thrilled by the sight of them, shot the first polar bears that they saw, and today we all know what is happening with those remarkable animals and their fast disappearing ice shelves.

Talk about gunning down the albatross before the trip even got started good!

I've gotten to where the Karluk becomes stuck fast in ice 40 feet thick, as they all knew it would, with winter just beginning, and Stefansson jumps ship on the sly, under the guise of heading a small hunting party, and he leaves the people on the ship to their certain disastrous fate.   That included not only their seamstress, a woman, for a change in these stories, but also her two little girls, one of them cutely called "Mugpi."  There were Inuit, formerly called "Eskimos."   You would think that they at least would've made it out of all that ice, but I don't think they did.

I know I'm reading this story in exactly the wrong season, and believe me it's having an effect that is not comfortable.  This is strictly a July story -- but not August!   No, never August, because apparently, till recently that was when the Arctic started icing up.  So why did they wait till just two months before, in June, to set out on this trip? 

There's a suggestion that if nothing else -- and there was surely nothing else -- if the Karluk became crushed in the ice, along with the loss of all or most of its occupants, that would merely add the story of Stefansson's expedition indelibly to the annals of polar exploration, as long as he himself got away clean.   And he did, and it did.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Weather Escape

I remember that at the time that it happened, and this year, too, I lamented all the snow that we got last winter and that hung around on the ground for far too long, along with the attendant cold.   And I was by no means alone around here in having been haunted by it as this winter drew near.

But I didn't pray for a winter this year that would be more comfortable for my aged bones, in the ordinary sense of praying.   I just hoped.

And lo and behold, aside from consistent cold, with almost all the mornings dipping below freezing, so far we've been leading a charmed life where the snow is concerned.

Just this week a real blizzard, which I can't remember ever having gotten here and didn't get even last year -- just a lot of snow but no wind -- hit a large part of the U.S., especially in its midsection, but the storm swept past here to the north, up into New England and Canada, where it's been causing a lot of problems and the loss of the usual billions of dollars.  And all we got was one night of light rain and another day of some high but not disastrous winds, with not a flake of snow.

Yes, I didn't pray for such relatively easy weather.   I would never do that.

But I do know the cause of our good fortune.   Wife a few weeks ago got carried away and  bought online a fancy snow rake, a really fancy and stout push broom, and a fancy snow shovel.   I told her that that meant we would get no more snow this winter, after the one we had already had just before Christmas that didn't amount to that much.  Naturally she said that was fine with her, and it would mean those implements had done their job after all.   And so it has worked out.

We all know that there's still plenty of time, though, for something tough, but I believe in the essentially benign nature of February, a month so close to hearing the birds start singing their chorales.   After all, not for nothing is it Rainbow History Month!

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

The following quote is from an article about the highly acclaimed new movie, "The King's Speech," in which the author makes an interesting case for the idea that the film indulges in a gross rewriting of history:

In a letter to Edward VIII written that same year – not cited by Manchester – he [Winston Churchill] spluttered his hopes that the king would "shine in history as the bravest and best beloved of all the sovereigns who have worn the island Crown". (You can see there how empty and bombastic Churchill's style can sound when he's barking up the wrong tree; never forget that he once described himself as the lone voice warning the British people against the twin menaces of Hitler and Gandhi.)

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, now being fast forgotten and for good reason, I would say, were really hot stuff in the 1930's and 1940s.   Every move they made in their wastrel lives was deliriously reported by the press, much like any number of vapid celebrities today.  I never understood this.

  Things were so bad that even my mother, normally a very level-headed person, couldn't hear enough about that pair.  I guess, like the many millions of others, especially women, she was totally entranced by the romance of how Edward VIII, the royal toward whom Winston Churchill was bending such an abject knee in that quote above, gave up the idea of being the King of England, by choosing instead to marry a so-called commoner and a foreigner besides, an American widow or divorcee or something.   Subsequently, and consequently this man, now demoted to being only the Duke of Windsor, spent the rest of his days doing little more than touring the various playgrounds of Europe and other places with his bride, the pair being inseparable and toasted everywhere they went (except maybe in Israel -- the Duke counted A. Shickelgruber among his friends), I assume because of the widespread perception that Eddy-boy had done it all for love.

A 10-year-old like me, whose formative years up to then had been shaped in large part by cowboy movies, would have been especially baffled by his complete inability to see anything about the object of such kingly obsession, the former Ms Wallis Simpson, that would have made even a halfway blind man give up anything, except perhaps drinking too much.

The Duke's companion as they wandered through the celebrity desert was not anywhere in the league of Connie Britten, the brightest light of "Friday Night Lights" and everything else that she appears in.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Nobel Prize for Wikileaks

A member of Norway's parliament has nominated Julian Assange, the now famed and infamous, depending on your point of view, originator of Wikileaks, for the Nobel Peace Prize.   This is an entirely natural and worthwhile thing to do, as you can't get too many secrets spilled from the high places, which aren't really that high at all, and instead and in fact are really often as low as it is possible to get.

I can already hear the howls of extreme outrage rising from the NOA's -- the Nasties of America -- except that the greatest amount of it won't be directed at the person who made the nomination, or even at Assange.   Instead they will do as much as they can to come down hard on President Obama, because it will remind them of how the Norwegians gave him the same prize last year.   He had not been in office long, but he was seen as embodying some very powerful hopes for the future.   So, should Assange win, the Nasties will loudly call on Obama to "refudiate" his own Nobel, on the grounds that the Wikileaks disclosures hurt America, when actually, now months later, there has been no evidence of that at all, and instead daily you will hear about things that should be known but about which all but the perpetrators were kept in the dark.   And it's a very good thing to see evidence of how people in cabinets, banks, and other towers of the mighty are all too often petty nitwits just like everybody else, except you and me.

Obama's reaction will be, as it always is, to say, "Now guys, be nice," instead of showing them the outstretched middle finger of his left hand, a gesture that the Limbeckers of the world always so richly deserve.

If I remember correctly, Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously, and that means that Assange should be a shoe-in.  Otherwise there's a now sadly deceased fellow who would undoubtedly have a lock on it, had not the act that brought him so much attention obliterated his chances of winning the prize.   That would be Mohamed Bouazzi, a Tunisian who  on this past December 17th immolated himself, in protest againt the Tunisian rulers, and so unknowingly started the ball rolling for the series of dictator-booting attempts that are now sweeping across the Arab world.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Rage Too Far

Angry Arab is outraged.   He is really, really pissed.  Mubarak has unleashed a mob of his supporters and hirelings on those protesting his continued presence at Egypt's helm, which has now lasted 30 years, after which you would think that an 83-old guy would be more than glad to rest his weary bones for as long as he has left.   His mob came into the square with some of them bizarrely mounted on camels, thereby making even more history for the demonstrators by their being the first of their undertaking ever to be attacked by thugs on camels.   That's what I call color!

For all that picturesqueness, as of this writing, five deaths and hundreds of injuries have resulted, but the anti-Mubarak protestors are still holding firm.  What they need is for all those farmers whose forerunners built the pyramids to come pouring into Cairo armed with pitchforks to drop some heavyweight intimidation on the Mubarak gangsters.  This is provided that there still are farmers in Egypt, what with the damned dummies having long ago damned up the Nile.

Still, Angry Arab is so enraged over these attacks on the protestors, which he seems to think are Netanyahu's and Obama's idea, that I believe he has really lost it.  This is not to say that his anger is misplaced, but instead that he has blatantly violated Gardner's 4th, 5th, or whatever Law, first stated in these pages and which holds that one should never do or say anything while they're angry, or else they'll do something stupid every time.  Therefore, for some quieter and more carefully reasoned insights on the same events, at the moment Juan Cole at Informed Comment is doing a much better job.

To illustrate, Angry was invited to speak about Egypt on Al Jazeera.   You would have thought, with Al Jazeera enjoying its newfound place at the top of the news service heap and certainly putting all the stumbling, mumbling U.S. media outlets to crying shames,  he would've jumped at this chance to hold forth on something he knows a lot about, and to an international audience no less.   But he declined, using the shaky excuse of having classes to teach.   He admitted to his readers the real reason, that he didn't trust himself to keep from exploding on the air.

I believe, besides his concern for the protestors and the Egyptian people, Angry is miffed because he has made several predictions about Mubarak stepping down that haven't quite met his timetables.

Meanwhile among many others he is scornful about the concern for protecting Cairo's museums from looting and what-not.   He sees that as kowtowing to something he calls "the White Man."

I think he has really grabbed the sow by the wrong teat on that one, as they used to say in Dublin, Ireland in the year 1904.  Museums, like libraries, are the protectors of posterity, and the destruction of the library at Egypt's Alexandria that had been the main repository of all knowledge that had made it into print (that is, scrolls) in the Ancient World was already horrible enough to have happened in one country, Egypt, even if it was some time ago, like in 47 B.C. or around there.  Just as the surrounding events that caused the total disappearance of that library have long been forgotten, all the current commotion, as important as it is to the principals and to the world, will likewise fade from memory.   But if those museums were to be sacked as thoroughly as the ones in Baghdad were, during the American invasion, people will be remembering that with bitterness far into the future.

 The things in those Egyptian museums are the world's oldest and most valuable artifacts, bar none.   In fact they are so valuable that they can't be said to belong to the Egyptians at all and are not theirs to destroy, for any reason.   Instead they belong to civilization as a whole, among those humans who are civilized, and the world has all along trusted the Egyptians to protect them.   Those statues, busts, mummies, paintings, inscriptions, and the like represent the sources of the beginning of civilization.

Besides there is a practical aspect that Angry overlooks.   When the protesting is over and business can set in again,  and the tourists, those relentless carriers and guardians of civility and the bringers of large amounts of much appreciated cash, come streaming back into Egypt, as they surely will no matter what happens, those items in the museum will be the next things the tourists will want to see after they get through ogling the pyramids and the Sphinx.   They know what is supposed to be there, and if anything is missing they are going to have a lot of very serious questions to ask and to relay back to the rest of the world, which will already have been holding its breath for a long time.

I kid you not (an odd expression for Angry to latch on to, and he has done a good job of driving it into the ground).