Monday, September 26, 2005

Katie: Scab Picker

Spotty has always believed that it was important to study a body of a writer’s work to try to discover his or her psychological motivations. Actually, he just made that up, because Spot knows zilch about literary criticism. But he has always enjoyed trying to figure out what makes people tick, or tock, or make whatever noise they make. Spot has long felt that Katie was a special case.

Katie is a scab picker. In her column today, Katherine Kersten chastises most of us for forgetting the Korean War, America’s “forgotten war.” Since her column was launched, Katie has taken the public to task for forgetting World War II, the Bomb, 9/11 a couple of times, and several other things that Spot has forgotten - again.

Katie is a busy person, running around picking at all these scabs on our psychic hide, making sure they remain open, and bleeding if at all possible. Most columnists do remind us from time to time about historical events they believe are important, but with Katie it is an obsession. Why?

Spotty says that it is part of Katie’s effort to maintain tribal identity and a sense of grievance. Another term for this, considered on a little grander scale, is nationalism. There is a quotation in the linked Wikipedia article that Spot likes:
The philosopher Avishai Margalit in The Ethics of Memory (2002), discusses the defining role of memory in shaping nations: "A nation," he says acerbically, "has famously been defined as a society that nourishes a common delusion about its ancestry and shares a common hatred for its neighbors. Thus, the bond of caring in a nation hinges on false memory (delusion) and hatred of those who do not belong."
In one part of her column, Katie writes of “annihilating” the North Koreans. Nothing like a little blood lust with your breakfast cereal, right gentle readers?

Spot is waiting for Katie’s column to remind us to mourn the defeat of the Christian Serbs by the Muslim Albanians on the Plain of the Blackbirds in 1389.


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