Friday, April 01, 2005

How "Old Europe" Does Democracy

Notebook: "Stitches in Time," By Lewis H. Lapham. Dig it. Not on the site, but check out the treeware version at your local library or newsstand. A quote:
I didn't have far to look for the first of the differences between Washington and Brussels. The European Parliament occupies a suite of post-modern buildings in the upper part of the city, the arrangement of glass, steel, and polished stone along the lines of a California resort hotel, but at none of the several entrances were the police procedures as nervous as those in place on Capitol Hill -- no dogs, no men in uniform armed with assault rifles, so little emphasis on security that I was permitted to smoke a cigarette in the third floor cafe favored by the Czechs and the Finns. The European politicians apparently weren't as frightened of Arabs or tobacco as were their American counterparts. Death was an old story, and only once in three days did I hear anybody mention the word "terrorism." Enrique Baron Crespo, a Spaniard and a socialist serving as chairman of the Parliament's committee on International Trade, referred to the subject not as a matter of concern but as a commentary on the American fear of the future. A member of the Spanish government in the 1980s, Crespo on more than one occasion had been marked for assassination by the anarchist cadres then active in Barcelona and Madrid, and he had learned that it's no good living in a state of constant hysteria. "What's the point?" he said. "You could as easily be run over by a bus."

3 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...

All the jingoists in the U.S. who think that Europeans are pussies.. Who're the real pussies? We are, for letting our fears dictate our policies..

Friday, April 01, 2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Word. If that's a Lakoffian move, I'm down.

Friday, April 01, 2005 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Right on Rossi! Republicans are scared shitless of death so they go to church. They think they might really be gay so they bash gays. Most of all, they are suspicious of creativity and otherness, as a result, they attack artists and brown people in foreign lands.

Saturday, April 02, 2005 4:32:00 PM  

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