Thursday, October 11, 2007
Today's Shallow Thoughts
These are by me. The first one has to do with Turkey recalling its ambassador for the reason that the U.S. Congress has declared the Armenian genocide a genocide, and it is about the need for countries to grow up, just as people must grow up. No country is perfect, no country has a history with nothing but noble and shining moments, and no country has been picked by some god or goddess to be the special favorite. I'm sick and tired of that type of thinking, because it is also the background for the beliefs that some countries are allowed to have more stuff, not because they managed to get it, but because they are morally justified in having more stuff. And from all this also comes the justification of war as something good.
Having said all that, I will also add (tut-tutting ever so gently) that this moment wasn't a good one for the Congress to point out that the genocide that took place nearly a century ago indeed was a genocide. Because the U.S. needs the Turks to act in a particular way, and angering them isn't the best preparation for that.
I forgot the second shallow thought I had. It must have been very shallow indeed to so easily escape the iron gates of my mind. - Oh yes! It's about the politicization of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prizes in general, and it concerns the fact that the process in picking the candidates isn't very different from the process that elite colleges use to pick their students: The first round of pruning essentially guarantees that all remaining applicants are good enough to attend. The second round picks among those based on various reasons. In short, sure, the Nobel Prizes are political in one sense, but in another sense they are not. How's that for shallow?