Sometimes I Understand The Whole “Manifest Destiny” Thing

May 21st, 2008 | researchmaterial

Eleven women accused of being witches have been burned to death by a mob in the west of Kenya, police say.

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Kenyans burn alive 11 ’witches’


24 Responses to “Sometimes I Understand The Whole “Manifest Destiny” Thing”

  1. I think you’re confusing Manifest Destiny, which sort of swept genocide and oppression of native peoples under the rug, with The White Man’s Burden, which was quite responsible for Americans getting around to Manifest Destiny.

    But I totally see where you’re coming from on this one.

  2. A) What if they’re right? Sure, this seems incredibly improbable to me, as a sane atheist, but for someone not raised with a mechanistic, scientific education, witchcraft may be as good an explanation as any other.

    B) It’s not noticeably worse than the behavior of Muslims, or Christians when they think nobody else is watching. Christians sometimes tie gay people to the back of pickups and drag them to death. Muslims kill women who look at other men by throwing stones at them. Hindus sometimes burn widows to death with their dead husbands. Religion makes people crazy, and you can’t cure them all overnight.

    None of which is reason for conquest, nor suggests that conquest would actually work, which is what Manifest Destiny and White Man’s Burden are all about. Read the history of the murderous Belgians in the Congo, and a modern book on the Rwandan genocide which is a direct consequence, if you want to see just how badly WMB can go wrong.

  3. Manifest Destiny as in westward expansion in order to get away from those damned Puritans?

  4. You know, it was just a snarky title to stick on a news story I’m archiving as research material.

  5. I concur mr. Ellis. When I read the Authority all I think about is how fucking great it would be to go around and fix all this garbage. Adolescent power fantasy my ass!

    And Mark Hughes — just because there is human garbage in every single culture doesn’t mean you human beings lose the ethical responsibility to step in when they see monstrous behavior. If this mob is so comparable to protestants bashing gays I’m sure you wouldn’t mind doing an exchange program with one of the poor bastards who had to worry about being burned every day…

  6. Honestly, I think it’s funny. This discussion of an act of intolerance, could lead to intolerance of views upon the event in question. I’d say the wonders of chaos theory, but I’m sure someone would correct me and we’d have more issues. Honestly, I’m just laughing.

  7. Scott, you’re confusing fantasy with reality, and should quit reading fantasies until/unless you learn the difference, or you’re going to end up in prison after committing assault. See, in reality, what the Authority do is a crime. When a whole nation does it, it’s called Vietnam, or Iraq, or Rwanda.

    The idea that going in and kicking ass while wearing an improbable uniform and posing heroically fixes anything, that is the very definition of adolescent power fantasy, and it’s a particularly uneducated and foolish one. It doesn’t work, it just makes everyone hate you for interfering, and after killing you, they go back to killing each other. You need to read more history books, and fewer comic books.

    Warren, take a good hard look at Scott. That’s what comes of people below the IQ waterline taking your underwear pervert comics seriously. People like that voted for President Chimp, TWICE, because he was gonna kick some ass. Boy, that worked out well, huh? People who take Fell and Transmetropolitan seriously are basically paying attention to the real world; people who take Black Gas seriously might be kinda out there, but aren’t gonna flip out until everyone gets zombified; but the ones who believe that spandex makes right are an active danger to themselves and others.

    You want a White Man’s Burden, Sahib Ellis? Sponsor Scott to finish grade school.

  8. wow. that last comment was awesome. my heart broke just a little when mr. ellis put that stupid-ass line up there but man to know that not everyone was gonna jump up and down and agree with ze interwebbings jesus. thanks mark for restoring my faith in some humanity.

  9. “Warren, take a good hard look at Scott. That’s what comes of people below the IQ waterline taking your underwear pervert comics seriously.”

    Jesus, I only wish that were news.

  10. I’m not sure what’s more irritating, the soft racism or the self-righteous finger-wagging. You’re all wrong.

  11. Interesting discussions in the comments for a blog near you? Go figure.

    Either way, I’m more with Mark on this one. You can’t beat people up for disagreeing with you, that won’t change their opinion. So what’s the option? Killing them?
    Doesn’t really work these days.
    The only thing you can do is educate them into thinking for themselves. A lot of people will still manage to fuck things up something fierce, but that’s life for you.

    Or we could just blame it on Christian missionaries.

  12. Definitely interesting, if only to note that I clearly take myself a lot less seriously than many of you do. If you couldn’t see that that title was a bad, sad joke, then you really need to go outside more. I would have thought that both my work and the things I’ve addressed on this site in the past would make my views on religion/superstition and race really fairly clear. I mean, if I have to come out and blankly state that I think Manifest Destiny is bullshit, then my opinion of my audience’s intelligence has kind of taken a knock there.

    The “Authority” thing came up, in several guises, after 9/11 — I wrote about it somewhere a year or so later, can’t remember where. The one I particularly remember is some poor guy wishing out loud that there had been a Superman to save the WTC.

    I do, however, like blaming things on Christian missionaries.

    Anyway, I’m off to finishing packing. Thanks for the thoughts, all.

  13. Amid the din of rancor, literate snobbery hatred of escapism, and need for explanation of the obvious, I hear the inexplicable call to affirm that I got the joke.

  14. oh thank god i’m not crazy

    (or suddenly become Boris Johnson)

    (and to state something else blindingly obvious, I’m hardly against escapism either.)

  15. @Warren – Sorry to say, my getting the joke is no positive reflection on your sanity (quite the opposite, in fact).

    Once you get done bullshitting the Norwegians and have the time, check out the beta Last.fm that’s up right now. Some good stuff so far.

  16. Wow. You’d think that referencing that authority in a semi-serious conversation would instantly be taken as flippant…I think I’m also going to have to go out and enact Black Summer now. Maybe some John Constantine stuff…

  17. Also note that I said adolescent power fantasy right in my own fucking comment…

  18. I got the joke. I just don’t see the difference between vigilantes in Kenya burning “witches” and vigilantes in Britain mistaking a paediatrician for a paedophile. Scott’s “human garbage” comments seemed a bit heartfelt to be totally flippant (and “adolescent power fantasy” was swiftly followed by his arse), and as Warren has pointed out we live in a world where people do seriously wish there was a Superman. Mark Hughes seems to take himself way too seriously with his finger-wagging.

    Everyone else is an idiot too. Including me.

  19. As intriguing as this debate is, the most interesting bit for me was – “They say they found an exercise book at a local primary school that contained the minutes of a “witches’ meeting””.
    Bloody bureaucracy. Even covens cant get together now without worrying about auditors. What do witches minutes look like anyway?

    ‘ok thanks for coming everyone, Hag sends her apologies but she’s got some milk that needs curdling and couldnt get away.’
    ‘There was a dip in curses last quarter, but we expect that to be offset by love potions, a perennial best-seller as we approach Valentines Day, although as I’m sure you’ve all seen in the Portents this morning there could be a shortage of newt eyes next month. More news on that as we get it.’
    ‘Don’t forget that next week we’ve got a site visit from Asmodeus, manager of the Fifth Circle Regional Office. He does report directly in to The Great Beast, so make sure your teeth are blackened and your spellstations are properly cobwebbed in line with regulations.’
    ‘Ok, unless there’s any other business, before you all go I’d just like to welcome Crone to the team. She comes to us from the Salem branch where she was Chief Child Corrupter, so I’m sure she’ll be a great asset to us, and hope you all make her feel welcome.’
    ‘Joan, can you stay behind please, I think we need to have a chat.’

  20. I’m still just laughing.

    But I find a quote strangely appropriate:
    And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
    -Friedrich Nietzsche (of all people)

    I laugh at all of this, from Warren Ellis’s original joking remark, to the senseless and pointless shouting between sides, some of which seem more in agreement with each other than in disagreement. Honestly, I think we all in some ways wish Superman excisted, otherwise, I don’t think he would be interesting to any of us. Escapism at it’s heart is a desire for what isn’t. The issue maybe seeing the border and never letting your mind cross into wondering why Superman hasn’t won our wars for us, but honestly I think a lot of writers, directors, producers, and toy makers would be out of business if people stopped having obsessions and desires for something outside their lives. Hell is there really much of a difference between that and transhumanism, body modification, and the etc.? It’s the strange balances that make life. The truth in a lie, the vigilante in full. It’s a strange irony that nature always favors destruction, yet we live… one of natures creations. Honestly, even the arguements, both sides, wouldn’t be so bad and so damn funny (yet saddening towards what truly defines man) if we didn’t have to throw in bullshit insults and filler words. Pointing out that your opponent is a jackass doesn’t win a debate. And I know that isn’t quoting anyone here verbatum, but it seems we as a species tend to cede into such.

  21. Poor witches, never catch a break

  22. I think your post title is just brilliant! Honestly, every time humanity does something to life my hopes up, this kind of nonsense brings me back to reality.

  23. That is a racist statement when you think of Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gitmo, and all the other white man’s proudest moments.

  24. Not if it’s sarcasm, you stupid cunt.