On the Relative Lengths of Wars
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This week marks the fifth anniversary of the War in Iraq. So this conflict has now surpassed the U.S.Civil War, World Wars One and Two, the Korean War, the Spanish-American War, the Mexican War, and -- a personal favorite since the old ancestors were involved -- the Whiskey Rebellion.
Oh, my bad! I forgot the War of 1812!
Of course, all of these wars pale in comparison to the Hundred Years' War (which I believe began sometime in the 1300s, I'm too lazy to look it up) or the Crusades -- lump those babies together and you've got three centuries of fighting. There's also that conflict that was never declared and was decided mostly by biological warfare, but still has pockets of resistance yet today: The War between Eastern and Western Hemispheres. If we say it began in 1492 and ended at Wounded Knee, that's one friggin long war.
Even that war is just a tiny blip on the radar when compared to the Biggest War of All Time: Them vs. Us.
The War of Them vs. Us has raged since the Pliocene, maybe even earlier. It is grounded in the very fiber of humankind, which consistently shows itself as a species to be fettered by a bad combination of survival instincts and the ability to think in ways that enhance personal survival.
Look around you. From the teams on the Little League field right up to the Nazis invading Poland, we're wired to see the world as Them vs. Us. And we are better than they are. We're smarter, we're stronger, we deserve more, they should listen to us, and then they'd be so much better off! We've got it right, they've got it wrong, how can we convince them to be like us? And if we can't convince them to be like us, wouldn't it be better to get rid of them, so that they don't try to make us into them?
We at "The Gods Are Bored" try to advocate a big, broad, flexible outlook as a way to advance the evolution of humankind. And then in the next breath we pronounce Rick Santorum a moron. Which he is. He's one of them. And we don't like them.
So then, how do we transcend this genetic glitch that leads to war anniversaries? Sorry, this sermon is open-ended. We at "The Gods Are Bored" don't have an answer. But we do believe that whatever deity actually created this species ought to get right to work on the problem, and solve it in a hell of a hurry.