Cracked has an amusing article today on people who didn’t know their faces had become famous. What struck me was #3 — the famous Afghan Girl with the startling eyes. Here is her full story. No one knew who she was until National Geographic tracked her down. They have a picture of her both as a young woman and as an older woman, prematurely aged by two decades of hell. She’s maybe 30 but her face looks 50. But the striking eyes are still there.
The picture, to me, encapsulates the difference between civilization and barbarism. Had this girl lived in a civilized society, she would still look as alive and beautiful as she did in the first picture. She’s be in the early stages of a career, maybe starting a family. Instead, the barbarism of communism, tribalism and Islamic fundamentalism has her scrabbling out an existence, a second-class human in her own country. And even more depressingly, she supports these things — praising the Burkha and the Taliban (although whether she would be free to criticize either is an open question).
We can’t civilize the barbarians, unfortunately. But we can remind ourselves of how they grind people down, destroy their potential, destroy their very physical existence. Civilization, for all its flaws, is an unthinkable improvement upon the lack thereof. And anyone who fails to recognize it needs to be reminded as often as possible.
Thanks to Twitter siphoning off my political rants, you’re getting more … non-political links:
Cracked debunks the Twitter revolution. I’m forced to mostly agree. Social networking may have played a minor role in the upheavals in the Middle East, at best. But real activism involves risking your life, not turning your Facebook profile green.
I really really like this idea of the Billion Price Index as a complement to traditional inflation metrics.
Do you know … do either of you have any idea of how fucking glad I am I don’t have a big ass commute anymore? I can’t imagine how I did it for so long.
I really hope the anti-homework agenda catches on. What’s being done to kids these days is absurd busy work bullshit.
So do you think studies like this will, in any way, slow down those who want to ban fatty foods?
Experts are once again stunned that poverty does not cause crime. They seem to be stunned by this quite a lot.
Want to stimulate the economy? Wonder how America can lead the world in innovation again? Repeal SOX.
Lots of non-political links today!
PJ has the last word on the tiger mom thing.
A wonderful photo essay of history’s biggest cities. Personally, I’m hoping the next picture in the chain is Mare Tranquilitatis City.
The latest on the to breed or not to breed question. Told you those sociologists were bullshit.
For some reason, this photo essay makes me feel almost patriotic. Americans are almost proud to be ridiculous. #51 is my favorite.
The latest from the food grabbers.
In the end, they’ll realize that gay marriage is a conservative thing.
I keep asking this: what is the point of Democrats if they’re just going to out-police-state Republicans?
All right. I give up. When Mann fucking Coulter is the voice of reason, we are REALLY in trouble.