Adam (adamfletcher) wrote,

Multimedia Extravaganza

Man, extravaganza would be a great Scrabble word.

First Media

As a big fan of Don Red (and Ouch!, and Prince Bud, and The Thungs) I've got mention:

Nerd Core For Life, a documentary about nerd hip-hop. It's not all that Don/Ouch!/Prince Bud are about, but the documentary is pretty eye-opening. Lots of nerds rap. Which is awesome. I hope there is a tie-in tour of the artists and it comes to Boston (which is a pretty fucking nerd city).

Second Media

Here's a picture of my apartment as of last night (Kelly in the background). Everything was aglow.

Third Media

The book you see on the couch is Robert S. McNamara's In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, one of the most amazing books I have ever read. If you have seen The Fog of War, you will be familiar with the overall content of the book; however, the book offers a deeper insight into the decisions being made at that time (and if you haven't, watch the movie first or you may be overwhelmed with the data in the book). Not only does it offer a first-hand account of the decisions and thoughts of the most powerful people in the world during the late 60s/early 70s, but it provide a clear and concise analysis of the mistakes made during that period. McNamara even has bulleted lists detailing how to avoid the same mistakes.

Interestingly, almost all of the mistakes McNamara covers were made in the lead up and execution of the war in Iraq. Minimal forces (did you know there a formula for the number of troops needed by a government to fight a gorilla insurgency? Turns out the government is supposed to have a 10-to-1 numerical advantage - didn't happen in Iraq or Vietnam), limited warfare, bad public relations, no support from allied countries, and most significantly (in McNamara's view), trying to solve a nationalistic problem with force (this applied primarily to Iraq after Saddam was removed from power, not during the initial invasion). Basically, if the natives don't believe in your cause, you can't convince them to, and you are left with the mess. The halls to the oval office should be lined with reminders of failures in policy and action so that each day the president and the administration can remember the mistakes of the past.

Recommending a book by one of the most hated men in America, a man who many consider the chief architect of the Vietnam war (and therefore, the man primarily responsible for the 60,000 American deaths and the countless Vietnamese deaths) is difficult for me. I am pacifist- i don't like violent conflict and never believe that violence is a good solution to the problem. What I think is important about this book is that it is basically a field manual for avoiding these mistakes in the future. Writing such a book does not forgive McNamara for his part in the war but it is an important book that only he could have written.

Last Media

Go see Kelly's show!

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