The horror... the horror...
Today's quote!
Word comes that the United States is moving warships to the Middle East, for a splendid little war backed (unsurprisingly) chiefly by the neocons who brought you its previous iteration ten years ago and opposed (unsurprisingly) by the vast majority of the American public who will not be consulted on the deal, because why would they be? Anyway, in Germany it seems we are not a part of this insanity, but I am given cause to recall a fellow born rather closer to Berlin than to Washington:

For a time I would feel I belonged still to a world of straightforward facts; but the feeling would not last long. Something would turn up to scare it away. Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn't even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush. It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts. Her ensign dropped limp like a rag; the muzzles of the long eight-inch guns stuck out all over the low hull; the greasy, slimy swell swung her up lazily and let her down, swaying her thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. Pop, would go one of the eight-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech—and nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of natives -- he called them enemies! -- hidden out of sight somewhere.

We gave her her letters (I heard the men in that lonely ship were dying of fever at the rate of three a day) and went on.

-- Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness"
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