What an apt metaphor was the top heavy, bare-assed national costume for Miss USA prior to her being crowned Miss Universe 2023. Videos of contestant R’Bonney Gabriel barely managing the unstable weight of U.S. imperial hubris amid plans to colonize the moon and achieve “Full Spectrum Dominance” in space did not meet any of my criteria for beauty. But of course that wasn’t really the point — exaltation of the mighty U.S. was.
The irony that a Filipino American woman would help glorify U.S. imperialism despite her ancestors having suffered brutal colonization by the U.S. in the Philippines is indicative of where we’re at in 2023; without an understanding of history, it can be difficult to detect irony at all.
Gabriel’s costume is a good visual companion to the unsustainable hubris fairly dripping from my last missive from Maine’s Senator Angus King.
No relation to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and, as a wealthy white man, seriously lacking MLK’s insight into the dangers of U.S. militarism, Senator King establishes the low quality of his response to my concerns about nuclear weapons by starting with a quote from…Ronald Reagan.
It goes downhill from there.
Notice how his aides have managed to compose an entire letter on the dangers of nuclear war without once mentioning either Ukraine or Russia. (Or, for that matter, China.) We are meant to decode for ourselves threats it does name: “malign actors” and “potential adversaries.” Quite a feat of obfuscation, wouldn’t you say?
King watchers note, however, that our senator recently traveled to Ukraine and met with the president there, did the obligatory photo op, and made remarks comparing Russian Federation President Putin to Hitler.
King is not a stupid person nor an ignorant one, but he is willfully overlooking the strong presence of actual neo-Nazis in Ukraine’s government and military. He was also quoted while in Ukraine as saying, “Putin has made it very clear his overall goal is to establish the Soviet Union.” That is a bald faced lie, but he’s counting on the ignorance of his audience back in the U.S. to accept it without question.
Does King have his own imperial ambitions? Perhaps to run for president of the U.S. after helping to funnel billions into the coffers of weapons corporations? Stay tuned.
Historians among us might also take a look at this 2014 story about riding on a nuclear submarine under Arctic ice as the Arctic is another area of special interest for King. The story is quite revealing about U.S.-NATO intentions (on Russia’s extensive northern border, but for heavens sake don’t admit that).