Over the past week, Atlantic film critic Christopher Orr has waged a noble, yet foolish battle against equally-foolish evangelists of Love Actually, the now-notorious 2003 British Christmas-movie-qua-romantic-comedy. Unintentionally and (perhaps too) whimsically, The Atlantic‘s Great Love Actually Conflict of December 2013 illustrates the evolution of ethnic identity during political conflict:
1. First, a belligerent force asserts an identity, and seeks to impose that identity on others through coercive means.
3. Third, the belligerent force, placed on the political–and, often, military–defensive by its counter-identity, wages attritional conflict against the marginalized group and its supporters.
4. Civilians are often harmed.