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June 30, 2004

Another Moore Rip

A good one. Almost as good as Hitchens'. He makes the obvious point (so obvious I've made it) that the liberal media has a bit more tolerance for this ham-handed, conspiracy-minded, often-flagrantly-dishonest dreck than it did for The Clinton Chronicles.

I guess a bit of wild-eyed conspiracy-mongering and flat-out lying is justified... in a good cause.

So many reviewers are cautious to point out the film is often dishonest while praising it to the nines. There's a reason for this, of course. They know the film is obnoxious, deceptive swill, but they want their bumpkin countrymen-- Middle America, which largely isn't employed in tony jobs like internet film critic and thus can't be expected to know better -- to believe the film anyway.

No harm, no foul, they think. It's important that Bush be put out of office, and they don't mind if people vote him out of office for proveably false reasons.

As the useless idiot film critic for the amateur leftist newsletter Slate said, the film is a "legitimate abuse of power."

Everything with the left is about "context" -- context, of course, always meaning "does this advance the liberal cause or not?"

Is political violence acceptable? It depends on "context." Right wing poltical violence is bad, but really, ELF is just using some violence to achieve a good end, right?

Are former terrorists deserving of cushy jobs in the academy? Well, if they were left wing terrorists, working with the Black Panthers or the Weather Underground, then yes, they can be forgiven for planting bombs. Somehow, though, no one ever suggests that perhaps Timothy McVeigh would have made a fine addition to the Columbia faculty.

Are books exhorting the reader to kill the President worthy of publishing by big publishers? Well, once again, it depends on which president, doesn't it? The Turner Diaries are rightly condemened as an exhortation to racial violence. But Alfred Knopf has no problem publishing a book containing a 115 page meditation on why Bush should be assassinated, and how to best go about doing so.

And are political lies permitted in heavily-promoted, media-praised documentaries? Well -- it depends on context. Sometimes, you know, a few lies here and there can be a "legitimate abuse of power."

We've appealed to their honor. No dice. We've appealed to their sense of basic fairness. No help. We've asked them to consider their actions in the light of the necessities of a functioning civil democratic society. Again, no movement due to that argument.

I don't know. I personally don't want my President assassinated (and neither did I want Clinton assassinated). I was, and am, and always have been against cutesy invitations to political violence or actual assassinations, no matter who the target might be.

But it appears that the left, as usual, is not willing to make such blanket prohibitions. As usual, it all depends on context.

Update: Hypothetically, if someone presented a book urging the assassination of a high-profile Democratic politician, would Alfred Knopf publish it, I wonder? Would the media defend it as being a legitimate expression of anger?

Or would they decide that the risk of inciting an mentally-unstable reader into violent action outweighed any conceivable literary merits?

Context, context.

By the way, this writer doesn't have a lot of literary merit. His first book, Vox, was an embarassingly slim volume about two people jacking off over the telephone. Honestly-- that's what the book was about. There was no narration; it was just dialogue between a man and a woman for 130 pages or so, like this:

Bill: I like big boobs.

Mary: I've got big boobs. I like big weiners. Let's rub ourselves vigorously.

I read it when it came out-- or I tried to, at least. Even though the book was thin and sparse (they had to use lots of white space and publish it in small-book format to even get it to barely break 100 pages), and even though it was about a man and a woman masturbating, I still couldn't finish it, because it was boring.

The sex-talk was boring. The not-sex-talk was even more boring, although there wasn't much of that. Just enough to make the onanistic protangonists "fully fleshed out characters." (Ahem.)

He became half-famous not because he was a deep thinker or terrific stylist, but because he had one kinda-good commercial insight-- people like reading porn under the guise of respectable literature.

Wait a minute...! Maybe people like reading porn under the guise of political satire as well!

Hey Knopf-- give me a call, huh?


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posted by Ace at 04:10 PM

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