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March 02, 2005

"There's always the hope that this might not work"

Chris points out in the comments that, in the Jon Stewart interview, Soderbergh seems to put partisan interests ahead of American security:

"There's still Iran and North Korea, don't forget. There's hope for the rest of us. . .there's always the hope that this might not work."

Now, here's the reason I didn't seize on this: I imagine she said it with a smile on her face. I imagine she was being ironic, engaging in a bit of gallows humor.

I can't imagine that anyone close to respectable would say such a thing seriously.

So I give her a little latitude on that. I don't want my every ironic jibe treated as if I was stone-faced serious, and I don't want to say that Soderbergh was actually expressing the hopes of American failure here.

It's possible she was; certainly other leftist journalists have confessed, proudly, to openly rooting for American deaths and American failures in order to advance a partisan agenda.

But somehow, given the forum, given the semi-comic banter between them, I figure Soderbergh was just indulging in a bit of dark irony. Something I don't think should be discouraged-- the left seems to have lost its sense of humor entirely since...

Well, I'm not sure they ever had much of a sense of humor. But they've gone all Sean Penn on us these past four years.

Instapundit seems to take it somewhat seriously; Junk Yard Blog hopes she was joking.

I'll have to see the tape to confirm she was being ironic. But that's my suspicion at the moment.

On the other hand... It's always somewhat sketchy to "joke" about something you actually, in your heart of hearts, truly believe or desire. Because then you're not really joking; you're using the form of a joke to express a thought that would be otherwise embarassing.

Al Franken, Cursed Be His Name Forever, actually has a cute term for this: "kidding on the square." You're kidding, kind of, in the sense that you're saying it in a funny way, but you're on the square-- you actually pretty much mean it.

I think Soderbergh was being ironic, just joking around, just using the sort of black humor I enjoy myself on the occasion. But I think, too, she probably meant it.

But I can't really prove that. So I giver her a pass. For now.

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posted by Ace at 03:49 PM

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