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May 25, 2007

A Serious Funnyman

Until recently, I'd never heard of Rick Mercer. Mercer is a political satirist in Canada who hosts the "Rick Mercer Report." It's like "The Daily Show" but Mercer manages to do what Jon Stewart cannot (or will not) - use his sharp wit with relative equality on politicians from all of Canada's approximately 237 political parties.

Mercer is a funny guy who gets to do a lot of interesting things - drive a tugboat, run a tank over a car, and go skinny dipping with a former Liberal Premier. In one segment of his show, he convinced the leader of the Canadian Green party to cut down a tree.

He's also a strong supporter of the military, so when Noreen Golfman, a women's studies professor in Newfoundland, wrote a column in which she complained that her holidays were ruined by sad stories about injured soldiers ("poor sods" she called them) in Afghanistan and questioned Canada's mission there, Mercer got angry. Especially since the "poor sod" she wrote about was a friend of his - Master Cpl. Paul Franklin.

As you can read, this is not a guy you want to get angry. His column is a great exercise in smackdown. Sure, it's a few months old, but it's good stuff.

Personally, I would have thought that as a professor of women’s studies you would be somewhat supportive of the notion of a NATO presence in Afghanistan. After all, it is the NATO force that is keeping the Taliban from power. In case you missed it Noreen, the Taliban was a regime that systematically de-peopled women to the point where they had no human rights whatsoever. This was a country where until very recently it was illegal for a child to fly a kite or for a little girl to receive any education.

To put it in terms you might understand Noreen, rest assured the Taliban would frown on your attending this year’s opening night gala of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. In fact, as a woman, a professor, a writer and (one supposes) an advocate of the concept that women are people, they would probably want to kill you three or four times over. Thankfully that notion is moot in our cozy part of the world but were it ever come to pass I would suggest that you would be grateful if a “poor sod” like Paul Franklin happened along to risk his life to protect yours.

...

You end by saying you personally cannot envision that peace can ever be paved with military offensives. May I suggest to you that in many instances in history peace has been achieved exactly that way.

The gates of Auschwitz were not opened with peace talks. Holland was not liberated by peacekeepers and fascism was not defeated with a deft pen. Time and time again men and women in uniform have laid down their lives in just causes and in an effort to free others from oppression.

Ouch. Makes me almost (sort of) want to go out and drink a Molson.

It's kind of sad, though, that a Canadian entertainer can speak out more strongly on issues of war and the need for force than most American politicians.

Funny skit from Mercer below the fold:


It's official...everyone hates taxes.

digg this
posted by Slublog at 02:04 PM

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