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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Watch What You Say

Oh Gosh. You take a few days off and look what happens. Greg Easterbrook, one of those wonderful “reasonable” writers often held up as an example of what liberals should strive to be (conservative, apparently) reveals a lack of self awareness so huge that you wonder if he should be allowed to cross the street unassisted, General J.C.Christian Patriot turns out to be a real person and Rummy says we maybe, might, could win the WOT but it’ll probably mean that we have to create an entirely new war room ... er... department because the pentagon is just too untidy.

The Easterbrook flap is interesting in the same way that the Limbaugh black quarterback flap was interesting. (And isn’t that similarity likely to be the reason that ESPN let Easterbrook go? Some sense of what’s good for one bigot is good for another?) I’m very impressed with all the testimonials from Easterbrook’s many friends in the political press and the editorial apologia in TNR this week could bring a tear to your eye. All of these people say they just couldn’t believe that old Greg meant what it sounded like and that it is completely out of character and that he needs an editor and that blogs are so frightfully slapdash and slipshod and my goodness people certainly do get upset over every little thing, don’t they?

But, these slapdash little weblogs can be quite revealing. I certainly have written some things that I wish I hadn't and I'm sure I'm not alone. But, whatever it was, I know that it came from somewhere inside my fried and flaky head so it is my responsibility.

The question then is how to explain such a glaringly obvious, clichéd, anti-semitic remark as Easterbrooks'. He claimed it was a mistake and he’s sorry, which I don’t doubt. But, this kind of thing doesn’t just appear completely out of the blue and unrelated to anything we believe or think. The mind doesn’t work that way.

Easterbrook’s Tarantino movie rant was highly emotional, almost to the point of being irrational. (It certainly bore no relationship to any kind of reasonable cinematic critique or even an intelligent treatise on movie violence.) While he called Tarantino a “phony” and spared him no amount of snobbish disdain, he reserved his true ire for the allegedly money worshipping Jew who runs the parent company and the allegedly money worshipping Jew who runs the distribution company that released Tarantino’s allegedly artless film.

The thought and the idea came to him because on some level, when he got mad about Tarantino’s movie and he thought about who was responsible, something in him said … money worshipping Jews. He could have thought … rich white liberals. Or… decadent culture salesmen. Or, balding elitist fatcats. But he didn’t. Seeking to blame someone for a violent martial arts movie made by an Italian American starring a blond Buddhist, for some unknown reason, he just immediately thought of the "money worshipping Jews" involved and furiously admonished them in his little unfiltered forum before he had a chance to edit himself.

I don’t doubt that Easterbrook no more thinks he is an anti-semite than Rush thinks he is a racist. Most anti-semites and racists don’t think they are anti-semites and racists. Sometimes it comes out in anger, when they aren’t thinking clearly and they kind of clap their hands over their mouths like Easterbrook did and whisper, “did I say that?” Others think they are making reasonable observations and that those who object are being peculiarly sensitive. They search for justifications and usually claim victim status themselves at the hands of the PC police.

But, here’s the thing. When you get mad about something and the words “money worshipping” and “Jews” come immediately to mind, that’s anti-semitism. Period. When you see a black quarterback who’s not performing up to expectations and your interpretation, based upon no evidence whatsoever, is that the only reason he’s got his job is because of “social concern in the NFL ” and that “the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well, you’re a racist.

You thought it, you said it, you wrote it, you’re responsible for it.

The same thing applies to Jesus' General and good ole Rummy, the man who makes Peggy almost as hot as her man Dutch.

I'm beginning to think that Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern are God. What other explanation can there be for these two?