17 September 2007

The great equalizer

Another day, another article by the inimitable Fisk.

Lying on his back in Colosseum and watching the stars, the darling of the lost generation has produced the usual jumble of commonplace utterances, as usual sold to the same captive audience as a revelation worthy of unquestionable consumption.

The tendency of recent Fisk's stuff to take a more generic, high level world view is clear in this opus as well. He is even dispensing criticism fairly indiscriminately, not passing over his usual heroes (Palestinians, Bin Laden, etc. - only Hezbollah is not mentioned for some reason). The general thrust is to do one over Jesus, denouncing violence in any form, which even Jesus stopped short of. Violence is bad and should be abolished, says Fisk, telling us in no uncertain terms about his personal take on the barbarian execution of three human beings:

I was so appalled that I could not write in my notebook and instead drew pictures of this obscenity.
My calcified brain has no other way to deal with the above quote but to come up with a post I have written long ago, quoting Shakespeare:
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dress'd,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reap'd
Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home;
He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose and took't away again;
Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff; and still he smiled and talk'd,
And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
Yes, some people are obviously more sensitive than the others... Be it as it may, this is not the only message of the article. Cause the main message is here, in plain view:
Yet I fear the real problem goes beyond the individual act of killing, judicial or otherwise. In a weird, frightening way, we believe in violent death. We regard it as a policy option, as much to do with self-preservation on a national scale as punishment for named and individual wrongdoers. We believe in war.
So wars are at the root of all evil, as our thinker has established. Not bad for a lay-in at the Colosseum. And, of course, an example of such evil is easy to find, even in supine position:
For what is aggression – the invasion of Iraq in 2003, for example – except capital punishment on a mass scale?
Go tell this pathetic excuse for a human being and a journalist about wars fought and people dying to prevent or, at least, to stop evil from spreading. Go ask him what alternative, aside of impotent and blind anti-war preaching, he has to offer. But don't expect any answers. Expect the usual drivel on moral equivalence between the forces of darkness and anyone who, successfully or not, tries to battle them. Expect more tripe like this:
The leading antagonists in the preposterous "war on terror" which we are all supposed to be fighting – Messrs Bush and bin Laden – are always talking about death and sacrifice...
And be afraid, because this message has many a follower. It is an easy sell, because after all the only thing it requires you to do is absolutely nothing. Just close your eyes, stick your head in the sand and wait patiently...

As an afterthought to this rant: I was just reading this poem by Beaman, and a stray question, related to my rant, came up: what kind of articles Fisk would have been writing before and during WW II? Probably preaching the moral imperative of trying to understand and to embrace the Nazis. Or even... nah, it couldn't have happened... Or could it?