Something awful happened today. I read
Will’s column and found my head nodding vigorously at several points. Ewwww.
I had pretty much written Will off long
ago, with the possible exception of his baseball columns. But here’s what he
says about the Enron collapse:
It will remind everyone — some conservatives, painfully — that a mature capitalist
economy is a government project. A properly functioning free market system does not
spring spontaneously from society’s soil as dandelions spring from suburban lawns.
Rather, it is a complex creation of laws and mores that guarantee, among much else,
transparency, meaning a sufficient stream — torrent, really — of reliable information
about the condition and conduct of corporations.
Poor Will. That pretty much makes him a Stalinist, as far as his crowd
is concerned. I don’t envy him going through his hate mail bag tomorrow.
One interesting thing Will adds is that “a few capitalists have done more to delegitimize
capitalism than America’s impotent socialist critics ever did or today’s moribund left
could hope to. It is the Republicans’ special responsibility to punish such capitalists.”
(Emphasis mine.) Hmmmm… if I buy that philosophy, then that means we liberals have a special
responsibility to punish those who delegitimize our side.
Well! I am not one to shirk my duty. May I direct your attention to
gem from our old friend Charlotte Raven? You might
remember her as the lovely
young lady who, seven days after the Sep. 11 atrocity, informed us primly that
a bully with
a bloody nose is still a bully.
In her latest column, Raven claims that had Charles Bishop been raised in the UK,
he would not have committed suicide by crashing his small plane into a
For boys like him, school will always be a nightmare, but there is far more chance
over here that he would meet a like-minded compadre with whom he could share jokes
and swap notes about the monstrous pain of the universe. At some point, they’d discover
the Smiths and both would be delighted by how perfectly Morrissey captures that
feeling of being invisible to the people whose attention you most want to attract.
The… “Smiths”? “Morrissey”…? Why, Ms. Raven, what are these… strange, exotic
bands you speak of? They… confuse and frighten me.
No, I couldn’t agree more. If only we here in the United States had any
kind of outlet at all for our kids with Goth angst. But none exist.
No, Britain is far better at absorbing its misfits in a healthy manner, given
its far more easy-going culture and complete absence of class structure.
I mean, young British misfits
wrong, do they?
The really amusing part is Raven’s comments on Marilyn Manson — that if
“Marilyn Manson were British he could have had a nice career singing songs
about how it felt to be a sickly, spotty but highly intelligent young man
with a wicked sense of humour and a perfectly comprehensible horror of
the banality and hypocrisy of late-capitalist society.” Could it be…? The
high-and-mighty Charlotte Raven, scourge of warlike capitalist American dullards
everywhere, doesn’t get Marilyn Manson? Any American with any
knowledge of pop culture understands
that Manson is nothing more than an off-color over-the-top 24/7
marketing campaign. Could it be that we get the joke and Raven doesn’t?
It’s almost too much.
As an added bonus, Raven
the Lord of the Rings movie (of course!) — but if I understand her
correctly, the movie would have been a success had the special effects been
cheesy. She is quite disappointed with the movie’s seamless CGI:
“The minute Middle Earth is as real to us as Battersea or Burma,
it is no longer Tolkien’s creation… (Jackson’s) literal-minded insistence
on shining a spotlight into every crevice makes the whole thing seem completely
banal. If Hobbits are real, they are laughable.” Oh, dear, dear.
I know, I know. I resolved this year: no more po-mo lefty silliness. But I just
ran across this one. I wasn’t actively trolling through the Guardian
website looking for trouble, I swear. Scout’s Honor.
All right, I’ll end on a positive note. Kathleen Parker pretty much
the CNN-Paula Zahn-zipper promo “controversy” in today’s Merc:
Still, for a nanosecond of offensive flattery, Zahn got the attention the
ad was intended to get, she got to decry the “insult” that she’s an appealing
woman, and she gets weeks of coverage in which her professionalism is praised
amid apologetic admissions that, well, she is a little bit sexy. And
you thought you were having a bad day.
Parker also notes that the zipper sound was inaccurate: “I personally visited
every closet in my house this morning and couldn’t find a single zipper that
made any noise. With little ado, we’ve entered the era of the noiseless zipper.”
The Era of the Noiseless Zipper. What will our nation’s scientific geniuses
think of next?