Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Right-Wing Humor 

speakingcorpse writes:

This is so nauseating I don't know what to do. Perhaps I'll make myself vomit. Via Kos, we learn that at the bottom of the WSJ's daily "Best of the Web" feature is some fulsome praise of the fascist blog "Little Green Footballs" for its decision to award Rachel Corrie the "Idiotarian of the Year Award."

Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer-driver while defending the rights of Palestinians to live in their houses rather than stand by while they are destroyed. Not only is Corrie the idiotarian of the year, she is, or was, as the WSJ says, a "terror-advocate."

What does this kind of writing say about the WSJ? It may seem too obvious and too disgusting to dwell upon, but it's worth considering. We can make two different conclusions about the WSJ:

1) the WSJ may know nothing at all about Corrie, and may be happily and ignorantly desecrating her memory, while making several related assumptions: that she is a stupid left-wing student and that all Palestinians are terrorists and that their left-wing student supporters are "terror-advocates." This would be a particularly cruel and heartless and deadly variation of the criticism directed against Dean and Bush-hating Democrats--they are Ipod-using, sushi-eating children of privilege whose opinions can be dismissed without consideration. (Like the opinions of the terroristic Palestinians.)

2) a more unsettling conclusion: the WSJ is perfectly aware of Corrie's bravery, her intelligence as expressed in searching and eloquent letters, her empathy--everything that makes her memory so obviously beloved to those that knew her. And the WSJ could be saying, anyway, that she deserved to die. NOT because she was an innocent fool who was mixed up with violent Arabs, but because killing is good and the death of enemies is good, no matter how admirable they may seem to be.

I'm inclined to think that the second conclusion about the WSJ is accurate. In the end, this slur is not about criticizing Corrie at all--it's about enjoying being on the side of the killers. The whole "debate" on the legitimacy of Corrie's cause is merely a pretext to revel in bloody murder. It's just more fun to celebrate death than lament it.


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