Boy, you can't leave Town Hall alone for a minute

I swear, I go away for one day and the pundit class soils itself in public. I guess I just can't have nice things.

Leading off, the always-reliable Dennis "My Son Has a Friend Who Isn't a Raving Anti-Semite" Prager pens a piece about how Muslims are worse than Nazis and commies put together. Setting the tone for his column with the cooly rational claim that the only people who could possibly disagree with his claim are "the willfully naive, America-haters, Jew-haters and those afraid to confront evil", he goes on to spell out the reasons why Islam is more of a threat than Nazism or the global communist conspiracy:

1. No one really believed in communism anyway, and the only reason anyone ever supported it was because they were afraid of the secret police. A nice dodge, this one, ignoring the dull, depressing reality that no authoritarian regime can survive without at least the partial consent of its people, and it lets him ignore the fact that the reason communism ever got a foothold in the first place is because of its wildfire popularity among working people who were tired of getting shit on by capitalists.

2. There are more Muslims than there were Nazis or communists. By this logic, of course, Republicans are more dangerous than the Manson Family.

3. Muslims, unlike Nazis and communists, do not fear death. This is a popular cavil with the Arab-bashing right; they cite suicide bombings (which, of course are neither unique to nor invented by Muslims) and the like to "prove" that Islamic fundamentalists don't fear death. They also like to toss around the phrase "death cult", like Allah is equatable to Cthulhu, and among the hardcore there's a fun cavil that Muslim women don't love their children, which is why they send them out to throw rocks at tanks, knowing they'll get killed by Israeli soldiers and they can get sympathy from misguided liberals. This last is a pretty grotesque claim; aside from the bizarre blame-shifting -- where the villain becomes the Palestinian mother who 'allows' her son to throw rocks at a tank instead of the Israeli soldier who murders a child for the crime of rock-throwing -- it recalls statements made by American racists (I've heard it from the mouths of members of my own family) that black women didn't love their children, because they let them go out and face the cops in Birmingham, knowing Bull Connor's dogs would maul them and they could be made to look like martyrs for the TV cameras. It's a pretty nice way to alienize your enemy: they aren't like us. They don't feel pain; they don't fear death. They're not, after all, human like we are. Makes it easier to kill them, knowing they don't mind.

Moving on, humorless Walter Peck impersonator Brent Bozell shows why he should never, ever write anything that deals with comedy, as he attacks Comedy Central for going too far. He refers to the South Park Scientology flap even though it's been thoroughly discredited, and claims that only Christianity is acceptable to mock on this network of evil. Citing as unfunny a number of funny gags, he then excoriates Drawn Together for its portrayal of Christians as humorless fire-and-brimstone scolds, which is pretty funny, given that Bozell's attack on the show pretty well establishes him as, well, a humorless fire-and-brimstone scold. The best part of the piece, though, is where, in a dismally failed attempt to pretend he is not the most humorless man at Town Hall, Brent discusses what kind of comedy DOES work for him: "giant of the genre" Don Rickles, and Jackie Mason, "one of the funniest men in America". Apparently, comics born after the Great Depression are just too edgy for our man Brent.

Finally, Rebecca Hagelin brings us a boringly typical attack on Grand Theft Auto: filled with distortions and misstatements, utterly hysterical (it's a "murder simulator"!), and containing a big fat plug for her book. The highlight, again, comes early on, when she says this:

“Life is like a video game. Everyone has to die sometime.”

If you spent part of your youth playing 'Pac-Man' and 'Space Invaders', such a statement must seem bizarre. Video games were...well, games -- innocent diversions that did nothing worse than eat up dotted lines and too much of our allowances. A waste of time? Perhaps. But nobody got hurt.

HA HA HA HA, yeah, nobody got hurt in 'Space Invaders', all right, Bec! No one except the thousands of marauding aliens who you blew to smithereens with your laser cannon! Or the entire population of Earth which perished when the aliens landed! Yes, who can forget the golden age of non-violent, innocent, harmless video games? I believe it lasted from the introduction of 'Pong' in 1972 until one second later when someone invented violent, conflict-oriented games which have totally dominated the field continually ever since then. Good times!

No comments: