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Monday, December 30, 2002

Ho-hum: Britain's Independent Serves Up a Predictable Hero-Villain List.

Take a gander at the two part article allowing Britain's "thinking" class to offer nominations for 2002's Hero/Villain of the Year. It's in alphabetical order, and is mostly suitable for wrapping fish and/or lining a cat box. Keep the Maalox handy.

1. George Bush gets multiple "Villain" nods. For example, noted Darwinian and irritable chihuahua Richard Dawkins uses the opportunity to present yet another example of his cryonic stupidity:

"Villain: George Bush
This illiterate buffoon cheated his way into the White House with the help of his well-connected family and friends. Having dismally failed to anticipate or prevent the atrocity of September 11, he spent the rest of the day zigzagging around the country like a jet-propelled chicken. His personal cowardice was mirrored in the country at large, and he fanned it to his advantage in the mid-term elections, and now, to foment an unprovoked war that has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with oil. His record on the environment is as appalling as you would expect. Bush is rightly despised throughout the world, and it is humiliating that Britain is seen as his only ally. "
>>There's no point in fisking this stool sample at any length. I'll simply offer up the following two observations: (1) Dr. Dick ought to stick to spreading the Gospel According to Charles, where he is on somewhat firmer quicksand, and (2) his rant is heartening in that it demonstrates that two years after W's election, his foes continue to make the boggling mistake of regarding him as a corrupt, brain-damaged tool. The increasingly vapid recycled insults say more about his critics than they do about Bush. I used to worry that the Left would wise up and start beating him at his own game. Fortunately, the evidence is becoming clear that they will underestimate him for the remaining six years of his presidency.>>

2. Speaking of fiskings and stool samples, the Independent's own Robert "Thank You Sir! May I Have Another?" Fisk also gets a couple of nominations for "Hero." This includes one from Beaker Dawkins, who simpers: "He is not afraid to tell the truth, however unpleasant. His serious sincerity redeems the profession of journalist from the dishonour inflicted by the tabloids."

Ditto the obsequy from somebody named Andy Kershaw: "I've nominated him for the clarity and bravery of his reporting, in contrast to most other journalism about the Israel-Palestine conflict, which can be characterised by its cowardice, its clich├ęs, its laziness and its mendacity."

>>One question: When did parroting the views of Saudi mullahs on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (minus the "apes and pigs" references) become laudable for its "clarity," "bravery," and "serious sincerity"?>>

3. Dr. Rowan Williams, the C of E's head Archbishop, also received a few nods from the Independent's glitterati, including this unintentionally telling comment by Terence Blacker:

"Hero: the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams
On the evidence of his first few weeks as Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams will be a very considerable national figure, and a thorn in the flesh of spin-happy, market-crazed New Labour. At last, a churchman with a forensic brain and a fierce moral sense."

>>I'll just say that I couldn't agree more, since a "forensic brain" is indispensible when your church is headed to the morgue.>>

4. Miscellaneous. Have fun looking for the dwarven figure who hopes Dick Cheney will have a heart attack, and also for the rare hero nominations of Bush and Iranian dissident Hashem Aghajari. Also, search for the references to Hussein, bin Laden, the Taliban, the repressive Saudis, Al Qaeda and one of Britain's hardline Muslim fundamentalists in the "Villain" category. Helpful hint: you'll find exactly one reference to one of the above.


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