Advertisements

Gut Check: Save the Lectures

As dyspeptic as Andy Rooney, as cranky as Mark Steyen, and as subversive as Andrew Breitbartwrites: In the interest of time (I’m nearly a half century old and have fewer years ahead than I’ve already swallowed up), I do my best to avoid black holes: what I call “time-suck” stories that are so murky and slippery you can’t make heads or tails of them. These stories are often most attractive precisely because their messiness lets you make them into anything you want.

[See Greg’s book: Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You at Amazon]

In the absence of grip, rage becomes the recipe, as media hacks like me become bombarded with shrill demands for coverage.gut_check “WHY AREN’T YOU COVERING THIS STORY?!!!” is the usual refrain, often linked to stories that start loud and end in a fizzle (the Million Muslim March, anyone?). Sometimes we should cover them; other times they should be covered with a blanket and labeled “not worth it.” You see this more in our Munchean era of the constant Scream, as the internet transforms into a chorus megaphone of endless complaint, directed at those the public wish to persuade. It’s a legitimate activity — if you’re concerned, why not rally people to a neglected cause? Other times, though, it drags simpletons like me down a hole. A black hole. I avoid these holes if I cannot answer a simple question with a definitive yes: “Do I add any clarity to this mess?” If it’s no, or an “I don’t know,” I skedaddle. I don’t want to make things worse. I don’t want people to get hurt. I don’t want people to look at me and say, “Thanks for nothing, asshole.” Some of my louder and even smarter pals might disagree, but the Bundy saga was a hole — one filled with quicksand that I had no interest in drowning in. So I avoided it. Others didn’t. I’m not as smart about land issues as some, but I know a swamp when I see it. The more I read about it, the less I understood. It’s like a Pynchon novel, only more entertaining. But there’s something just as bad as these rage lasagnas, in my opinion, and it’s something you should also ignore. I refer to lectures from the media about “cozying up to extremists.”Unknown Like the piece in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank, with a headline that says exactly that: “Bundy saga reveals the risk of cozying up to extremists.” Or another from the same paper by Kathleen Parker, that reads, “The GOP’s bad fling with Cliven Bundy.” I totally get the importance of vetting any subject to avoid looking stupid. But I wonder, how many in the media offered this sage advice as most of their ilk (and their liberal cohorts in politics) gave repeated, slobbering wet kisses to the Occupy movement, which — after awhile — was reduced to a dwindling bundle of anti-Semitics, lurid felons, and fecal squatters? You’d think the OWS movement would have been relegated to the dustbin of ridicule, but instead glowing anthologies retell the story of the movement, minus the other “movements.” Do the media ever level this warning about extremism when faced with the likes of Reverend Wright? Or Bill Ayers, who actually wanted to blow people up? What about Al Sharpton? Did anyone, beside the typical cranky right winger, ever tell our president, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t really have this race-baiting charlatan at the White House?” I find Al’s outrage toward Don Sterling quaint. Say what you want about the gibbering Sterling, but he didn’t create horrible hoaxes that ruined lives or incite hate that found its way on the streets of New York. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Bundy’s Racial Rhetoric

cliven_bundy_slavery

We can survive cranks, but not a criminal government.

For NROKevin D. Williamson writes: Cliven Bundy’s racial rhetoric is indefensible, and it has inspired a lot of half-bright commentary from the left today directed at your favorite correspondent, mostly variations on this theme: Don’t you feel stupid for having compared him to Mohandas Gandhi?

Short version: No. There is a time to break the law, and the fact that the law is against you does not mean that justice is against you. The law was against Washington and Martin Luther King Jr., too. That does not mean that what is transpiring in Nevada is the American Revolution or the civil-rights movement; it means that there is a time to break the law. As I wrote, “Cliven Bundy may very well be a nut job, but one thing is for sure: The federal government wouldn’t treat a tortoise the way it has treated him.”

Critics on the left, being an ignorant bunch, may be unaware of the fact, but the example of Mohandas Gandhi is here particularly apt, given that the great man had some pretty creepy ideas about everything from race to homosexuality, for example writing that blacks aspired to nothing more than passing their time in “indolence and nakedness,” objecting to blacks’ being housed in Indian neighborhoods, etc. Americans, many of whom seem to believe that Mr. Gandhi’s first name was “Mahatma,” generally confuse the Indian historical figure, a man whose biography contains some complexity, with the relatively straightforward character from the Richard Attenborough movie. We remember Gandhi and admire him because he was right about the thing most closely associated with him. In the same way, there is more to the life of Thomas Jefferson than his having been a slave owner. The question of standing in opposition to a domineering federal government that acts as the absentee landlord for nine-tenths of the state of Nevada is only incidentally related to Cliven Bundy’s having backward views about race. Mr. Bundy’s remarks reflect poorly on the man, not on the issue with which the man is associated. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Bill O’Reilly to Bundy Supporter: Whats the Difference Between Bundy and Occupy Wall Street?

Bill O’Reilly took on a militia leader Tuesday night supporting Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and asked him a very blunt question: what’s the difference between Bundy supporters and Occupy Wall Street? Scott Shaw acknowledged that Bundy broke the law, but said Bundy should stick to his convictions.

O’Reilly suggested the government put a lean on the land for when he dies, which Shaw thought was a reasonable solution. He said he’s not comfortable with the government’s overreaction to the situation in Nevada, telling O’Reilly, “We’re only a nation of laws when it suits our federal overlords.” Read the rest of this entry »