Friday, November 12, 2004


1. Fuck the FCC.

2. Fuck the American Family Association.

3. Fuck George Bush.

4. Fuck what Eric Alterman said today.

Fuck 'em? Why?

1. The FCC has gone from watchdog to lap dog, and now has networks afraid to show an Oscar-winning movie with Oscar-winning actors made by an Oscar-winning director about one of the most important events of the 20th century, warts and all.

2. The American Family Association is a Christo-fascist organization that promotes ignorance and despises reality. Why, they suggest, do you have to have all that swearing in a realistic war movie? Wouldn't it be just as realistic without the "'f' words" and the "'s' words?" No, it wouldn't--would the King James version of the Bible be as holy without the words "piss," "ass," "hell," and "damn?"

What these jackbooted Christian thugs are trying to do is sanitize everything to make it more acceptable somehow in their crazed fantasies of how the world ought to be. Well, when you sanitize war and try to make it acceptable, that helps--maybe just in the smallest of ways--to make war acceptable. War is failure and weakness and to try to make it an acceptable option is evil.

3. He's just as clueless, mean, and stupid as ever. I can't wait till news of his love child with Karen Hughes comes out. He constantly says the Palestinians have to "stop terror" but in the same breath says Israel has to "defend herself." He has no idea how to handle the Israel-Palestine situation.

4. Which brings us to Eric Alterman's problem with Noam Chomsky. Eric Alterman is a passionate, brilliant writer and progressive advocate whose blog I read every day. But he'll take a shot at Chomsky every now and again, saying he disagrees with almost everything Chomsky says.

Today he tried to clarify why he feels that way, but didn't really say it himself. He sent readers in search of some elusive Web data (I gave up on trying to find the "H-Diplo" discussion at that convoluted site) that Alterman said expressed how he felt about Chomsky.

Well, it seems to me that Alterman is really just trying to be iconoclastic with these sorts of assertions--taking a swipe at one of the big boys to make himself appear to be in Chomsky's league (which he is) and position himself as the cool new major alternative progressive thinker. I also think Chomsky critics like Alterman have a problem with his moral clarity in that it doesn't favor "us" over "them." In Chomsky's analysis, there is only one "us"--humanity.

Therefore, Chomsky has no problem saying that U.S. violence and/or complicity in violence against other nations is no different to other nations' violence and/or complicity in violence against the U.S. Because, frankly it isn't different. We have our reasons for bombing, they have theirs. When we bomb them, they suffer just like we suffer when they bomb us.

This is one major point of Chomsky's oeuvre (what I've consumed of it, anyway) then, as I see it:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I doubt he'd put it that way, but that's what underlies all his criticism of the U.S.--we don't do that. For example, we go to war with Saddam because he invades a sovereign nation (Kuwait, of course). The hypocritical line we take is that countries do not invade other countries without provocation. Then we do the very same thing by invading Iraq, a sovereign nation that did not provoke us. A simple yet clear and recent example.

So I don't understand why Alterman has a problem with the fact that Chomsky takes exception to the fact that we don't always follow the moral standards that we would have others follow. Except that Chomsky is Jewish and is often very critical of Israel. And apparently that's a no-no in some circles.

But Chomsky calls a terrorist act a terrorist act, no matter who commits it, and that ruffles feathers. He's just trying to get us to see ourselves for who we really are so that we can change, stop antagonizing the world, and maybe really have peace or something close.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes to all four!