Speaking of liberal misinterpretations of popular texts and of liberal simplistic hyper-moralism, both are going to neatly dovetail at a multiplex near you soon. Hollywood has enlisted hipster, it-director Alfonso Cuaron to direct the next Harry Potter movie, and he seems to be interpreting the source material in a slightly different way than I would. Newsweek reports:
Cuaron’s outspokenness is also new to the franchise. Does the evil wizard Voldemort still remind him of George W. Bush, as he said recently? “In combination with Saddam,” he says. “They both have selfish interests and are very much in love with power. Also, a disregard for the environment. A love for manipulating people. I read books four and five, and Fudge”—Rowling’s slippery Minister of Magic—”is similar to Tony Blair. He’s the ultimate politician. He’s in denial about many things. And everything is for the sake of his own persona, his own power. The way the Iraq thing was handled was not unlike the way Fudge handled affairs in book four.”
Duuuuude! You're blowin' my mind. This is just, like too heavy, better let the great one respond:
Let's review. Bush: supported legislation that wanted to open up an obscure distant corner of caribou country for oil production. The legislation failed; the drilling has not occurred.
Saddam: drained the entire southeastern marsh of his nation, diverted the water, ruined wetlands and the Ma’dan, the people who lived in that ecosystem. One could call it Ethnic Cleansing. One could even call it a Hate Crime.
Well, the water is flowing into the marshes again. Saddam flooded them to hamper the invasion. Yeah, that worked well, eh? Now the villagers are returning; now they’re fishing again.
Of course, this was not the objective of the war; hardly. But it’s happened. And it’s irrelevant to the finely-tuned political minds of our culture’s artists. If Bush had called Saddam “a real-life Voldemort” they’d have spit out their tea and laughed themselves silly - such simplistic Hollywood drivel; what else would you expect from an example of doltus Americanus?
But should a director of moving pictures call Bush a real-life Voldemort, and twin him with a fascist who gassed a village for research purposes - ah, there’s a canny lad. There’s a piercing mind.
This director’s movie will open nationwide on 3,000 screens, and it will make hundreds of millions of dollars.
Tell me again about the crushing of dissent. But speak up! The TV is rerunning Baghdad reaction to the death of the brothers, and the celebratory gunfire is deafening. Their political misgivings about American intervention aside, they actually seem happy.
So, to sum up, when George W. Bush refers to mass murdering dictators as evil he's being a simple-minded, religious right buffoon who thinks he's on the horn directly with God when its really Paul Wolfowitz playing with the microphone, but when the august members of our cultural elite refer to George W. Bush as evil they are brave truth tellers. And, when members of the cultural elite produce works which could be construed in any way to support the War on Terror, other members of the cultural elite must either decry the danger of our simple-minded enjoyment of these messages, or simply change the message into its opposite.
But you see, as a conservative, I'm the one who thinks all my ideological opponents are evil. No matter what I might say, I'm just like anorexia and Tourette's sufferer Ann Coulter. The reason I pretend I can't stand her is because she's just like me, and I won't want anyone to know the dirty secret. How do I know? Because I read this piece by one of my former favorite journalists, Sam Tanenhaus. There's no real argument in the thing. Its pretty much a piece of Ann Coulter-like name calling and lumping itself. The funniest bit is when he strains to say that we all agree with her post 9/11 comment that we should go into Muslim countries, "kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." He opines:
This met with an outcry that was, again, loudest from the right. Within days, National Review online dropped her column. (And Horowitz, to his credit, picked it up for FrontPage.) But no one, to my knowledge, has bothered to point out that her formulation was prescient—right up to the eerie moment in April when Ari Fleischer was dodging questions about the evangelicals camped on the Iraqi border, poised to Christianize the Muslim infidels.
What Christian evangelicals, who ply their trade wherever in the world they possibly can, and have no
connection whatsoever to the US or British government, have to do with Coulter's vision of a new crusade, I'm not sure, nor am I sure how this fits in with the complaint that the Bush White House is in effect ruled by a small gang of predominantly Jewish neocons. Also, its been ably explained by non-Partisan experts in the area that the evangelicals' primary goal is to go after the "low-hanging fruit" of the small population of Iraqi Coptic and other Christians, and convert them to their sect of Christianity, and not to convert Muslims.
Yes, someone is going to have to do a better job explaining why Ann Coulter is repudiated by all thinking conservatives while Tourette's Cases like Eric Alterman and Michael Moore are given McArthur genius grants, Academy Awards, etc.