Thursday, October 28, 2010
One thing the Right has to watch out for is not thinking the fight for Western values belongs only to them. Rights like free speech, after all, once were known as liberal values before liberalism transmogrified into something not liberal.
Yes, there will be johnny-come-latelies as more Molly Norrises lose their naivete. They need to be welcomed and defended. The fight belongs to all. What's striking about the movie :"El Cid" is that the character of Rodrigo prevails by welcoming all to the battle against the fanatical enemy Ben Yussef. The idea is to isolate and marginalize your opponent-- not yourself.
Molly Norris's fight is everyone's fight. Everyone who believes in the values our nation was birthed with 234 years ago.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Here's a post on a site which turns reality on its head, so that those issuing the fatwah against Molly Norris are the victims, as well as, somehow, in some Orwellian universe, defenders of free speech:
Molly Norris may have been extremely naive. She may well even have thought to gain a spot of publicity. But NO WAY does she deserve having to lose her identity; to no longer exist. What country is this?? If Americans don't have the freedom-- and the safety-- to be naive, then we've truly lost this country. The concept "America" no longer exists.
Click on the "About" at the Daily Mail Times site and you'll see it's the project of a bizarre combination of radical Leftists and Islamists. What could they possibly have in common? Given their very different ideologies, what's their objective? It's hard not to think that being anti-American is enough of a commonality for them.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Here’s a link to one of the forum discussions I started—referred to below—about the Molly Norris tragedy:
Note that there’s more commitment to childish notions of multiculturalism among today’s writers and artists than to free speech. The We Make Zines site has almost three thousand readers, yet not a one of them was able to step forward and stand up for Molly Norris’s freedoms.
What’s known as “Liberal America” now isn’t liberal and is scarcely American.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Those who masquerade as liberals today are anything but. They have no commitment to free speech-- instead, they've been indoctrinated into the principle of criminalizing speech, along with crazy notions of interest group politics.
Over the last couple days I've posted about the Molly Norris affair on a couple of ostensibly liberal on-line forums. I thought I'd be able to stir up concern and outrage at cartoonist Norris being driven into hiding by exercising her right to free expression. One of the forums is devoted to zine culture-- print zines being "underground" publications which have always been devoted to pushing the boundaries of free speech; zinedom having consisted for decades of publications representing every possible viewpoint, including far right and far left and every other idea within and without those parameters.
What I found in the two forums was A.) prevalent apathy from most of the Eloi-like participants; B.) those who did respond were more outraged at me for having brought the discomforting Molly Norris matter up.
A few quotes:
"There are a million things in this cruel, messed up, insane world to protest against and try to remedy. Why is this one any more important than any other?"
"--is it wise to throw gasoline on a raging fire? . . . don't come crying to me if you get immolated."
"--learn to speak sensibly and with tact."
"I'm disgusted by your rampant Islamophobia."
The idea of defending speech, even offensive speech, is nonexistent on these forums, which I should add have thousands of members and hundreds of readers. The chief attitude toward Ms. Norris was that she's to blame for her problems, for daring, in a humorous and harmless way, to gently mock the religion of Islam.
Yet there's more going on. One is an apparent alliance between Islamists and the far Left. Toward what end? More about that in an upcoming post.
Monday, October 11, 2010
This is one of the saddest stories I’ve seen:
What happened to free speech? What happened to America? Where is the outrage?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The 1950’s in film was a time of screen heroes. Most of the male leads were stoic alpha males whose model of how to stand, speak, and act might have been George Washington. The major ones were John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable (no longer dominant but still around), Burt Lancaster, Gregory Peck, and Charlton Heston. Weaknesses in the characters were hinted at, sublimated, overcome. As in “High Noon” or “Gunfight at OK Corral,” ideals of community or order or good came first. It’s not an accident that the procession of heroic movie role models came at a time when America was most confident in its mission and its place in the world.
John F. Kennedy, the young President in 1961, embodied the ideal. He was charismatic and confident, he believed completely in America, and, to boot, was a real war hero. Kennedy was the alpha male who in the 1960 election campaign defeated the quintessential #2/loser in the person of Richard Nixon. Much of the scorn given Nixon in later years was resentment at the fact that Kennedy was dead but Nixon lived; that whatever Nixon’s abilities, he could never live up to the role. The U.S. President is not only head of government but also head of state. The position carries powerful symbolic qualities—which Ronald Reagan for one well understood. You do have to look and act the part.
The 1960’s in America was about the willful destruction of the hero by the so-called counterculture, which now IS the culture. Neurotic or cynical or weak stars like Brando, Pacino, Nicholson, Hoffmann might’ve been fine actors, but no one could’ve put any of them in the role of defending a community or nation against forces of evil. Gregory Peck could successfully take on the toughest western movie bad guys in “The Bravados,” including Stephen Boyd, who a year later would be seen trying to defeat the Charlton Heston character in 1959’s “Ben Hur.” A few years later Boyd’s smirking, narcissistic and willfully bad Messala would become the Hollywood norm.
Attempts in more recent years to recreate the hero—think Stallone and Arnold—have created grunting and sadistic cartoon characters instead. They’re still more Boyd than Heston.
A civilization which has lost its cultural myths and its heroes is one without foundations, a tottery edifice waiting to be toppled, whose symbolic signal sent to the world isn’t confidence, but weakness.