The River

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


Let’s check in with little eight-year-old Glenn Reynolds again. Last time we looked in, Glenn was all excited by the news of Saddam Hussein’s capture.

It’s recess again. Schoolmates Jack and Joe are hangin by the swings.

Joe: Hey Jack, there’s Glenn.

Jack: Hasn’t he moved to Tennessee yet?

Joe: Next month.

Jack: Good. We’ll have a few extra chewies to celebrate.

Joe: You hear about what he did?

Jack: Yep. Beat up his neighbor, little Timmy, then locked him in a basement closet.

Joe: Guy’s an unbelievable tool. Let’s go give him shit.

Jack: Ah Joe, will you never learn? He deserves our pity, even our compassion.

Joe: No way. The fucker’s dangerous. He actually has people believing the shit he’s always spoutin off about. And look what he’s done now. And that’s just the stuff we know about…HEY GLENN. Here he comes.

GR (strides up, unshaken by the scandalous news): I know what you’re going to say, but you don’t know anything. A) He hit me in the arm once. He’s guilty, not me. B) It was for his own good. C) This was an isolated incident, and I’m looking into better ways to modify his behavior. D) He has more Hot Wheels than I do, even though I’m bigger and better than him.

Joe: Dude, you’re just so clueless I don’t know where to begin.

GR: No, you are.

Joe: I know you are, but what am I?

Jack: Joe! jeezus. Look, Glenn. You make a lot of basic assumptions that conveniently overlook your own character flaws.

GR: Well, Jack, I never heard you say anything when Joe rearranged all the heads on his little sister’s dolls. And you wouldn’t sign my petition calling for the removal of a card-carrying communist from the school board. And THEY HAVE USED TORTURE.

Jack: Damn it, Joe. Why’d you have to call him over here? (deep breath) Okay. First, just because I didn’t publicly condemn Jack doesn’t mean I approve of what he did. It was creative, but still. He talked about it with his parents, because it was THEIR BUSINESS. Joe isn’t perfect, but we have to let him work it out with his family. Second, at least Joe wouldn’t presume to do harm to other people and property in his neighborhood.

Joe: Not that I ever thought I had that right. I lost control. I’ve admitted it, and have tried to put my own house in order since.

GR: You poor deluded liberals. You just don’t get it. (sigh). You just don’t care about the rest of the neighborhood like I do. I am only trying to help.

Jack: Haaaaaaaa. By using torture.

GR: But you don’t care about torture. You never condemned the school board communist like I did.

Joe: Jeeezus. Is everything a morality pissing match with you? Is that as far as you ever take anything? At least I learned this lesson from my experiences: Before you start preachin to the rest of the world about what’s right and what’s wrong, look to your own neighborhood.

Jack: No shit. Especially if you think violent force is justified.

Joe: I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m not saying the school board is perfect. But I speak from my own authority, which is all I can do.

Jack: Whereas your attitude seems to be: I was born into a rich family, so my moral authority is self-evident.

GR: It is. All I have to do is look around to see how good and blessed I am, and how evil other parts of the neighborhood are. You two aren’t realist, you’re apologists.

Joe: I know you are, but what am I?

Jack: An imprisoned mind cannot see the rest of the world.

Joe: If you’re so great, how come you lost the annual neighborhood Hot Wheels Loop-De-Loop challenge last year? I think that’s what this is really all about. Your way of ensuring “the correct” outcome next year is to use pre-emptive force against your competition, and then hide behind some ridiculous moral high ground.

Jack: Which is all too obviously phony. Especially to the rest of the neighborhood that you are so clueless about. Especially now.

GR: Many in the neighborhood are EVIL!

Jack: Oohh. We must have hit home, Joe.

GR: EVIL. I only want to rid the neighborhood of EVIL. It will be glorious. It will be amazing. It will by MY NEIGHBORHOOD. We will all live in goodness because of ME and MY GOODNESS. Because….of…..MY….GOD.

Jack: Look to yourself, Glenn. Look to yourself.

GR: I’m not as bad as they are. God smiles on me. I know he does. I know it. I will be redeemed in the end. I WILL. You’ll see, someday, when God casts you into hell.

Jack: Right. That’s it. I’m outta here. Nice work, Joe. You’ve done it again. I hope you’re satisfied. Later, Glenn.

(they walk away)

Joe. You were right, Jack. I feel sorry for him. Let’s go play with Timmy. I hear he has some new Hot Wheels.

Jack: Sure. We can use my playroom. We could invite your sister. And I think my Mom has enough milk and cookies for all of us.


(postscript: This probably isn’t entirely fair to Glenn or his blog, but he seems so very proud of it and America’s phony war on terrorism, and he really does need to get a clue. Glenn, it just ain’t gonna work, man. I’m sorry.)

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