The River

Tuesday, September 28, 2004



Dear Glenn Instapundit Reynolds,

Naomi Klein kicks your ass, repeatedly. A girl. I refer specifically to her new Harper’s article, wherein she kicks not only your pasty butt, but also the ass of every officechair instawarrior out there blogging for bloodshed. As long as you can watch it on TV.

She’s well beyond such cheap thrills, however. She went to Iraq. Got accommodations in Baghdad, and listened to bombs go off in nearby hotels. She’s seen it firsthand, bucko. She’s seen what kind of world your boy thinks is cool.

Yeah, Glenn, you made it through grad school and got a teaching gig, but she’s smart. She’s cute too. I think she’d enjoy talking with me, but I know she’d be wondering why she was wasting breath on you. Should this meeting Naomi scenario come to pass, I’ll be sure to buy her a drink – somewhere else – so we can discuss what makes some smart people so fucking stupid.

In reading her article, I was reminded of the play I saw Saturday night, "Killer Joe" by Tracy Letts. Seen any good plays in Knoxville lately? (ah, that was a cheap shot, Glenn, I know there’s culture in even Southern university towns, despite the professors.)

I didn't much care for it. I want character arc. I want at least one sane character with a functioning moral compass to identify with. But then, you look at the one-dimensional simplicity of certain cretinous presidents and web loggers, and you think, damn, spot-on social commentary. And this play did have true to life details, a good sense of the absurd, and caricatures with more than two dimensions. If that makes any sense.

Mostly, it was in your face, much like if a psychopath became president of the yoonited states, and a whole lot of people thought it would be cool to ride shotgun on his killing spree. And not just the powerful, but all manner of geeks with Internet access, suburban security moms, and free-market lovin zombies. And most especially pundits.

Speaking of which, in the play, a moronic redneck family hires a killer to off the divorced and obviously disliked mother. For the insurance money. To pay off drug dealers. And just for some cash. To buy useless crap for their trailer. Keeping it short, Glenn, so you’ll stay with me here. See, the whole thing rests on the fact that we take for granted a rather profound moral abyss. And everything that flows from that is necessarily tawdry.

Damn, read those last two sentences again, Glenn. I’ll wait. Use that lawyer-trained mind for a change. Because I just described not only Killer Joe, but Killer George, Dick, Donnie, Colin and the rest.

If I just lost you, Glenn, you obviously haven’t been trying to better yourself by learning from your betters, i.e. Naomi Klein. If you read her article -- without having a nervous breakdown caused by the sudden realization of pitiful inadequacy and cowardly behavior – I’m sure you too will see it’s hell murderers create when they pull a caper, not democracy.

These Bushcons figure they can use overwhelming brutality – your much beloved “precision” bombs, Glenn -- to stun a populace, a country, in order to rob it blind. It’s in the article, and in the play, which ends in a spiral of violence. Like Baghdad, where Naomi Klein went. To report back, for us. Just be a man and thank her for it.

Or you can go back to your trashy trailer with the 8X10 glossy of Bush on the wall, you can figuratively join Killer Joe and the Smith family, who are, after all, like you dumb enough to vote Republican. You can choose big media bullshit, and refuse to engage with a culture that grows from North America’s roots.

Or you can read Naomi Klein. You can go down there, general, if you have the nerve. Nietzsche said it, so it must be true: What does not destroy you makes you stronger.

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