Puffs of HuffAs far as I can tell, The Huffington Post is a blog for several hundred million celebrities, journalists, politicians, and other unsavory characters to offer opinions that rival the wit and rigor found in high school essays and letters to the editor. It also seems to lean a bit to the left, probably because the aforementioned unsavory characters tend to lean to the left. But now that I’ve said some nice things about Arianna’s uber-blog, it’s time to get testy. Here’s a cursory, selective, and entirely unfair survey of the blog.
Naomi Foner (who?) mourns for the children:
Our Children Are Trying To Tell Us Something … And we're not listening.I’m sorry, what did you say?
So they wage guerrilla war. Shooting at each other and at us.I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to open a window and shout: “Hey you kids! Get off my lawn and stop shooting at each other. Do you want Naomi Foner to write about you?”
In schools. On freeways. Copying our violence.In incomplete sentences. With prepositional phrases. With missing subjects.
The recent Iranian movie, set on the Iraqi/Kurdistan border, Turtles Can Fly is peopled by children who are the living debris of war.They’re the living debris of which war? The one that we mean Nazi-American imperialists started for oil and Walmart expansion? No, it turns out that “Turtles Can Fly” is set before that war and is about a Kurdish refugee camp. In other words, it’s about people who fled from Saddam’s tender mercies.
Nothing grows here except tragedy.And bad metaphors.
Under our noses the children reach for guns and shoot, crying into cyberspace of their loneliness and fear.No, it’s just a handful of psychotic nutjobs who shoot their fellow students and have really lame websites.
And we feed them on empty patriotism and "mine is better than yours" religion and ignore their questions.Yes, we all know that conversations of the following sort happen daily:
SON: Dad, what is the meaning of life? I’m like all confused and stuff, and my insides hurt. What’s wrong with me?
DAD: America rocks!
SON: But Dad, why do I want to kill my classmates?
DAD: Son, did you know that Zoroastrianism is the best doggone religion on the planet? Really. Just forget about all of the others.
SON: Oh forget it, Dad, I’m gonna go update my lame website.
I’m taking a wild guess that Foner thinks any form of patriotism is empty and that any serious belief in religion—and, of course, we’re talking about Christianity—is of the “mine is better than yours” variety.
George Lakoff talks of the "strict father" the Republicans lionize. An old image from the days of our Calvinist beginnings. No place for compassion. Our destinies are predetermined. A helping hand will only hurt. A distorted philosophy that will kill our culture as it maims and destroys our children.Theocracy upon us. Children weeping. Falwell laughing.
It is time for a different kind of parenting. It is time to look at the truth and to apologize. To validate the kids.DAD: Son, it’s time I validated you. There, I’ve validated you.
SON: Gee, Dad, my insides still hurt and I wanna kill my classmates, but now I feel terrific! I’m gonna go blog about this on my lame website!
It's going to take a lot to turn around several generations of looking away. But we need to look at what we've done.What have we done? I didn’t do it. I wasn’t even there. Besides, they made me.
What was Foner's point? All she knows is that she’s got Something Serious to Say and it involves a Vague Indictment of Society and an Ambiguous Solution Involving Validation. Let’s move on.
Mark Green lays the smackdown on the religious right:
The religious far (f)right, big business, and Bush & Co. have become profoundly authoritarianDarn straight. This is precisely why I’m angry with my fellow right-wingers. I’ve told them over and over again that we should be whimsically authoritarian, not profoundly authoritarian. Profound authoritarianism has been done to death, and if we want to be the avant garde of authoritarianism, we’d better start innovating. How about mandating that the Sundance Film Festival show nothing but John Wayne movies? Why not pass a law against Michael Moore—not against his movies or his books, but Moore himself? We'll charge him with illegal possession of Michael Moore.
Next up, Joshua Zeitz has some pointed questions for us:
Would you invite a neo-Nazi over for dinner?Look, I didn’t know what Heidi’s political views were, and when she talked about the Master Race, I thought she was talking about the scallops.
Would you attend a dinner party where a neo-Nazi was in attendance?Depends on what’s being served. If they have corn dogs, I am so there, politics be hanged.
Would you socialize with people who openly cavort with neo-Nazis?I have a strict don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy in regards to cavorting with neo-Nazis.
Here’s a counter-question to Zeitz: would you socialize with people who openly frolic with communists? Or with people who wear a Che Guevara or hammer-and-sickle t-shirt? Would you talk to an anarchist on a bus? Or have dinner with a communist named Gus?
Finally, David Corn also has some questions:
Is anyone else puzzled why George W. Bush's bicycle ride was not immediately interrupted?I think some guy down the block was puzzled as well, so that’s at least one.
Conspiracy theorists, have fun with this.I expect Michael Moore to make a movie out of it.