Monday, August 11, 2008

You take the low road...

We had a little theological dispute over to Knoxville the other day, left two folks dead and seven injured. This old boy named Jim David Adkisson took a notion to shoot up the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church on a Sunday morning while the children's choir was performing. In his Ford Escape (what hollow mockery, as Groucho would say) was a manifesto outlining his hostility to "Liberals in general, as well as gays," and complaining of his inability to find work. Also in the car was a selection of his favorite reading matter by Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

I have never accepted the argument that reading material correlates with horrific crime. Millions of people look at pornography without ever committing rape, and millions of people watch Fox without ever murdering a liberal. The unbalanced -- or the fair and balanced, if you like -- are going to do what they're going to do. So blaming these three stooges for Adkisson's shotgun spree is like blaming Wagner for the Holocaust. No, I won't do it. It's the high road for me.

They don't make it easy, though. Here's Joseph Epstein reviewing For the Thrill of It by Simon Baatz, an account of the Leopold and Loeb case, in the Wall Street Journal:

"Like their victim, Leopold and Loeb were the sons of wealthy families. All three lived in the southside neighborhood known as Kenwood, where Barack Obama now has his house and Louis Farrakhan his." (italics mine)

What? I can't imagine what point Epstein is making with that sly dependent clause. That Obama and Farrakhan are neighbors? That they live in a neighborhood that used to be an enclave of wealthy Jews? That they would have been arrested (and very probably charged with killing Bobby Franks) had they dared walk through Kenwood in 1924 unless wearing chauffeur uniforms? Epstein's review is called "Low Deeds and High IQ," a reference to the two teenage killers, but his gratuitous reference to Obama reminds us, subliminally, that real Americans are suspicious of elitist smarties who can't bowl and won't eat donuts and who just might be capable of killing for the thrill of it! It's a Britney-and-Nicole slur for people who read book reviews, so it doesn't have to make sense.

Brace for it:

"Leaving two young men dead and one wounded, the shooters sped away in a Chevy Malibu, the same make and model that Michelle Obama drove while in college."

"The Senator spent the afternoon signing copies of The Audacity of Hope at Barnes & Noble on Union Square, which also carries the works of Mao Zedong and Robert Mapplethorpe."

"Obama's favorite Dylan album is Blood On the Tracks, which was also the favorite album of World Trade Center mastermind Mohammed Atta."

If only it didn't matter so damn much, it would be funny.

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Blogger Generik said...

You're shittin' me, right? He didn't really write all those ridiculous comments, did he? Come on. You must be making that up!

(Sadly shaking my head, because I know you're not, and I'm sure he did. *sigh*)

11:44 PM  
Blogger Buttermilk Sky said...

The last three were mine. Had you going, didn't I?

In future, I'll try to be clearer. Who was it who said it's no longer possible to write satire?

7:49 PM  
Blogger Generik said...

Satire may not be completely dead, but it's on life support and the power is about to go out.

8:25 AM  

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