A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Newsweek and Rioting

Just a few more thoughts on the Newsweek debacle, mostly brought to mind by Orson Scott Card's recent essay on the topic. I don't agree with everything Card writes, but I agree with most of it. In particular, I found his point #2 to be dead on balls accurate (It's an industry term):

Our country is at war. And it's a war in which victory absolutely depends on the Muslim world perceiving it as a war between the U.S and its allies on one side, and fanatical murderous terrorists on the other.

If it is ever perceived as a war against Islam, then we have lost. The world has lost.

So during such a difficult time, even people who think the Iraq War or even the whole war on terror is a horrible mistake still have an obligation of loyalty to the nation that offers them protection, prosperity, and freedom.

I mean, what kind of idiot breaks a hole in the hull of his boat during a storm, just because he doesn't like the guy at the tiller and thinks the storm could have been avoided?
This echoes much of what Troy and Mojo wrote about restraint from the press and the "needs" of today's media, ie., money, acclaim and the need to "make news" in a 24/7 news feeding cycle. To some degree I like his "Smartland" vs. "Heartland" analogy, although I think he overstates and stretches it too far. I did however find this passage intriguing, "These citizens of Smartland disingenuously claim that they are neither organized nor a religion -- organized religions are the bogeyman they invoke to frighten their opponents into silence." I found it intriguing given the way many liberals go on and on about conservatives use of the war as a means of instilling silence and acquiesence. Kettle meet pot. And I do mean to indict both sides here-- each is doing its own share to disenchant and disenfranchise the other, and I'm not sure those divisions aren't going to cost us big time in the near future.

I also find it interesting, and a little disturbing, that Card's essays are more and more like rants these days. I think he is losing his perspective and beginning to villify all those who think differently than he merely because they think differently than he. Certainly many of those that do think differently deserve such villification, but many more simply see things from a different perspective and have a different idea of how to fix the perceived problems. That's part of what this blog is about-- keeping your perspective, and partly why I had my earlier snark post.

Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make him an idiot or evil. It may make him wrong, but idiocy and evilness require a much higher standard than merely being wrong or in disagreement with somebody else.

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Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make him an idiot or evil.

Yes, it does.

I read this guys column that last time linked to it and I think you are giving him a little too much credit. The rant-o-meter is pegged with this guy and that makes most of his points (and he does have a few) get lost very quickly. He makes some analogies that are pretty outrageous (comparing the media to puritans comes to mind).
In the end, it seems that he's just trying to stir up his side because the other side (apparently that's Newsweek or all the media or whoever he doesn't like) is moronic.
Plus, I am sick of the "evils of political correctness" argument, which he decides to throw into his rant since he mentioned the media anyway. Most people skip the whole argument and just use common sense. Dave Chappelle is the least politically correct person in the world and he sells more DVDs than anyone, bitch. (Sorry, my own little rant at the end. But at least I got to use 'bitch', bitches.)
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