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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Pratfall

One of the more ridiculous notions that britons cling to in their multi-faceted and contrary opinions of "americans" - which I "quote" in this case to emphasise my own belief that most britons don't know any actual americans, or if they do probably no more than one or two who, it invariably transpires, are exceptions that prove the fantasy Rule - is the firm belief that americans "have no sense of irony"? We britons, of course, launched Blackadder and Fawlty Towers upon an unsuspecting world, proving that "we", naturally, do.

To simply state that ironies abound in America, most especially in american politics, would be to miss the point entirely: ironies abound everywhere. The trick, your smug-lipped brit would argue, is to recognize them, and that is the skill that americans lack?

Well, by goodness, the trick is on thee: the true artist knows that spotting an irony is nothing more complicated than "getting a joke", that the real skill, the craft, the art, lies in the writing of it.

There is no finer ironist working today than Mr President George W Bush.

Thickie Bush, dipshit Bush, dumbwit Bush, Bush The Brain, Chimpy Bush. Call him whatever you will? The very same.

He is Blackadder and Baldrick and Queenie all wrapped-up in one. His election campaign last year - which I promise not to dwell upon - was a masterpiece that left me flabbergasted until I saw it for what it was, and finally got the joke?

This week, Newsweek week, provides a perfect example: Queenie demands full accountability from Newsweek, a magazine, for publishing a claim that copies of the Koran were flushed down a toilet as a form of psychological torture, in Guantanemo Bay of all places. Queenie - old Weapons of Mass Defamation himself - blames Newsweek for the deaths of a dozen or so Afghans at the hands of rioting fundamentalists. Better yet, he is joined in his calls by his chorus, and like all the best Pantomime Dames, has his bloggerel audience in the palm of his hand, singing and roaring and clapping along from the aisles and the stalls.

I ought to be awed - indeed, I am in a way - but some jokes, no matter how cleverly contrived, some jokes just aren't funny.

If you are familiar at all with this blog, you will know that its author is shy of political commentary, because he knows he is crap at it and always leaves himself looking more foolish than those he would decry. He prefers to leave the commentary to others - the Andrew Sullivans of the world - who despite fundamental differences annunciate some of his political and moral positions more eloquently than he ever could? Well, Sullivan speaks for me on torture.

You will also know that I, Bearded, am a supporter of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, of the liberation of oppressed peoples from heinous tyranny? But I draw the line at torture. It may indeed be necessary, even excusable, at times and under certain circumstances, but it should never be legal, and those who would perpetrate it, or sanction it, or order it, they ought to be held to account and be prepared to bear full responsibility of their actions.

It is my personal belief that the act of torturing prisoners, even where it may indeed be necessary, shames us deeply. It is a shame that I feel keenly, the more so I suppose because I support the overarching venture. Gawd knows I am an incompetent logician, to say the least, so perhaps someone more skilled in rhetoric can find an honorable way out of the equation, (SupporterOfWar == SupporterOfTorture), because idiot me is having trouble finding it? It probably is not good enough for me to say "I do but I do not"?

I make no apologies for supporting the war; I'll even accept any chicken-hawk insults you throw my way because, honestly, that's what I am. I support this war, but I do not support or condone the use of torture. And I am shamed beyond shame by this public and brazen capital-M Mockery that is now under way. It won't hurt you, Mr Bush, and it won't kill me, Mr Bearded, but I have an eighteen year-old son with an eye on the army who sees himself, without any encouragement from me, as helping to liberate the poor and oppressed and despised, who wants to go fight in Darfur against the kind of evil that would employ twelve-year old boys as assassins, or the evil men of Iraq or wherever who would corrupt sweet-natured Downes Syndrome into suicide bomber? He and his like are the ones who will pay for the torturous acts that you set into motion, Mr Bush, and now mock with such throwaway contempt.

At the heart of this post lies a monstrous web of irony. I sincerely hope that our american press, our MSM, will now join in the game with full vigor, and run with this joke you've set-up, Mr Bush; run with it, play with it, turn it around, that it all comes a-tumbling and a-crashing down on your head, Mr Bush, as all true comedy must in the end.

Sorry. I'll get me coat, as they say in Britain.

1 Comments:

Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Good post.

8:50 AM  

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