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March 14, 2002

Figs and pishes Avram Grumer comments on the story below, and adds some interesting points about the changes that the Saudis have rung on the old blood libel.

(Avram is one of those longtime, pre-9/11, tech-industry, left-leaning bloggers who, Nick Denton tells us, are “gentle souls” too mild to stand up to conservative firebrands like Glenn Reynolds. Also, I am the Bishop of Montevideo.)

Avram joins Ted Barlow in noting the insubstantiality of a lot of recent blogger shots at Michael Moore. (Evidently only conservatives are allowed to get rich; if outspoken liberals do it, it’s proof of their perfidy.) In fact there’s plenty to be said against Michael Moore, and Gary Farber does a first-class job of nailing him for his worst sin: his luxuriant self-congratulation. In the Moore-iverse, getting tossed out of rented school space when your event goes on hours past the time you paid for “feels like we’re in some sort of banana republic or East Berlin.” As Gary observes, “Moore used to have some funny things to say about corporate indifference. Nowadays he’s all about promoting himself as a Hero for Speaking Up.” That’s exactly right. Michael Moore strikes a lot of us as a phony, not because he’s rich, but because he increasingly acts like a left-wing Limbaugh, an entertainer who’s stumbled on a popular gig catering to the prejudices of a particular demographic group. Wealth has nothing to do with it. As we know, great wealth always threatens to undermine the moral and intellectal integrity of liberals and progressives, and I for one am willing to take that risk. [08:52 AM]

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Comments on Figs and pishes:

Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2002, 11:52 PM:

My god--!aaKnowing that the Saudis were whipping their public (and those in their intellectual orbit) into the kind of madness that leads to mass murder was bad enough. (Such garbage was also seen in Serbia before its recent genocidal wars, by the way.) Knowing this particular horror was worse. aa*What* do the Saudis hope to do by perpetrating this? Do the want to lose a world war? Or just...lose the world?

Gary Farber ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2002, 03:23 AM:

I'm not happy to point this out, but if you read enough of this stuff -- which is not just from Saudi Arabia, but is the constant throughout the Arab world, from Eqyptian official newspapers, to Abu Dhabi, to all the Gulf States, and so on -- and it's plentifully available at the MEMRI site, amongst various other places, including going directly to English language sources, such as the official Saudi newspaper, _Arab News_, they're quite explicit that Islam is undefeatable, and will eliminate all its enemies. I hope this answers your question, Randolph. It's sometimes difficult to understand the mentality of people with radically different beliefs than one's own, but it's utterly necessary. Note the recent Gallup poll of Arab countries.

Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2002, 04:08 AM:

Gary, I know how religious radicals think; the Islamic fundamentalists are not so very different from our own religious extremists. What is different, of course, is that in Saudi Arabia, they rule.aaI suppose at least some of the Saudi political and military leaders have an oar or so in the water, but I guess that such voices have been silenced. At least it weakens them as strategists.aa(By the way, I put this note into the wrong comments section--sorry, Patrick.)