February 20, 2003

Dead-tree media follies

At UCF we get the local paper "free" (meaning, part of our tuition costs entitle us to use our student ID cards to open the newspaper machines on campus, which do not take coins). But I rarely bother. After all, I don't have a bird, so I don't need any bird-cage liner. And in any case I would not want to expose a vulnerable feathered creature to something as poisonously pinheaded as essays like today's "My Word" column ("My Word" is a column wherein the Orlando Sentinel's editorial page features a local person's opinion).

The title of the column was "Howdy Doody, Where Are You?" That immediately warned me that we were dealing with a Baby Boomer here -- no one from a succeeding generation would know who "Howdy Doody" was, and no one from a preceding generation would care. Here is a sample of the drivel from the keyboard of this flower of the Common People™ (name withheld to protect the sensibilities of her kinfolk):

Americans have been afraid to speak against the president since Sept. 11.

And I am sure you are now quaking in fear of the Black Helicopters® after having this brave missive printed in the local newsrag.

But wait! There's more!

Now we are hearing from more and more citizens who stand firmly against the prospect of war against a country that has not been proven to be a direct threat to our shores. Colin Powell did not convince me that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks on our country.

And your expertise in judging what Powell had to say is--?

But wait! There's more!

More and more countries that used to be our greatest allies are, for the first time in decades, lining up to stand against us. Should we not listen to them?

How about, No?

But wait! There is still more!

Are we all letting ourselves be fooled by an administration salivating at the prospect of war?

Yup, they just can't wait to kill! kill! kill! Condi's got a new display shelf all ready for the skulls of Iraqi Children™!

Oh, there is still more...

Were we blinded by the events of Sept. 11 and frightened into thinking that we must appear patriotic at all costs and whatever the president wants is fine by us, even if we are not shown the "cloth" to prove it?

That's an I'm-so-original reference to "The Emperor's New Clothes," the use of which is so rampant that it needs to have it's own law akin to "Godwin's Law" concerning the overuse of Hitler as an argument-stopper.

The next-to-the-last paragraph contains all the sense that was not used in the preceding ones:

We should be pushing for more control of our own borders, focusing more energy on keeping terrorists from entering the country and weeding out those already here with plans for another attack on one of our cities. If Iraq has the technology to send a nuclear weapon on its way to the United States, we have better technology to intercept it. What we cannot seem to control are those who might be developing the weapons within the country to use against us. We would feel a lot more comfortable and safe if the monies funding a war would be funneled into our new homeland security efforts. This writer does not pretend to have the answer to world peace.

At least she admits her ignorance. I like, though, her childish faith in our "better technology" that will somehow be able to magically "intercept" Iraqi nukes that are on their way towards us. I can only assume she means the much-mocked "Star Wars" missile system, though something tells me that when that subject comes up she is against it too. And what does she imagine will happen when a nuclear missile is intercepted by one of ours? That they will both turn into candy floss? I do think that one of the things we are trying to avoid is having any nuclear explosions happen anywhere.

Also, I love the way she is A-OK with stepping up "Homeland Security." I wonder though, if she has really thought through what this entails. Is she for national ID cards? How about racially-profiling people of "Middle-Eastern appearance"? The tone of her writing has a leftist slant -- right-wing antiwar activists tend to not care much about the opinions of "our greatest allies" or any other set of foreigners. But I have read other left-ish leaning people say the same thing about "beefing up" security within the US, while almost in the same breath complaining about "Big Brother" and the "destruction of the Constitution" and so on. Sort of like the way she claims that we are all terrified to speak out against Der Bush, but also says we need to have "more control over our borders" and "weed out" terrorists.

And the newspapers wonder why their readership is dwindling.

Posted by Andrea Harris at February 20, 2003 12:39 AM

The chick would soil her undies if she actually realized that Iraq is not the war, but only the second battle of the war.

The really fascinating passages are these:

We should be pushing for more control of our own borders

Right, girl, I bet you're one of the ones marching for illegals and screaming about how we are mistreating Saudi princes.

we have better technology to intercept it

No, we don't. Yet. And you and your little pinhead friends are trying to make sure we never do.

So in the words of a fine American Philosopher, Shut up, Bitch!

Andrea, your new meme is extremely useful. Maybe you should put it on a mug.

Posted by: Ken Summers at February 20, 2003 at 09:50 AM

<nitpick>Actually, a nuclear missile intercepted in mid-air wouldn't produce a nuclear explosion, unless there was a "failsafe" trigger on it. Otherwise, it'd be more like a dirty bomb, scattering bits of radioactive material over a wide area. Which would suck, but way better than a full-fledged mushroom.</nitpick>

Otherwise, yeah, her whole article is so much wailing nonsense. "Colin Powell did not convince me..." sheesh. Call off the war, Susie just isn't convinced.

Posted by: E. Nough at February 20, 2003 at 10:15 AM

I'm particulary amused by "countries that used be our greatest allies." Oh, you mean, like Germany?!

As for the France that helped us out getting our independence, it lost its head in 1789. We don't owe the Fifth Republic a damn thing (except maybe a good beating).

Posted by: David Jaroslav at February 20, 2003 at 03:59 PM

Have you considered writing a letter to the editor yourself?

Posted by: Dean Esmay at February 20, 2003 at 10:05 PM

I consider this website one long "letter to the editor." Of course, I am still waiting for my fame to blossom.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 20, 2003 at 10:38 PM