Bush Right, Dover Wrong, Fighting Talk Wasn't
THE BEST OF NOT PC
Three 'Not-PC' opinion-pieces by Peter Cresswell from his Blog Not PC
NOT PC, 1: A Tribute to Dover's Bladder
A tribute to Dover Samuels this morning, who in a regression to childhood normally typical of a Cabinet Minister pissed in a hotel corridor when the Duty Manager couldn't get Dover's electronic door-key to work - possibly because Dover had already wet the key.
Ten great moments in pissing history:
10. Pissy Neville Chamberlain. "Peace in Our Time!" Arse.
9. President Lyndon Johnson, who said of the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover that he would "rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."
8. American/Australian/UK/NZ Idol – surely this over-hyped non-talent quest was taking the piss. In any case, Chris Knox’s 'Listener' column saying he was a fan of the show definitely had to be a piss-take.
7. All Black fullback Mils Muliaina, who was suspended from playing for Auckland for two weeks in 2002 after urinating on the floor of a bar, and Auckland cricketer of the year Tama Canning, who allegedly pissed on the floor of a club called ‘Boogie Wonderland,’ which is surely all a club with such a name deserves. Rumours that a tribute pub crawl around Auckland centred around 'Boogie Wonderland,' the Heritage Hotel and the Parnell establishments favoured by the Auckland Blues were said by a spokesman to be "only speculation at this stage."
6. Napoleon – too much of a pissant to get to Moscow.
5. Paris Hilton, who is apparently a huge fan of water sports ...
4. The late alcoholic Oliver Reed, who made something of a career of publicly pissing his pants on every continent.
3. Twelve car movies to make Ralph Nader wet his pants.
2. When deposed Italian Fascist Dictator Mussolini was captured and killed trying to flee to Switzerland, his body was hung upside down by partisans before being torn down to allow "several screaming women to spread their skirts and urinate on his battered face."
1. The very greatest moment in pissing history, the conquering of Everest: On the summit after reaching their goal, Tensing Norgay knelt and paid tribute to the four winds, offered tribute to the spirits of the air that had allowed their journey, and gave thanks to the gods who had favoured them with success. Edmund Hilary unzipped his fly and took a leak.
NOT PC, 2: A Tipping Point for Alternative Media?
Sir Humphrey's blog rightly slags off the poor flowers at the clearly mis-named Fighting Talk blog for bitching about not being noticed.
The poor dears are giving up, and they're having a swipe at the whole blogosphere on the way - according to these blowhards, blogs are "only water wings for playing in the shallow end of the media pool. To plagurise [sic] a radio station whose attitude sums up the pigheaded arrogance out here; all blogs are shit." To plagiarise a well-known ad: Yeah right.
But as the boys pack up and jump from the well-deserved anonymity of their blog ('If you write as good as you talk no-one reads you' - Lou Reed) to the well-deserved mediocrity of the mainstream, bloggers who can write continue to be read. Seems to me there are just two things to be said on this topic:
The first is a personal comment. As Michael Cullen might say in moments like this: You're not being read, I am. Bite me.
The second is that mediocrity is not enough. The boys might be a bit premature in their jump into mainstream media punditry, but at least their mediocrity will be at home there. In an irony that is hopefully not least even on these would-be pundits, some commentators are begining to notice that the mediocre Big Media organisations are losing their audiences to the very alternatives Un-Fighting Talk are so condescendingly dismissing. "Big Media have their faults -- chiefly laziness, political groupthink, and a tendency to condescend to their audiences -- and those are starting to cost them," says one commentator here; he suggests that we might be near a media 'tipping point' in which blogs and alternative media such as Scoop come out on top.
The reason? Says columnist Jim Bennett, "What is going on with journalism today is akin to what happened to the Church during the Reformation. Thanks to a technological revolution (movable type then, the Internet and talk radio now), power once concentrated in the hands of a few has been redistributed into the hands of the many." Perhaps that's what really annoys the non-fighting Fighting Talkers, just as it did the Church - with power in many more hands it's much, much harder to manufacture consent.
The lesson for the voices of mediocrity is that they should never take the status quo for granted. Now that is fighting talk.
NOT PC, 3: George Bush was Right
The Syrian army has left Lebanon after popular protests forcing them out. Muammar Gaddafi is desperately sucking up to the west. Free elections have been held in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are to be held soon in Egypt and in Lebanon. The Palestinian Authority held free elections, put together a cease-fire and called a so-far mostly successful moratorium against attacks on Israel.
Arab and Muslim absolutism is slowly being replaced with western ideas of freedom. Peace is breaking out in the Middle East - and I mean real peace: peace with freedom. It's almost like watching the Berlin Wall fall all over again and freedom take hold across Eastern Europe.
Who could possibly object to the latest developments in the Middle East? Well, there's Al-Qaeda’s Dr. Ayman Zawahiri of course; and (Abu Musab) al-Zarqawi and the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars. And Saddam’s remaining Baathists. And the entire unwashed anti-war movement across the west. And Robert Fisk.
Turns out, the critics - liberal and cynical and peacenik and 'realist' - were wrong, just as they were wrong about the Cold War. The critics got Reagan wrong and the Soviets wrong, and now they've got Bush wrong and the 'Arab street' wrong. Time for them to 'fess up on both.
When the Soviets fell it was chiefly due to the Rea gan Doctrine which was crafted not to contain the Soviet Empire, but to destroy it. So too with the 'Bush Doctrine,' which seeks not to contain Islamic terrorism but to hunt it down and destroy it,and destroy those who support it.
When the Arab street finally got to speak and say what they thought about this doctrine, they called - not for American blood - but for freedom and dignity and prosperity. For something we take for granted called 'normality.' The 'Bush Doctrine offered them a chance at liberation, and they're grabbing it with both hands. As one commentator has suggested, "the two central propositions of the Bush doctrine have been vindicated: First, that the will to freedom is indeed universal and not the private preserve of Westerners. And second, that American intentions were sincere. Contrary to the cynics, Arab and European and American, the U.S. did not go into Iraq for oil or hegemony, after all, but for liberation--a truth that on Jan. 31 even al-Jazeera had to televise."
Back in March even the New York Times had to admit that maybe Bush's foreign policy was ... um, well.. probably justified by events, and things have only got better since then: "It's not even spring yet [in the Northern Hemisphere], but a long-frozen political order seems to be cracking all over the Middle East. Cautious hopes for something new and better are stirring along the Tigris and the Nile, the elegant boulevards of Beirut, and the impoverished towns of the Gaza Strip....
"[T]his has so far been a year of heartening surprises -- each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing. The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power."
If even the New York Times can almost admit the truth, then perhaps it's time we heard this from further afield: Bush was right.