Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Jihad-ehs

James Lileks riffs on how a liberal might react to the roll-up of the Canadian terror cell.


JH said...

Hi Corrie,
Greetings from Japan.

Your blog serves as an important clue for me as to how world events are interpreted by many Americans. I would like to write aout my intial reaction to this post.

If I had to call myself a liberal or conservative, I would say that I am a liberal. However, I do not hate myself and if there were 17 people in Canada who were planning on blowing up something and killing people of course I am happy that they were caught. Due to my lack of reading up on the plot, I do not know how they were caught but of the were caught by wire tapping please let me know.

I think one of the problems in the US is that people are being polarized into "liberals" and "conservatives" and they write exaggerated hate articles about each other like the one you referenced.

Corrie said...

Thanks for visiting, JH. The Canadian 17 were caught in a sting operation with three times the amount of explosive used to destroy the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City. I don't know the details of how the plot was foiled, or to what extent the Canadians used telephone surveillance in rolling up the cell.

Lileks is a humorist who often pokes fun at the stereotypical handwringing liberal mindset. It's a serious error to characterize his satire as "hate."

Yes, there is a polarity between conservatives and liberals. That's not a bad thing IMO. Iron sharpens iron.

The problem is when a group gets so polarized that they cease to think clearly. That's what Lileks was lampooning.

tim said...

So Corrie, tell me the difference between what Lileks does and Campos? Why is okay for Hewitt to take everything he writes and want complete accurate verification when he is obviously writing exactly as Lileks is just from the other perspective.

Just a little consistency please - why should Campos be subjected to a vivisection, but Lileks get a free pass? (personally I think they both are doing what they're supposed to)

Also I agree the difference are good. What is different now is that the opposition is no longer seen as just having a different take, the opposition is 'evil' and this is on both sides of the aisle. (and when you're battling evil, as I said before it starts to justify almost everything - it the same mindset used in the extreme by the Islamic fundamentalists) Very different state of mind than the way we have successfully operated and built this nation than in the past.

Corrie said...

Campos expects to be taken seriously. Lileks is clearly going over-the-top.

That's the difference.

tim said...

Uh Huh - I totally see the difference. Lileks is using hyperbole, stereotypes, and humor to make a serious point and Campos is using hyperbole, GENERALITIES and humor to make a serious point. I finally get it.


Corrie said...

No, you don't get it. Campos' writing makes clear that he expects both his point and the vehicle he uses to get there be takes seriously. There's nothing funny about the vitriol he directed personally and specifically against the driver of the SUV with the yellow ribbon on it. He could have made the point in a lot of ways without stooping to name-calling.

Lileks' point is serious, but his vehicle is clearly over-the-top.

Lileks is a satirist. Campos is merely sloppy.

tim said...

Lileks is actually more dangerous because his mission (yes, mission) is to diminish legitimate debate and disagreement with any administration policy by painting anybody with any kind of difference of opinion to his with this totally whacked, ultra left brush that very very few people actually have. But now the minute you dissent in any way you are lumped into this nutjob category of his and your view has no legitimacy. This is exactly what he is doing and I think you know it. This was truly a vitriolic, mean spirited piece.

Campos makes a legitimate point that people in this country see absolutely no connection between how we live our lives, what we buy, and the war in Iraq. Support our troops, but don't even think of telling me not to buy an Escalade at $70,000 and 18 MPG. THEY HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH OTHER!!!

Yeah tell that to WWII families.

It's okay to prefer one writer over another because they better espouse your point of view, but don't tell me they're different.

Corrie said...

In my view Campos is far more dangerous. Lileks' piece was clearly satire.

Campos' isn't. It's just a vitriolic ad-homiem attack on someone he knows nothing about, stooping to use gutter language.

You can make the point about the disconnect between supporting the troops and driving an SUV (and have you ever considered that people may have very good reasons for driving a large vehicle?) without calling people vile names.

There is a distinct difference. I'm sorry that you can't see that.