Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Those women who went public about Arnold Schwarzenegger's groping? They're like Stalin and Osama bin Laden -- just not quite as bad. Follow the logic of Celia Farber, writing in New York Press:

They threw every imaginable weapon at Arnold, and it was as though they were suddenly shooting blanks. The L.A. Times. Gloria Allred. The whole rotten phony lot of them.

Arnold sucked on my nipple!

I’ve never been so traumatized in my life!

He’s a sex criminal!

He’s ambivalent about Hitler!
Blam. Blam. Blam.

...It didn’t work this time. The voters rose up and said
UP YOURS. They sent a message to the identity thugs and the agents of political correctness. It’s like the bird flying over to Noah with the leafed twig in his beak....

Few things in life are as enjoyable as watching despotism crumble. If Gorbachev could condemn the Soviet’s crushing of the Prague Spring two decades after it happened, I hold out hope that the identity thugs in America 2003 can come to their senses and start to make amends for what they have done.

But it seems that they have no awareness whatsoever that they have "done" anything. Then again, neither did the Stasi, the VOPO (People’s Police), the KGB or any of the myriad enforcers of communism in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. As the cliche goes, they were just doing what the State had ordered them to do, even in homicide.

Like terrorism, Political Correctness is stateless, and it lurks everywhere. Let’s not pretend it’s comparable with the despotic regimes I have cited. Of course it’s not, because it didn’t actually physically murder people....

Go read the whole thing. There are moments of lucidity, but on balance it's just loony.

(Farber, by the way, is best known as a writer on AIDS who boinked her boss at Spin magazine, then railed against the fact that he was later charged with sexual harassment. The long rant she published on the subject in Salon in '97 is more of the same. In her writing on AIDS, she questioned the belief that HIV causes the disease, which explains a few otherwise baffling sentences in the current piece. Nothing, however, explains her utter ignorance of the attitude toward speech of the ACLU, which unswervingly opposes campus speech codes and defends the right to socially objectionable speech.)

(UPDATE: Describing Farber's Salon piece on the Spin sexual-harassment trial as "more of the same" probably isn't fair. The process Farber describes sound very, very ugly and intrusive -- but she seems to regard the trial and everything that led up to it as singularly degrading and totalitarian, primarily for herself, whereas I'm sure it that at every given moment a hundred well-lawyered civil and criminal cases are similarly turning people's lives upside down. If she can think of a better way to litigate such matters, I'd like to hear what it is -- should we breed a race of mutant judges who can read minds and and resolve lawsuits and trials without evidence?)

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