culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Friday, July 11, 2003
I know entertainment, and that's no entertainment. Odd how the "Shut up, lowly entertainer" rhetoric consistently levelled at Sean Penn and the Dixie Chicks manages never to apply to Arnold Schwarzenegger, even when he attends a multibillion dollar fireworks display and filet mignon barbecue in
Baghdad. But inconsistent logic, presented as inarguable truth, now pops up everywhere and is indeed a hallmark of these times. Even among the grunts in the embattled town Arnold visited:
"You think about it every day. You know they don't want us here," said [Army Spc. Irvin] Spencer, sitting on a concrete block with a pack of Newport cigarettes tucked into his waistband. "I don't get these people. We're here to help and they shoot at us."

Spencer's friend, Spc. Byron Aiken, 27, of Converse, Texas, said he had no problem putting his life on the line for the sake of the U.S. mission here. But he wished the Iraqis appreciated his work.

"It's time for us to go," Aiken said, an M-16 rifle propped between his knees. "As long as we stay here, we'll keep dying. They just don't want their country run by Americans."
The hostility to Sean Penn and the warm welcome for Arnold Schwarzenegger have nothing to do with their status as entertainers. They reflect the growing American inability to think consistent thoughts of any kind — about entertainers and other frauds in politics, about tangible reasons for war, about the vested interests and commercial motivations of those in office, about the value of soldiers' and civilians' lives, about impeachable offenses.

We are losing the war on stupidity.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

. . .