This Blog is Stolen Property

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Les écoutes and les émeutes, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Riots

The French media gleefully report that similar riots are breaking out in Brussels and in Germany. Never mind the single digit numbers of cars burned in these countries compared with the thousands in France. It’s always nice when something bad happens to someone else, too. It’s Shadenfreutastic!The American media just can’t get enough of the riots in France. White Americans are wetting themselves they’re so happy. All those burned cars. All that anger. And, here’s the real kicker: no history of slavery.

The suburban riots in France let white America off the hook. The riots let conservatives insinuate that minorities who aren’t fully co-opted by Christian capitalist values are inherently dangerous. And the riots let the New Left continue to repeat its mantra that “it’s class, not race” that matters in this country. Now, this is not entirely wrong.

It does suck to be poor and white in this country, too. Or poor and brown.

That doesn’t mean that our “peculiar institution” doesn’t demand peculiar remedy. Slavery has affected both race AND class relations in this country, and until we can be honest about this we’re not going to get very far. But facing uncomfortable truths and grappling with problems that defy easy solutions is, well, HARD. It’s easier to sit back and watch les banlieues burn and feel smug.

The media want to imagine that the French riots mirror our own race problems. But they have been mute on another story in France this week: the conviction (and suspended sentence) of former cabinet ministers for tapping phones at the behest of President Mitterand. Maybe the idea of top government officials violating the civil liberties of the citizenry under the pretext of fighting terrorism hits a little too close to home.

Remember when we had an adversarial press? Me neither.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veterans Day

Maybe If We Put Karl Rove in a Push-up Bra?

Yellowcake forgery is just too hard to understand. Does it come with chocolate frosting? Real chocolate frosting? The news coverage of the Plame case is curiously circumspect about the uranium issue and the falsified documents. Documents forged with such cynical indifference that they were detected by Google.


The forgeries are always mentioned in the last paragraphs of newspaper columns and mentioned only as the motive for the Plame outing. As if the more serious scandal was Libby and Novak conspiring to ruin (or end) one woman’s life. Not, you know, the lies told to the American people to get them to support an insupportable war.

Not that 'the people' care too much one way or another.

I think that this scandal would get a lot more attention if it had some more sex. The only real sex in the whole affair is the “sexed-up dossier” that David Kelly slit his wrists over. And, frankly, that dossier still wasn’t too sexy.

Maybe the press and the folks at home would care more if there was a big-tittied bimbo involved. Look at 1987. The Year of the Bimbo. Donna Rice, Jessica Hahn, and Fawn Hall. People paid attention to the news in 1987.

Of course, this was before Al Gore gave us the Porno-Superhighway, so maybe people were just jerking off.

But I still think this scandal needed more sex.

I. Lewis Libby confessed on the stand today that he leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame at the behest of his longtime companion, Karl Rove. “Karl could just be so demanding, you know? Forceful. I found myself doing things I didn’t really feel comfortable with, but….oh, Karl I need you. Take me back.” After a mostly incoherent account of the Novak leak and the real status of the
Niger documents, Libby broke down again: “I thought he loved me. He was always so tender.”

Now I’m sure that Rove is a considerate lover. But, Scooter, never mistake a reach-around for love.