Saturday, March 05, 2005

Incandescent Wibble Rage

Our apologies for not posting yesterday, we were busy at the day job and being incandescent with rage. Our biggest beef lies with the scumbags that have decided that scalping Nine Inch Nails tickets over the internet somehow represents a decent and honourable way to earna living. Needless to say, we didn't get them, and paying 300 "sheets" to the scumbags seems a tad steep.

We cheered up for a while, thanks to the tempura-fired chicken sushi at Geido, and an invitation to speak a Columbia Business School (are they mental? We had to brag).

And then we stretched out in front of the majesty that is Martha, Inc based on the hatchet job by Post business writer Christopher Byron. Mr. B did not write the screenplay WE PRAY. Cybil Shepherd, as Martha, decides that making a camp classic in the vein of her late lamented sitcom might be the only way out. The truncated runtime, inexplicable references, decision that all investment bankers have to be British, and clunky dialogue all made us decide to follow Lifetime much more carefully. But it did neatly highlight the entire Martha dichotomy: was she this greedy, shouty, thread-count obsessing haridan, or a giggly, warm-hearted woman? why couldn't she be both? Clumsy jump-cutting made the choice very apparent.

Then to Bill Maher, who featured Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies who was decided to make the point that a society's elite can sometimes be seen to be complicit in its failings, by noting that the workers (to use his distinction, the white-collar ones) in the World Trade Center were "little Eichmanns".

When pressed on this point, Churchill noted that Eichmann was in charge of the timetables of genocide, and that many of capitalism's worker bees facilitate misery elsewhere (Gringcorp writes abour refineries and hydroelectric dams, so will stay silent here). But the distinction is tenuous, since if you want to play up the banality of evil, you don't reference its posterchild.

Watching Maher drag these conclusions out of Churchill was painful to watch, although we lack the umbrage of Jeff Jarvis. We couldn't help but think that he was a tad too inarticulate to be making such provocative points, or indeed that his poor delivery might be the reason for his predicament. We can't help but agree with top Gumby Fresh commenter the Instapundit that he probably wasn't good enough to get tenure.

The most awkward moment was when the brother of one of the 9/11 victims came on to talk about how idiotic he thought Churchill's point was, but how we had to have this discussion, and how Churchill shouldn't be hounded out of public life. He looked pretty upset, but managed to articulate the fairly simple "the guys at Cantor Fitzgerald were good people" point in a very subdued fashion. Made it difficult for Churchill to say "there are plenty of people you'd like to have a beer with that make bad things possible," although he could have.

Still if you're relying for an aggrieved relative to be reasonable and articulate when a tenured professor can barely get a a sentence out you've got a sordid little debate, make no mistake.


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