Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wait, this can't be just an accident. There must be an underlying cause. Perhaps this tragedy was caused by global warming? Could the Mother Duck's parenting skills have been eroded by liberal college professors? Maybe Mommy Quack was lured across the grate by Blackwater? Say... just what is the agenda of the MSM to cause them to be so silent on this tragedy? Chimpy Bu$Hilter? Elderly giant paper mache head toting hippies? Chicken Hawks or Copperheads?

Such a cacophony we live in.

The New Republic/Scott Beauchamp story has been interesting to watch as it plays out in the blogs. To me Beauchamp was just a foolish young man who didn't consider the price of spinning yarns from a public soapbox, and Franklin Foer, Senior Editor at the New Republic, crashed and burned because he had no idea how to manage the crisis brought on by publishing the shoddy "Shock troops" columns.

Other people, people on the other side of the divide, see it as a tale of the Army, the government, and of folks like me I suppose, ruthlessly intimidating, smearing and squashing Beauchamp and the New Republic to push our nefarious narrative. Threats of Court Martial, monitored phone calls, withholding of evidence -- all signs of liberty eroded to silence an author who was only speaking of our sins.

Of course, to most normal people, if they know of it at all, it is just a tempest in the blogosphere teapot. Like opposing sports fans who tediously barrage each other with differing stats as they argue over who is the best third baseman of all-time, they view us political cranks of both stripes as seeing what we want, and ignoring what is inconvenient. So the ear plugs go in, the world goes on, and soon enough Beauchamp won't even merit a footnote.

Then again, as Asimov said, "When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

That is the importance of untangling the "Shock troops" kerfuffle, and all the other political kerfuffles that come down the pike. We have to see where we are walking because if we follow the flat-earthers we're liable to all fall through the grate.

(by the way, no baby ducks were harmed in the making of this post -- the ducks in the picture were rescued)


Buddy Larsen said...

A very well-wrought essay, there, Ambisinistral.

loner said...

When it comes to The New Republic, it crashed and burned at least a generation ago. I'm reminded of Elliot:

These fragments I have shored against my ruins

Nonetheless, the processes by which one or another narrative describing the same set of events becomes the conventional wisdom and then the history to be disputed and revised continue to (and my reward is that I can, with diligence, watch those processes work when the events and/or the concerned humans and institutions also interest me.)