Thursday, March 30, 2006

HOW TO READ JEFF GOLDSTEIN. I guess the Shorter Goldstein in this case (as in so many others) would be "I'm not nuts, you're nuts." (Use Albert Brooks' reading in Real Life for the full effect, or affect.)

To bring you up to speed, Goldstein's first response to news of a possible Al Qaeda bio-attack plan was (his creative linking seems to indicate) righteous anger at the possibility that British foreign secretary Jack Straw might honor a Muslim cricket player.

But his central theme, my team of rant-parsers has determined, was that the civilized world faces real dangers, and that we should make clear to the Islamofascists that, regarding bio-war attacks, we would with "NO options of[f] the table" "do everything we need to do to prevent them before they happen." (Italics and random capitalization Goldstein's, of course.)

I don't find this too unreasonable -- by the excitable Goldstein's usual standards, it's practically a lullaby -- but Tbogg caught the hysterical tone and mocked it.

Well, to each his own. But Goldstein's response helps explain why Tbogg, and so many of us these days, can't resist teasing the guy: because he often reacts in such an amusing way:
...[Tbogg] and his fellow Iraq war critics have started to pretend that the threat from al Qaeda doesn’t exist, and instead spend the majority of their time poking their sticks into the sides of those who aren’t quite so sanguine about al Qaeda’s intentions.
This is almost plaintive: Goldstein only wants to save America, why are we making fun of him? Maybe Goldstein noticed that, too, and quickly butched back up to the belligerent sophistry that is his stock in trade:
Of course, the irony here is that you’d think this would work the other way around: the Bush Kultists, so confident in their flight-suited superhero’s power to cowboy up and protect us all from harm with his nuclear-strapped utility belt and army of super soldiers, would fear nothing from the feeble and impotent robed bluster of a tiny network of bearded hyper-fundamentalist Islamist cranks.
Goldstein, bless him, is channeling Kipling: It's Dubya this, and Dubya that, and "Dubya, you're on drugs!"/ But it's "Mr. Bush will save us" when Al Qaeda sprays th' bugs!

He portrays the liberal point of view with a quote: "hell, when that man says he’s gonna invade a country, by God he does it—none of this feckless, furrow-browed Jimmy Carter bullshit!" Attribution is missing -- maybe it's Joe Lieberman?

It goes on and on like this, one delirium tremen following another. The gist seems to be that liberals like Tbogg don't have a sophisticated, italicized germ-warfare plan -- "Hey, I can understand that," says Goldstein, "Sometimes children like to close their eyes and go to their happy place."

As it happens, I have a germ warfare plan every bit as interesting and useful as Goldstein's. I plan to run out among the screaming hordes, grab the most attractive woman I can find, and tell her, "It's now or never, baby! Let's die smiling!" I will repeat as needed. If I don't find a taker by the time the spores reach me, I'll start beating off, and try to keep it going until my lungs dissolve.

I have now done just as much to "inspire confidence in the seriousness of a good portion of our electorate" as has Jeff Goldstein. And in this instance I also managed to refer to my cock before he did!

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