Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TOUCH OF WHITE. It's been a while since I gave Roger L. Simon much attention. My interest was rekindled by Tbogg, who noted that the Bo Derek of the War on Terror had been reminiscing passive-aggressively about the 60s, telling a whippersnapper that nothing comes close to the pot of '69 and "I can attest that 1968 and 2008 aren't remotely similar. And the enemy we are facing isn't remotely the same."

That's an odd thing for him to say, as in his fist-shaking mode Simon often makes nostalgic comparisons. For example, Spike Lee reminds him of Jesse Jackson, because Lee, who "for more than a decade... has barely made a film any of us can remember" (unlike ahem), now "plays the old identity/race card" with Clint Eastwood in order to summon back the limelight. And this makes him like Jackson, because Jackson also angles for a race-card comeback, for example... well, Simon gives no example, but we all know... why, just the other day he... well, neither one of these guys is white, okay? And that goes for O.J. Simpson and noisy Mexicans and other darker types with whom Simon traditionally associates historical calamity.

Speaking of which, Simon manages to drag Obama into it, too:
We don’t know which way we are going - toward a post-racial future or back to a racist past.

I have been rooting very hard for the former so it was with some wistfulness I read that Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date was to see Lee’s Do the Right Thing. I very much liked the film at the time (1989), but somehow I wish the Obamas had gotten together over, say, a college production of Aeschylus or perhaps a reading of Pushkin. I don’t want to think of their marriage emanating from the stew pot of American racial despair.
Of course if the Obamas' first date had in any way involved Pushkin or the Ancient Greeks, Simon would be using that as evidence for his previous claim that Obama's an elitist. That avenue blocked, Simon goes where his heart leads him: imputations of racism against black people.

Fans of rightwing Zdhanovism will enjoy the "liked the film at the time, but..." which suggests a new opinion adopted to suit new realities. Maybe that's the real difference between 1968 and 2008 to which Simon referred: back when Simon was wearing love-beads, only Birchers and hardhats talked like this.

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