A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Death of Shame

Last night I watched this and was very moved:



Today I read this on Talking Points Memo:

Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association, was unhappy yesterday that President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to a soldier for saving lives. This, Fischer wrote on his blog, shows that the Medal of Honor has been "feminized" because "we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."

Here's how the AP described Medal of Honor winner Army Sgt. Salvatore Giunta heroics:
Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor winner of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, braved heavy gunfire to pull a fellow soldier to cover and rescued another who was being dragged away by insurgents.
Fischer's take? "So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?"

"We have feminized the Medal of Honor," Fischer wrote. He also quoted General Patton: "Gen. George Patton once famously said, 'The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.'" (Actually, Patton doesn't say anything about the other guy: "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.")

Fischer recently argued that it's time to get rid of the "curse" that is the Grizzly Bear because of the number of humans who have been killed by bears: "One human being is worth more than an infinite number of grizzly bears. Another way to put it is that there is no number of live grizzlies worth one dead human being. If it's a choice between grizzlies and humans, the grizzlies have to go. And it's time."

Fischer is a favorite of social conservative Republicans, and spoke at the Values Voter summit this fall alongside Mitt Romney, Jim DeMint, and other big-shot Republicans.

And what I want to know is, when did people lose their sense of shame? At what point did it become acceptable for anyone to make statements like this? Have we become so corrupted by the filth on talk radio that a "favorite of social conservative Republicans" and a professed Christian can write such utterly contemptible stuff?

Doubtless there will be some blowback, and Mr. Fischer will issue one of those "if I offended anybody" non-apologies, but the level of discourse in this country is already damaged beyond repair by crap like this.