Norm Finkelstein tries a new career as an Obama onionist (please, no pun intended!). He posted on his website this piece of razor-sharp political satire, cutting in his inimitable style, straight through to the bullshit:
In a move that shocked his AIPAC audience but which his supporters called "brave," Barack Obama dropped his drawers to prove that he was Jewish. John McCain immediately issued a statement alleging that he was circumcised first. (The Republican candidate is 71.) Basing himself on extensive fieldwork, Daniel Pipes, a McCain supporter and noted authority on Muslim culture, observes that "looks can be deceiving -- Muslims are also circumcised." (Pipes' new book is "Turkish Bath Terror Network.") Speaking for the Democratic party, Nancy Pelosi promises to investigate the "particulars" of their candidate. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton announced that although as a feminist she opposed circumcision, she would make an exception if it would get her the nomination. "Speaking as her husband," Bill Clinton said, "I couldn't care less, but if this is what it takes, heck, I'll slice off a piece too." Crackers from Hope refused comment. (Via: Engage)
There is something refreshing about Finkelstein's take on this. Unlike Obama's other less-than- salutary supporters, he takes Obama's words to AIPAC and the Joos as genuinely meant. That provides enough of an incentive for our cuckoo professor-at-large to indulge his proclivity for portraying any supporter of Israel in the ugliest fashion possible.
His admirers will no doubt cheer him. It is a pathology of those who like to pretend they care for Palestinians that their strongest support of them comes out in ugly and scatological expressions against American Jews, who root for Israel. As in the following quote, provided by some poster on an obscure message board:
"I don't like the " Zionist" attitude that Israel can do no wrong and that anyone criticising Israel is automatically wrong or called an antisemite. The ease with which that falls off the lips of some Jewish organizations is a load of steaming turd." *
Finkelstein's 'satire' fails because it is made up of unrelieved raw anger and contempt of the same texture and nuance as the incontinent sputter of contempt in the quote I cited. A good satire should contain wit and straightforward humour. Otherwise it is simply just another form of tedious and relentless preaching. Norm should recognize his intellectual limitations. His anger is like a piece of red meat. No sense of humour, no wit, no self-examination. A satire has to contain that seed of self-denigration. No satirist wants to come through looking so remarkably like Savonarolla, or Ahmadinejad... They are not funny.
* Further to this example, I ran across this quote on a message board which links to David Duke's website. Compare and contrast the sentiments and the verbal form of choice they take when speaking about Jews or Israelis:
..the USA is.. losing influence around the world, it is in so much debt to the jewish bankers it will take the combined working lives of seven generations of Americans to throw off their yoke, and to pour piss on the shit they are given the choice of voting for a Jew or a Nigger to rule over them and hand more of their money to the Africans, Mexicans, Israelis. America, there is a boot on your neck and a hand in your wallet.
I see very little to distinction between the two quotes, thought one comes from a so-called 'Leftist" and the other from a bona-fide skinhead. The only difference is that in the first instance, all contempt is reserved for the Jews and none but the Jews, while the other is a mixture of antisemitism and racism, a more familiar, classic type of xenophobia.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Monday, June 16, 2008