Sunday, October 10, 2004

An Anti-Coulter to Call Our Own

Toronto Ontario
43°39' North; 79° 23' West

If you subscribe to a particular world view, reading the following exchange with Bill O'Lielly should make you an instant Heather Mallick fan (if you're not already):

O'Reilly: Are you a socialist?
Mallick: Yes, certainly.
O'Reilly: Are you anti-American?
Mallick: I'm generally opposed to American values, which are overly money-centred.
O'Reilly: OK, interesting. I have advised the Canadian government I will no longer buy Canadian products or visit the country.
—From The O'Reilly Factor, FOX News Network

However, even if you are not a waygone lefty it would be a mistake, based purely on the comments quoted above, to dismiss Ms. Mallick out of hand. Here are a few reasons why.

First, she's got guts. She went on O'Reilly's rigged, mundacity-filled hate-fest and gave him no quarter.

Second, she is actually way more than a waygoner. This is evident in her strangely old world and somehow simultaneously post modern pillow book titled 'Pearls and Vinegar'.

Third, she posesses one king hell-sized bullshit detector. Here's what she had to say about American Mercenaries (ie. not 'contractors') plying their trade in Iraq a few months ago in a column written before Sy Hersh published his New Yorker piece that exposed the systematic/systemic torture of the native population at Abu Graib and the other prisons of the occupation:

".....We all remember the four Americans found in Fallujah on March 31, their bodies burned and mutilated and things resembling torsos left to swing on a bridge. The killings seemed more suited to the 17th century - bits of Oliver Cromwell all over London - than anything 2004-ish. I was horrified.......

......"My human feelings changed once I studied the Fallujah bridge scene with more care. The four men killed were not U.S. soldiers. They were mercenaries, who worked for Blackwater USA, a firm that is a small part of a huge industry that contracts out hired "security guards" - read mercenaries - to nations, organizations and individuals that can afford to employ them. At least three of the four Americans in their shallow grave had worked for Halliburton, the biggest private contractor in Iraq.......

...... My first charitable thought was that the mercenaries were the same cannon fodder as regular soldiers. This is not quite true. The typical soldier fights because he has no other chance in life, but also out of some degree of patriotism or feeling for his fellow grunts. The mercenary, say, a former Green Beret trained at taxpayer expense, can earn $1,000 (U.S.) a day from Halliburton. His loyalty is to himself or his HR supervisor....."

Fourth, Ms. Mallick has a soul. From the same article on the Mercs:

" These are grim times: My reading now is divided between exposes of the Bush II administration and war poetry. W.B. Yeats's 1919 poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death seems to apply to private-sector war:

Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds.

What poem does a modern mercenary recite? Halliburton's mission statement?"

Fifth, as evidenced above, Ms. Mallick can flat out write.


For awhile now, I've viewed Mallick as our very own Morford of the North, you know, the type of columnist that speaks truth to power while at the same time cosying up to the Greedheads just enough that they can then poke them in the eye in the public prints.

But more recently I've started to think that our Heather might have a bigger role to play than that.

Specifically, I think her reasoned, soulful outrage may be just the antidote we need to fight off the necrotizing fascisti-itis that is being heaped upon us by Scaife Foundation-bankrolled shillophants like Ann Coulter.

Here's a little sample of what Ms. Coulter had to say about the Muslim world recently while she was on FOX's other, supposedly less-hateful, hate-fest a couple of weeks ago:

ALAN COLMES (co-host FOX's of Hannity & Colmes): [R]ight after September 11, you said, and you know where I'm going with this, I'm often asked if I still think we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, convert them to Christianity. You say the same thing Nixon said in 1972: "Now more than ever."

COULTER: Now more than ever.

This is wingnuttery in the extreme, but in the debased world that American punditry has become it gets a lot of play. In fact, many members of the chattering classes South of the Border are so deluded that they consider A.C. to be the far right's equivalent of the far left's Michael Moore.

Of course, the only problem with such a comparison is the fact that Moore takes, well, facts and then propagandizes based pretty much on said facts while AC/DC takes trainloads of Prefab Propaganda Polyps and utilizes bogus Ozzian Wizardry in an attempt to convert them into a few cold hard facts. The following is a 'never mind what I'm doing behind the curtain' example based on Ms. Coulter's take on last week's Cheney/Edwards VP debate:

"Democrats are good Bolsheviks. No matter, I mean, their guy could fall flat on his face, as I think Edwards did, and they will all rush to the TV cameras and say, "Oh, Edwards won the debate." And so you end up with a consensus position, even when the Republican beat the Democrat about the head, as Cheney did with Edwards."

Now, we could just let a statement like that lie there and wait for somebody like Mr. Moore to come along and stomp the life out of it with the big, slobbery, hob-nailed boots that he bought way back in the day when he was thrashing around his hometown of Flint Michigan looking to nail his first victim, Roger Smith.

But, then again, stompings like that, if and when they occur, tend to create a big mess that nobody wants to clean up. Or, even worse, the resulting flying bits of Coulter proto-spittle could metasize into a hundred new Scaiffian tumors on the Body Politic which would be disastrous in the extreme (witness Michelle Malkin, if you must).

Instead, we think we have a more polite, more surgical, and certainly more elegant, 'Made in Canada' solution. In fact, the surgeon's tool, which you cannot take on a plane or use to carve the Turkey tomorrow, arrived on our doorstep just yesterday in the form Ms. Mallick's most recent weekly column in the Globe:

" (during the debate) Mr. Cheney said he had never claimed Iraq was behind 9/11. Lie. He did, repeatedly, and it's on tape. I watched Mr. Cheney's mouth, which has been described as something doglike that scares the postman. But it looks to me like Charlotte Rampling's long upper lip stretching to greatest effect in 'The Night Porter', a movie about sado-masochism".
(Toronto Globe & Mail, Oct 09/04 pg F2 - subscription, sorry no publicly available link yet).


And best of all, we'll take our Heather's Charlotte Rampling over Ms. Coulter's faux-arayan Uber-A(pp)lles anyday.

Update: Mon Oct. 11/04, 11:37am
Heather Neale has a decent background piece on Mallick up at the Tyee that has a pretty good take on how off-putting it can be to sneak-up on the greedheads (see description of interaction with David Thompson's offspring and Andrew Coyne).

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