gall and gumption

Friday, October 27, 2006

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Brad of Sadly, No, writing at The American Prospect has summarized the connection between the taste for science fiction and "dorkofascism":

Sadly, Santorum was only the latest in a slew of right-wingers to base policy arguments on shameless dorkery. Last year, a Star Trek rerun inspired Minnesota Star-Tribune columnist and warblogger James Lileks to concoct a plan that would eliminate any liberals who opposed abusing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. “It’s time to institute Disintegration Chambers in our major American cities,” wrote Lileks, referring to a Star Trek episode that featured two tribes who preferred to fight wars by disintegrating their own people rather than sending them into live combat. Even though the episode was actually an allegory about the perverse methods governments use to shield their people from the brutal costs of war, Lileks took quite a fancy to the idea of forced disintegration, especially for his ideological foes.

“Here’s the deal,” he wrote. “We decide what constitutes torture, and identify it as the following: insufficient air conditioning, excess air conditioning, sleep deprivation, being chained to the floor, and other forms of psychological stress … Those who disagree with these techniques must sign a record that registers their complaints. When a terrorist finally spills the details on a forthcoming attack on, say, Chicago, the people who signed the register and live in Chicago are required to report to the disintegration chamber.”

But of course Lileks is just kidding hahaha. What's the matter, you can't take a joke?


At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That must be the same Jim Lileks who did the funny website about the ugly meat photographs. I didn't know he was a right wing wacko. Too bad. Hey, on the subject of people who don't read (you know, like those people in your drawing class)-- Billy Wilder in a book of interviews with him is very funny. He'll be talking about a screenwriter or a producer or somebody he worked a lot with-- this happens more than once in the book-- and he'll say a lot of generally nice things about them and their work, but, by way of explaining why there was something lacking, he'd say, "You know, he never read a book!" and you can tell that stood for something huge in Wilder's mind-- "He never read a book!" If you can find that book of the Wilder interview it's very entertaining, even if you don't agree with him on a lot of stuff, like how Tom Cruise is the only actor of today with the star quality of Cary Grant or Gary Cooper. Barf! What is he talking about? Tom Cruise is a gopher. My mother is a fish.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Kia said...

Ooh I am curious about the Billy Wilder book now. I suppose I can live with his opinion of Tom Cruise. I saw Cruise actually act in that film collateral damage, where he played a sinister hit man (are there any non-sinister hit men I wonder?) He does have a small rodenty quality, yes.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Kia said...

Oh, and yeah, it is the same Jim Lileks. The people who hang out at Alicublog say that after Sept. 11 he got spooked -- it seems to have happened to a few people.

Remember that wonderful stuff he did on "Interior Desecration?" I actually owned that book of early 1970s home chic. My Aunty Fay must have bought it as soon as she arrived in California.

At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that one. He also did something on the Turkey hotel of Wisconsin. He likes funny things. Getting spooked by 9/11 seems to be the excuse of a lot of people for losing their minds and condoning things like illegal wire-tapping, torture, excessive presidential powers, American bullying overseas, kidnapping, secret prisons, weird definitions of enemy combatants, etc...

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That seems to be worth looking into. The guy was undeniably funny. A sense of the wack. A cultivation of the humor of it. Then off. How does that happen. I was surprised to find him among the higher orders of militant pro-war bloogers, where a light touch was rarely in evidence. I wonder if he ever looked at this, asked himself what triggered the change, and how. Maybe this diagnosis holds a clue.


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