Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Don't Try This at Home

By Drew

As you know from some of the posts we put up here, we're all about things like classic TV (although I'm not sure about Mitchell's TV Guide collection...) which is one reason we link to great classic TV sites like TVParty. They've got a pretty good blog too, which is one reason why it troubles me to see posts like the March 30 entry, in which Billy Ingram sticks up for Rosie O'Donnell's 9/11 conspiracy theories. (There doesn't appear to be a direct link to each post, so I'll simply link to the blog and you can check out the entry for yourself.)

Rosie O'Donnell (not a big fan) has stated on The View that the collapse of the Twin Towers looks like it was done with explosives. If she thinks she's been slimed before, the talking bobble heads will really go after her now. I have to say, however, after looking at the 'evidence' it looks like that could be the case. The whole official storyline of 9/11 stinks to high heaven and I haven't even seen Michael Moore's movie.

Now, it doesn't bother me in the least (well, maybe a little bit) that Rosie O'Donnell talks about things like this - after all, this is a free country (despite what some of the liberals might think). But conspiracies have become such a crutch for a souless society that seems increasingly unable to believe in anything.

And a couple other things: first of all, I don't think it's accurate to say that anyone who disagrees with Rosie (especially those who refer to the comprehensive Popular Mechanics investigation into 9/11) is "sliming" her. Unless, that is, free speech doesn't extend to pointing out the facts. But have you noticed how many times someone will accuse you of "sliming" them, but it's "pointing out the facts" when they do it? (As Ben Franklin once said, rebellion is always legal in the first person - such as "our" rebellion. It's only in the third person - "their" rebellion - that it is illegal.)

Second, I don't know if it really serves any purpose to use such loaded words as "bobble heads" to describe Rosie's critics. Recall that a week or two ago Mitchell asked the question whether or not we could ever use the phrase "honest difference of opinion." When you have so little respect for your intellectual adversaries, you're really not going to get a very productive conversation out of it. Perhaps Billy would be open to honest dialogue about the scientific analysis of 9/11 - but based on what we see here (which is all we have to go on), it doesn't seem likely. (Especially when you consider the "evidence" he cites.)

I know from reading the TV Party blog that Billy Ingram has a somewhat liberal slant, and I'm fine with that - we have a somewhat conservative slant at Our Word. Besides, Billy usually has some pretty great stuff on his site. But why, oh why, do so many writers (particularly, though not exclusively liberal) feel like they've got to interject their own personal idological opinions into an otherwise perfectly enjoyable situation? I know, we've been over this before (and before, and before) but the question continues to beg itself. Is there nowhere we can leave well enough alone and just stick to doing well what we do well?

Or do we all have to feign knowledge, to pretend that we're informed and educated about a topic, in order to fool others - and perhaps ourselves?

UPDATE: I always want to give credit where credit is due, especially to a site I'm inclined to like. In his piece on the Virginia Tech massacre, I thought Billy was particularly reasoned (without seeming to be snarky) on the hottest button issue, that of gun control:

There will be the inevitable conflict over whether more or less guns on campus are called for. Here's a paragraph from a CBS News report: "Ironically, the school specifically banned the possession of firearms in dormitories or classrooms - the exact locations of today's unthinkable violence." What some might see as a 'ironic' others will see as the reason the second massacre was allowed to happen. If there had been armed students in the dorms could lives have been saved? Would the gunman have thought twice if he knew the students in that building were potentially armed? Of course, I find the idea of readily available guns and college students a recipe for disaster.

I know that we have our differences about the media, but if he's not offended by it I'd like to offer that this paragraph is a good example of what being "fair and balanced" really means!


  1. Drew:

    I'm really happy that someone was finally brave enough to bring up the issue of Mitchell's TV Guide collection.

    Can we have an honest discussion of "collecting" and if what we collect says something about us? For example: I collect Coca-Cola merchandise and Snowbaby figurines. What does that say about me? It probably says I'm not as culturally literate as Mitchell. Now, I'm sad.

    How do I get into this?

    See, once I start I can't stop-sigh.

    What were we talking about?

    Wasn't Rosie O'Donnell going to be an actress at one time? Maybe she still is. She's usually acting like she knows something and has something intelligent to say. She "proves" this by talking really loudly and shouting down her opponents. In the end, I think this ties into the ongoing Our Word discussion of the death throes of civility. You should not illustrate your intelligence with the brute force of your diaphragm.

    Good post.

  2. Cathy,

    You're absolutely right about Rosie.

    As far as Mitchell, he keeps talking about how he's not like some people (Homer Simpson keeps popping up) who are obsessive about TV Guides. And I've noticed he's starting to call them "vintage" TV Guides rather than, say, "old" TV Guides. Now there's this "cultural archaeologist" business. If he'd just admit he's got a thing for TV Guides, we'd be fine... :-)


  3. Sure, go ahead as if I weren't here...


  4. My ears were ringing...



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