February 16, 2005

Face Off

Frank Rich spends a couple of angry and perceptive pages in last Sunday's NYT deconstructing and discussing the US Right's ludicrous attacks on Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" (the attacks mostly focus on the film's supposed support for euthenasia and sundry other sins). Fair enough, but he makes the mistake of taking their arguments at face value, making short work of the self-righteousness, mean-spiritedness, and hypocrisy (not to mention irrationality) of the attacks. But surely the whole point of the attacks is the sheer pleasure of flexing your cultural or political muscles without needing a sound rationale, without needing to appeal beyond the True Believers, without needing to justify yourself.

They're attacking Eastwood and the film simply because they can, and because it's pleasurable, and because it rubs our faces in our own powerlessness and insignificance. Conspicuous hypocrisy -- what more do you need?


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