But of course FedEx has every right to not sponsor this particular program if their customers complain or they dislike the program and its content. I'm sure ABC will find another advertiser to take FedEx's place.
I watch PI regularly, and while Maher is often ignorant of relevent facts (for the millions he makes, you think he'd have a better research team) he at least has some balls for speaking truth to power or questioning those shibboleths of our society (god, I love the word shibboleth- I've been using it ad nauseum lately!). I've been watching PI for these last two nights as well, and I think Maher's doing a good job- he sounds a good note of sadness and seriousness at the beginning of the show, but doesn't try to make the entire show a maudlin sobfest. They're keeping the discussions lively and thoughtful, without a lot of false piety or holding their tongues because such-and-such and idea might hurt feelings. Booking David Horowitz was a mistake, but it alwasy is- that man is a maggot and it showed last night as well. Otherwise, the show's been broaching subjects people sometimes don't want to talk about. That's a healthy thing, even if you don't always agree with it. Compare PI to the "debates" on talk shows hosted by Fox News or MSNBC or CNN, and what you'll see on PI is a less pin-striped but more honest discussion at work.posted by hincandenza at 11:08 AM on September 19, 2001
Um- wouldn't cowards of the lowest stripe have, say, installed remote-controls into the planes? The point of Maher- and those on this thread who agree the "coward" thing is misplaced- is that no matter evil, irrational, hateful, blah blah blah the hijackings were, they WEREN'T cowardly. The GIs on the beach at Normandy had plenty of reason to believe they would die, but that doesn't make them cowards. While obviously there are stark ideological and political and moral differences between why someone charges into battle knowing that they'll die and why someone flies into a building knowing the same thing, the idea that they are "cowards" doesn't hold water.
And besides, suicide isn't cowardice either, as a general principle. It's no more an "easy way out" than is numbing yourself into a banal life of middle-class largesse where your day consists of going to work, coming home to plop in front of the tv for a few hours, eat, sleep, repeat until you die. Suicidal people aren't cowards, they are simply open to a possibility for problem-solving that really cowardly people would never consider (because suicide is "scary" or "taboo" or "a sin"). It really chaps my hide to hear that old refrain of suicide being cowardly. Until you can look down over the edge of a 900-foot skyscraper and make your legs take that one more step, until you can pull the trigger knowing that in the next split-second your former life will be all over the wall, until you can put into your mouth and swallow what you know for a fact will burn you away from the inside out- until you can do these things without hesitation while a billion years of programmed self-preservation are screaming "NO NO NO!" inside your cells, you have no right to call someone else "cowardly". Misguided, depressed, self-destructive? Oh the case can be made for those adjectives... but "cowardly". Not on your life...
the true cowards are those who sent these men out to do their evil for them
Ah, now you're getting it!! Some men send cruise missiles 2,000 miles through the air to do their murderous work for them, knowing their target cannot reach them, cannot retaliate in the same manner. Others send misguided zealots in hijacked airplanes to do their murderous work for them, knowing their target cannot find them, will not retaliate in the same manner.posted by hincandenza at 7:18 PM on September 19, 2001
Well, my comment was obviously wholly misunderstood! By "banal life of middle-class largesse" I meant specifically those who keep existing out of sheer momentum, despite suffering under a sort of nihilistic unhappiness (or as Thoreau put it, "quite lives of desperation") that others see as reason to end their lives. Or as yet another fine writer put it:
To die,--to sleep,--No more; and by a sleep to say we endThe heartache, and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to,--'tis a consummationDevoutly to be wish'd.
Suicidal feelings are derided by our society as an errant, diseased way of thinking, as flawed or lazy or yes cowardly (I'm not just thinking of the subset that is suicide terrorists). But I contend they are not errant or cowardly- that ideally one doesn't have such feelings, or can see and feel a better path than suicide. But when faced with that quiet life of desperation, some give up by ending their lives of misery and despair, while others give up just as much by swallowing and choking on their despair, hating their lives but never acting to change them. In that context, those who end their lives seeing no hope are in some sense braver than those that don't find joy in their lives except in shallow hedonistic distraction, who feel that existential angst (I couldn't avoid using the phrase "existential angst" in this post, of course) but never act on that in any direction- too scared or timid to do anything, whether the boldness of suicide or the boldness of drastically changing the course of one's life even in ways that shift us from the comfort of familiarity. I'm not saying those who worked in the WTC were cowards (I don't know the story of their lives, although it's safe to say the odds are there were cowards among the 5,000) but rather that suicide is NOT cowardly.
ttrendel: Would you take political advice from anyone that was in "D.C. Cab"?
No, but I would take political advice from someone who'd been in "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death"- a USA 'Up All Night' staple way back in the Rhonda Shears era... :)posted by hincandenza at 9:27 PM on September 20, 2001
What's really frustrating is when someone makes statements like that. Hey Dreama- instead of slandering terrapin, perhaps you ought to fucking search MeFi or other sources to find where he took a different hypocritical stance about Dr. Laura. Oh you didn't? Sucks to be you. Because I sure searched, and couldn't find anything at MeFi. For all you know, terrapin was one of the most strident defenders of RxL's right to free speech. If you have a resource to show terrapin is holding double standards- such as supporting the protests that led to dropping Dr. Laura's show- please post. Otherwise, shut yer trap. Remember, accusations of "double standards" don't hold water just because you think, suspect, or secretly wish a person were being hypocritical. Mmm-kay?
Dreama is frustrating beyond words...posted by hincandenza at 9:55 PM on September 20, 2001
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