My new Think Again column is called “The Times’ Frank Bruni, or How to Succeed in Journalism Without Really Caring (About Issues)” and it’s here.
I got a ton of mail regarding my attempt to correct Noam Chomsky’s dishonest words about my work. I’d estimate that 85 percent of it was negative and about 50 percent was angry and insulting. I expected this. The purpose of the post was to correct the record in the real world, should Chomsky’s false manipulation of my words ever migrate there. I did not expect many of his fans to reconsider their admiration of him, any more than I do Ralph Nader’s (another source of frequently abusive e-mails). But thanks to everyone who wrote in, agree or disagree, in a civil and sensible fashion.
Now here’s Reed’s excellent post:
It’s Not All About Timing
First, an amuse-bouche…
It does not surprise me in the least that former Gov. Sarah Palin would think it wise to endorse a two-hour-long, hagiographic movie about herself as a possible way to reignite her futile presidential aspirations. (But were they to somehow come to fruition, just know she would be “a disaster of, well, biblical proportions,” according to a former longtime aide.) Nor is it a shock that an early screening of the “movie,” due out next month, confirms it will be chock full of Palin’s trademark resentment, sanctimoniousness (Joan of Arc parallels!), and petty score-settling. This is the season of pointless popcorn movies, after all.
But what I simply cannot get over is what they’re calling it—The Undefeated. I mean, really? Sounding like a time-traveling cinematic collaboration between M. Night Shyamalan and John Ford, this ponderous title once again proves that Palin exists in a rarefied state of narcissistic self-delusion, one where things like irony and humility can freely pass through without any impact whatsoever, sort of like neutrinos idly drifting through the earth. I mean, if the two most notable feats on one’s political resumé involve (a) a nationwide electoral defeat sanctioned by a majority of the American voters and (b) a self-selected abdication of one’s sworn public duties as part of a not-so-subtle attempt to sellout faster than anyone since perhaps Moby, then maybe there are a few alternative movie titles one might consider other than “The Undefeated.”
(And speaking of musical artists selling out, might I recommend checking out the hilariously brilliant “Moby Equation” formula, which, sadly, I only discovered this week. Finally, music fans have a quasi-scientific way of quantifying the crass commercialization and betrayal of first principles involved in, say, The Clash’s “London Calling” being used to hawk Jaguars. Try it for yourself, but be forewarned, it can be addictive.)