October 21, 2006

"Politics makes artists stupid."

Let's check out the part of the Wall Street Journal we can all read. They've got a piece by my favorite Wall Street Journal writer, Terry Teachout, about the play -- shudder -- "My Name Is Rachel Corrie":
It's an ill-crafted piece of goopy give-peace-a-chance agitprop--yet it's being performed to cheers and tears before admiring crowds of theater-savvy New Yorkers who, like [co-writer and director Alan] Rickman himself, ought to know better.

So why don't they?...

"My Name Is Rachel Corrie," by contrast, is a scrappy, one-sided monologue consisting of nothing but the fugitive observations of a young woman who, like so many idealists, treated her emotions as facts. "I am disappointed," she declares, "that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world." To mistake such jejune disillusion for profundity and turn it into the climax of a full-length play is an act of piety, not artistry.

41 comments:

George said...

"The salmon talked me into a lifestyle change," says Ms. Corrie, according to the review.

But the tahini made her fil-aw-ful.....

Murdoch said...

What a pathetic review! It's not a critical analysis of a dramatic performance but an excuse for misrepresentation deriving from political bias.

The central point, distorted by Teachout, is that Corrie's death was no accident. It is entirely clear from the evidence of those present at the time that the driver who killed her was at best astonishingly reckless and at worst simply didn't care about her life.

This is the tragedy of present-day Israel and the reason why so many around the world are increasingly hostile to its actions. A country of imagination and hope has turned into a brutal monster treating Palestinians with contempt and inhumanity, turning their land into a series of concentration camps and destroying any possibility of economic activity. This is why not only the Rachel Corries of today but statesmen like Nelson Mandela or internationally recognised writers and artists are sickened by the brutality. It's nothing whatever to do with trendy causes, everything to do with life and justice.

And, to anticipate the ignorant or partisan, let me make very clear that this worldwide and growing protest does not exonerate anti-Israeli terrorist activity and nor is it a matter of anti-semitism. That last certainly exists, and I regret and deprecate it greatly, but the issue here is the policies of the Israeli government, not Jews, and that's en entirely different matter despite the confusion which some insist on making.

The play may or may not be artistically worthwhile but Teachout's review most certainly lacks any merit.

jinnmabe said...

The central point, distorted by Teachout, is that Corrie's death was no accident.

Teachout's central point was that the play sucked. Are you sure you read the review?

Derve said...

"I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it."

Far be it from me to defend a dead hippie dippy, but...
I suspect in years to come, when we look back at American diplomacy and foreign policy results in these years, this inelegant and artless statement may contain just a smidgen of wisdom in retrospect -- one overlooked, undervalued, and buried in our today's willingness to accept rhetoric over results.

The killings are complex, and in many ways ineffecive. The more time passes the more likely we are to reevaluate the violence, timeline, and effectiveness.

Mike Lief said...

A country of imagination and hope has turned into a brutal monster treating Palestinians with contempt and inhumanity, turning their land into a series of concentration camps and destroying any possibility of economic activity.

Thanks, Murdoch. I haven't seen a better summary of the anti-semitic Jew=Nazi meme in quite a while.

Rachel Corrie was a stupid, shrill young woman who consorted with terrorists. She chose to place herself in front of an armored bulldozer while defending killers and soon found herself experiencing the downside of being a human shield.

That you are so quick to tag the Israelis with loaded words like, "monsters" and "concentration camps" tips your hand for all to see.

Who is it that detonates bombs on buses filled with commuters and school kids? Who detonates bombs in pizzerias filled with families? Who detonates bombs in crowded discos?

Israel exists in a savage corner of the world, battling a nihilistic death cult dedicated to its destruction. This play is simply enemy propaganda, written and applauded by people incapable of distinguishing between violence done on behalf of evil, and violence done resisting it.

Derve said...

Who left all those cluster bomblets behind in Lebanon? How are they weakening Hezbollah? Where can they be traced back to? Who are they killing?

Murdoch said...

Sad but predictable, I suppose, that someone - mike_lief in this instance - should introduce the desperate "anti-semitic" lie despite my trying to forestall that in what I wrote.

The situation in Israel/Palestine is hugely complex and there are serious faults on both sides, without question. I don't minimise in the slightest the dangers Israel faces nor condone the actions of those seeking her destruction but the fact remains that Israel, underpinned financially by the US, has become a rogue state and is treating the Palestinians with a disgraceful degree of inhumanity and callous disregard, completely contrary to any tenet of civilised behaviour. This may be an unpalatable truth for you to accept but it's nevertheless correct as any number of independent and reliable witnesses who have seen for themselves the squalor and degration forced on the Palestinians acknowledge.

To call this "anti-semitism" is a lie, an attempt to confuse the issue by linking it falsely with a separate and entirely contemptible political stance which, incidentally, you trivialise in the process. These accusations are labelled squarely at the Israeli government and are shared by many concerned Jews themselves both in Israel and elsewhere.

David said...

She "asked" for something when she came into this world?

What a twit!

What a useful idiot!

Her Karma caught up with her like it did with her idiot friend from Marin!

Cumbaya indeed.

Fenrisulven said...

The central point, distorted by Teachout, is that Corrie's death was no accident.

It was all Darwin's fault.

Fenrisulven said...

Derve: Who left all those cluster bomblets behind in Lebanon?

Hezbollah was recently caught using cluster munitions in Lebanon. I'll try to find the link for you, since I'm sure you're be all over the Hezzies for that.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Murdoch, if you and other Israel haters directed a tenth of your outrage at the world's truly monstrous regimes, where real brutality and barbarism is met with yawns and shrugs by the leftist elite, you would be more convincing.

Mike Lief said...

Israel ... has become a rogue state and is treating the Palestinians with a disgraceful degree of inhumanity and callous disregard, completely contrary to any tenet of civilised behaviour.

Oh, I see, it's not the Jews you find repugnant, it's their fascist, racist Jewish regime. That your description of Israel's conduct is rife with catch-phrases more commonly applied to the Third Reich is just serendipity.

And thank you for clarifying that Israel's conflict with those Arabs dedicated to its destruction is too complicated for prats like me to understand.

Here I thought the Israelis killed civilians by mistake, whilst the terrorists deliberately target them. Targeted munitions versus Katuyshas raining down upon entire cities.

Notwithstanding your protestations, I don't believe for a moment that you accept Israel's right to defend itself, much less to exist as an independent homeland for the Jewish people.

Murdoch said...

Oh, I see, it's not the Jews you find repugnant, it's their fascist, racist Jewish regime. That your description of Israel's conduct is rife with catch-phrases more commonly applied to the Third Reich is just serendipity.

Nice try, Mike, but it just won't wash. You forget that Israel is formally secular, that 23% of the Israeli population is not Jewish. You may choose to call it fascist but I certainly wouldn't - it's a democracy. And I distinguish between people and their governments.

As for "concentration camp", that phrase first surfaced to denote British camps holding Boers in the late 19th century and again at various points subsequently including, British again, camps holding Mau Mau prisoners in the '60s. Of course it's indelibly associated with the Third Reich and the Shoah but it's far wider than that and that's the proper sense in which I was using the phrase - quite correctly, I might add, given the circumstances on the ground in Palestine. I appreciate that your argument is weak but please don't put words in my mouth or try to ascribe sentiments to me which I abhor.

Nor do I deny the right of Israel to exist. Although it came into being in 1948 as a result of terrorist activity (you do know of the Stern Gang, Irgun, the King David hotel incident and so on, don't you?) it was genuinely seen as progressive, adventurous, exciting and humanely communitarian during the '50s and '60s. It was a state which drew people there out of idealism. (People rather like Rachel Corrie, I should imagine).

And then it all started to go wrong. Of course a large part of the blame for this lies with its external enemies but the tragedy, as I said before, is the way Israel's responded, quite disproportionately, the way it treats Palestinians quite inhumanely and arrogantly. I tell you this: unless the Israeli governments come to their senses, Israel's days are numbered. I would regret this greatly but the solution is ultimately in their hands.

I don't hate Israel. I hate what it's become. That's the tragedy of the situation.

Murdoch said...

jinnmabe remarked: Teachout's central point was that the play sucked. Are you sure you read the review?

Sure! Did you? Did you read what I wrote?

The central point of the play, well a major point anyway, was that Rachel Corrie's death was no accident but unlawful killing, sadly just another of the routine incidents so common in Palestine that they're rarely even reported any more.

Teachout didn't critique the play. In a piece running to some 375 words maybe three sentences, well under 100 words, did that or gave something of the background to the production. The rest, including a gratuitous and childish attack on the dead woman was a reflection of his political opinions including that she brought it on herself.

Of course he's entitled to dislike the play, to say that it sucks, even to mouth off a bit about his views and prejudices. But to claim that it's anything like a proper review - c'mon, as I said, it's just pathetic.

Garage Mahal said...

Thanks, Murdoch. I haven't seen a better summary of the anti-semitic Jew=Nazi meme in quite a while.

I'm sorry, but not everyone that is critical of Israel is a kook, or anti-semite. They refuse to behave like a responsible country and join the IAEA, and verify their nuclear caches. They continually spy on us, and play us for saps. I would argue they need nukes, considering their nast neighbors. But why not just come clean, as we ask other countries to do?

Why on earth would Israel drop between 1-3 million cluster bombs, with a 40% dud rate, all in the last 72 hours while a peace agreement is being worked out?

Richard Dolan said...

The play is being advertised in NYC as an exercise in "moral clarity." The ad on WQXR this morning featured Rickman, proclaiming in the deepest British accent that Corrie's words are freighted with moral authority and offer a much-needed beacon of clarity.

But if it's moral clarity one is after, I think you are more likely to find it in the hand-outs being offered near the theater by those looking to publicize the "other Rachels," as they call them. They are handing out sheets with the pictures of a dozen or so other girls or young women, all named Rachel, who died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time when one of those peace loving Palestinians decided it was a great time for a suicide bombing in Israel.

In calling this play "an ill crafted piece of goopy give-peace-a-chance agitprop," Teachout was just being kind.

Fenrisulven said...

a gratuitous and childish attack on the dead woman was a reflection of his political opinions including that she brought it on herself.

Its not opinion. Its fact. She is responsible for her own death.

She's also a raving lunatic who burned American flags and incited Pali youths to hatred and violence. We mock her "martyrdom" and celebrate her stupidity on Saint Pancake Day.

Fenrisulven said...

Racheal Corrie, Peace Activist

Garage Mahal said...

We mock her "martyrdom" and celebrate her stupidity on Saint Pancake Day.

Does this somehow make you think you're "tough" on some level? Is this what you guys jackoff to at Freeper - A video of a woman getting crushed by a bulldozer? What a pathetic bedwetting world you must live in. Always afraid of something, and need assurances from everyone that you will be okay.

My only hope is that you're sterile, and you cannot spawn anything from that reptillian brain. Right or wrong, she had more balls than you will ever hope to have, and since I assume you're not "fighting" from anywhere besides your computer - I will count you as yet another 101st Fighting Keyboarder.

Cedarford said...

Rachael Corrie was not a peace activist. Her group claimed they were, but their actions were supportive of Palestinian armed resistance. She burned American & Israeli flags in front of schoolchildren to tell them - in effect -these are the nations you should grow up to hate and wish to destroy. She died "defending" a building that Palestinian terror groups were using as a sniper position and cover for explosives smuggling. Her death was no loss to America.

Fenrisulven said...
The central point, distorted by Teachout, is that Corrie's death was no accident.
It was all Darwin's fault.


Hah! Indeed, if you are at high likelihood of Darwin weeding you out to begin with, as Corrie seemed to be, it is best not to play chicken with a 15-ton armored bulldozer with limited visibility and a large blade blocking lower view and a driver prone to look to his left and right based on being sniped at on earlier demolition projects in the same area. A court examined it and concluded that by sitting down and screaming whatever epitaths that came to her little anti-American mind - - Corrie had blocked herself from line of sight of the operator and then failed to move..as the bulldozer slowly crept towards her - until it was too late and another Darwin Award was achieved.


Mike Lief ascribes to the fondest wish anyone with loyalty or just affection for a foreign country can have - that foreign country is somehow made immune to all criticism in America. Reckless throwing out of the anti-Semitic canard on any occasion when Jews or Israel are criticized for anything obviously diminishes it's utility. And perversely leads many Americans to believe that Jews are so powerful and have such control over America that Americans can criticize any nation, even their own, question the power and objectives of any special interest group...but Americans are required to be silent about one nation and one special interest group.

That is not a healthy state of affairs for America if it's own national interests are undermined in the process. OR FOR the "immune from criticism" nation and special interest group - especially when that nation and most of that "special interest group" believe that Mike Lief's or for that matter Abe Foxman's of the ADL - smearing tactics and threats to critics are dangerous and counterproductive.

Same to you, Johnny Nucleo.

Mike Lief said...

Cedarford --

I do not Israel is immune from criticism; far from it. But it is also clear to me that there is a strong strain of anti-semitism masquerading in the "I hate the monstrous Jewish state, but not the Jews" argument put forth by many.

More to the point, Murdoch's use of words like "concentration camp" and referring to Israel as a "brutal monster" inescapably link the Jewish nation and the Nazi regime.

I also think that there's a more subtle form of prejudice here, one that requires of Israel a standard of conduct approaching moral perfection -- more appropriate in a conflict between the Danes and the Swedes, perhaps, than the Israelis and the Arabs.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Cedarford,

You are not a dumb guy. But your posts are too long. You need to tighten it up.

Does the United States have a "special relationship" with Israel? Yes. Because we want the same things.

Israel, the United States, Europe, and just about everyone else on the planet basically wants this: Freedom, Peace, Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll, free trade, low taxes, universal health care, and aid when you are old and worthless.

How do we get there? Who knows?

But we know this: Our enemies are nutty barbarians with nutty ideas of how to get there.

Israel is not the problem.

Revenant said...

It is entirely clear from the evidence of those present at the time that the driver who killed her was at best astonishingly reckless and at worst simply didn't care about her life.

Not that there'd be anything wrong with either circumstance. She was aiding and abetting terrorists at the time, after all. I'd have happily killed the bitch myself if I'd been there.

Derve said...

Does the United States have a "special relationship" with Israel? Yes. Because we want the same things.

I don't think America wants settlements built on land where ownership is disputed. That's our official policy, currently being ignored by our ally. Consequence. Accountability.

Fenrisulven said...

Fen: We mock her "martyrdom" and celebrate her stupidity on Saint Pancake Day.

Garage Mahal: Does this somehow make you think you're "tough" on some level? Is this what you guys jackoff to at Freeper - A video of a woman getting crushed by a bulldozer? What a pathetic bedwetting world you must live in. Always afraid of something, and need assurances from everyone that you will be okay.

Huh? Why do you associate mocking Corrie on St Pancake Day with "toughness" in the first place? You make no sense. Are you projecting? Are you on some kind of medication? We mock her death because the Left uses her as a poster child for "peace" activism. She's a joke. Its hysterical. Look at the pic. There she is "inspiring" Pali youths to hate America and Israel. How "brave" of her.

Garage Mahal: My only hope is that you're sterile, and you cannot spawn anything from that reptillian brain. Right or wrong, she had more balls than you will ever hope to have, and since I assume you're not "fighting" from anywhere besides your computer - I will count you as yet another 101st Fighting Keyboarder.

You head's gonna explode again. I'm a fomer US Marine. I served in a Victor Unit, a gunner for a light tank in 3rd LAR Bn. I volunteered to liberate Kuwait. I volunteered again to save thousands from starvation at the hands of petty warlords in Baderra, Somalia. I retired to marry and raise a family. We have three kids, and I'll raise them all to mock you and your kind.

Garage Mahal: Right or wrong, she had more balls than you will ever hope to have

Wrong again. Nothing she did was courageous. Her death, while tragic, wasn't even deliberate. She was a spoiled selfish naive brat. She banked on her American citizenship [which she hated] to stop a bulldozer that was destroying terrorist rat holes. She was a Useful Idiot who enabled suicide attacks on innocent civilians. And your "brave" peace activists never have the guts to protest in Damasacus or Tehran. They're a fraud, just like Rachel Corrie.

Say it with me again: Happy Saint Pancake Day!

Idiot.

Fenrisulven said...

Derve: As promised, the Soro's funded [ie. Lefty] Human Rights Watch reports that Hezbollah also uses cluster munitions.

Revenant said...

I don't think America wants settlements built on land where ownership is disputed.

Um, the United States is LOCATED on land whose ownership is disputed. It isn't like caucasians, blacks, and asians are native to North America.

But in any case, there's nothing unusual about allies disregarding each others' wishes. Look at the history of the NATO nations over the last half-century, for example.

cAPSLOCK said...

This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world.

They were doing requests when she 'signed up'? Man, I missed out... they just threw me down the chute - no questions asked.

LoafingOaf said...

Does this somehow make you think you're "tough" on some level? Is this what you guys jackoff to at Freeper - A video of a woman getting crushed by a bulldozer?

When that incident happened I only felt sorry for the bulldozer driver, not Corrie. The poor bulldozer driver had his life turned upside down because some terror-loving nitwit recklessly got in his way where he couldn't even see her and caused him to accidentally run her over.

d said...

Awfully good of Althouse to drop this "review" on to her blog and then saunter away to watch Project Runway, or whatever it is she does when the Freepers and Little Green Fascists show up to mock the dead.

Derve said...

"...that Hezbollah also uses cluster munitions."

As does Israel. No choice now but to admit that. Just wanted you to dismount this high horse: "Who is it that detonates bombs on buses filled with commuters and school kids? Who detonates bombs in pizzerias filled with families? Who detonates bombs in crowded discos? The weaponry kills, and this whole war against the "terror" tactics employed will prove to be not so one-sided in the end. Mark my words.


Um, the United States is LOCATED on land whose ownership is disputed.

Yeah, but we're not exactly asking Israel to help finance and strategize against the hungry natives currently fighting back, now are we? Listen, if Israel doesn't want eventual compromise, that's fine. But the big brother protector will not be around indefinitely (doesn't take a fiscal or psychological genius to see that) and wonder if any long-term plans are in effect for that day. If not, 'tis a pity.

Oh, I forgot. We're supposed to be on our knees thanking Israel for helping protect American interests in the region. Where are my manners?

Mike Lief said...

Just wanted you to dismount this high horse: "Who is it that detonates bombs on buses filled with commuters and school kids? Who detonates bombs in pizzerias filled with families? Who detonates bombs in crowded discos?"

A moment of clarity: pointing out that the Arabs deliberately target people on their way to work, children going to school, families getting dinner and partygoers seeking fun at a danceclub is to some people evidence of being on a "high horse."

And the moral equivalence between the savage terrorists and the Israelis -- who lose more men due to their efforts to avoid killing civilians -- goes on and on.

Fenrisulven said...

Awfully good of Althouse to drop this "review" on to her blog and then saunter away to watch Project Runway, or whatever it is she does when the Freepers and Little Green Fascists show up to mock the dead.

You're the ones who turned an american-hating flag-burning terrorist-loving "peace" activist into a Moonbat Saint. If you didn't want her mocked, you shouldn't have made her a "martyr".

Happy Saint Pancake Day!

Fenrisulven said...

Listen, if Israel doesn't want eventual compromise, that's fine.

Eventual compromise = driving the Jews into the Med. Compare the following pics of the Greenhouses the Israeli's handed over in the name of "compromise":

Before, under Isreali control: Gaza Greenhouses

After, under Pali control: Gaza Tunnels

Ask yourself, are the Pali's more interested in creating a peaceful state or in destroying Israel?

I don't blame the Israeli's for not "cooperating". And I expect them to look out for their own interests, no matter what the US says or does. I think they've shown great restraint - I would have turned GAza, West Bank, and Southern Lebannon into a wasteland.

Greg said...

Every time I hear the Phrase "My Name is Rachel Corrie" it makes me chuckle, because I think of that sappy Suzanne Vega song "My Name is Luka".

And yes, I am chuckling right now.

Derve said...

My unconscious memory banks pull up, google verified:

"Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy.
... but now they work for me. My name, is Charlie."

or
"Hi! My name is... (what?)
My name is... (who?)
My name is.. {scratches}
Slim Shady."

Derve said...

"And I expect them to look out for their own interests, no matter what the US says or does."

lol. You don't have to defend defense to me.

Really think the cluster bomblets left behind at the last minute helped protect Israel any, though? I don't. As an American, I'm concerned who supplied them to Israel.

Get over yourself guys. Not everyone is as convinced of Israel's unilateral righteousness, or military stragegic effectiveness. We don't want to be world policeman all the time. It's not that we don't like you well enough, it's just it's a mighty big world where ill-advised actions bring consequences. Allies or no

Freeman Hunt said...

And here I always thought it was "Artists make politics stupid."

Revenant said...

"Um, the United States is LOCATED on land whose ownership is disputed."

Yeah, but we're not exactly asking Israel to help finance and strategize against the hungry natives currently fighting back, now are we?

So basically Israel's problem is that it didn't do the smart thing and just wipe out the troublesome natives. Interesting.

Anyway, we don't give Israel money to finance their war against the Palestinians. We pay Israel NOT to wage war on the Palestinians, because their doing so would harm our interests in the area. That's why Israel has been taking a halfassed approach to dealing with Palestinian terrorism this past few decades.

The ony reason the Palestinian Arabs still exist in greater Israel is that the Israelis have decided that it is not in their interests to do away with them. The financial and military assistance we give them, as well as the possibility that we'll back them the next time the Arabs invade, lets the Israelis feel safe in spite of the fact that they live next door to millions of people who want them dead.

ronbo said...

Maybe someone told Alan Rickman that he looked Jewish, and he was so insulted that he wrote this play.

Pogo said...

The photo of a screaming rage-filled Rachel Corrie is sufficient proof that she was acting as one of the enemy at the time of her death and thus deserves no sympathy at all.

The play was a stupid idea, as idiotic as Al Franken's recent bomb, "Al Franken: God Spoke".

Corrie is a poster child for a supposedly nice American kid choosing to support evil. It's like the radical journalist John Reed as portrayed in 'Reds'. She wasn't naive any more, she was evil herself by the time she died.

The other Rachels deserve a play. Corrie deserves to be ridiculed.