What are blogs for? In part to get things off bloggers' collective chests ... Here's one I've been saving.
I was at a book party the evening after the opening of Sicko, and there was another guy there whom I'd never met, and I didn't catch his name, though he had a pretty pronounced Brit accent. My point about the movie was that while it was mostly terrific, Moore's best by far, it was foolish of him not to mention that while the Cuban health system may be terrific, the country itself is not so hot in other ways. I'm not down with the jailing of homosexuals, for instance, nor the lack of free speech, free association, freedom of religion, etc. But this guy's point, spoken in those faux-clever tones that only Brits can manage, whether being clever or not, was that he thought it curious of Moore to mock those American yahoos who say single-payer health insurance will lead directly to socialism and then take his victims to Cuba for health care. Didn't that appear to undercut his point? he said. I said, why, no, it didn't at all. In fact, I didn't even understand the connection. He said, well, it just seems like an error in strategy. I said, why? He couldn't really answer, and thought I was being overly aggressive, I suppose, so I dropped it, because really, what the hell do I care if some guy wants to sound clever at a party and is really making no sense whatever? But here's my point: Why should he bother making sense? If the fellow wants a career sounding clever on American cable and radio talk shows and the like, there is no reason in the world why he should bother making any sense. Making sense takes too long, though not as long as pointing out why someone is not making sense. More often than not, when I do cable TV, the question that is put to me simply does not make any sense. Yet to point this out is to show bad manners and moreover, it gets in the way of the point I wanted to make in the first place. So there's no value whatever in pointing it out. And the thing metastasizes from there, frequently going off into outer space in terms of logic or what we know to be true about the real world. But no one cares because everyone's interest is served. This young man will probably end up a star.
Read the whole Altercation here.