"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Conversations with the Left - Clooney: I didn't write blog entry

CNN.com - Clooney: I didn't write blog entry - Mar 16, 2006: "Clooney: I didn't write blog entry
Item on Huffington Post was compilation of statements"

Misunderstanding or not, this is a perfect starting point for something I had intended to post sometime today. This post does not to argue the rights or wrongs of the recent "Huffington" post, but to pass on back and forth comments from a post at Brad's Brain, regarding the "Clooney/Huffington" post.

Brad's post regarding "Clooney's" comments is here. Beyond that, as said, I don't care.

I rarely comment at blogs unless it is just a short blurb; nor do I usually respond to comments on my blog. I have very little time to post as it is, without bantering back and forth for what would likely accomplish nothing but waste time. Some may read what I said and think I just cannot argue my point logically, or I'm just being your typical right-wing nut, or thickheaded or...(enter what you want here). But it all boils down to wanting to post, which allows me to say what I want to say and be done with it.

I was bouncing around the other day and noticed a post regarding a post attributed to George Clooney. I read a few words of the post, got the gist (like I didn't know prior to reading), and just skipped to the comments out of curiosity.

Most comments are in agreement, however, you often find those that don't agree like the one that started it all for me.

Jessica said - dear george clooney, you're an actor. not a political analyst. expert. or qualified individual to go spouting at the mouth on things far beyond your oceans 12 dialogue. i'm sorry... but i have little patience for society members of hollywood giving out their two cents so freely to a culture lacking in intelligence and full of impressionism. didn't you learn anything from michael moore?

I agreed, in the sense that, "yeah, I don't care what he has to say, nor to I agree."

The blog owner, Brad responded back with:

Please submit for me your qualifications that allow you to speak about politics. I'll wait. It's truly amazing to me how people like you feel justified ranting about how someone else should have no free speech when you don't agree with it. Just like I feel perfectly free right now to call you ridiculous stance un-Ameican. If you look in the constitution, you will find one of Mr. Clooney's rights to be "redress of grievances". Clearly, he has grievances against both parties, and he is speaking his mind about them. Someone who supposedly loves "democracy" should understand how that works.

Which, one strikes me as a bit overzealous, but hey, he can say what he wants, especially since it's his blog. I took a certain umbrage to his response to her in that it didn't appear to me that she had said he shouldn't have free speech. Granted, I don't doubt she would like him to just shut up, but I didn't detect a stance of his freedom of speech seriously being removed. So, I responded.

Blandly (me) said:

"It's truly amazing to me how people like you feel justified ranting... "What's up Brad? Jessica didn't say anything about him not having a right. It looks to be more along the lines of "get a clue."I hope you are as amazed by yourself as you are others. George Clooney is an idiot trapped in a long ago time, playing the role of a hero (himself). Nice picture you chose for him; in a very authoritative b/w way.

Sure it was a bit smart *ss-like, but I was born that way and was replying in a similar tone starting with quoting Brad.

Brad came back with:

Yes, she did. She implied that because he did not study politics he has no right to discuss it. What she DIDN'T do is what you infer that she actually was doing: criticizing what Clooney said. Presumably because of her untenable case, she felt the only way to attack was to question his "giving his two cents freely" which hits the heart of the free speech question.What you and she fail to take into account is that for a democracy to work, all of the people must have at least a working knowledge of their own government. Too few do not, and this is why were in the situation we are today, with a corrupt, out-of-control one-party system basing their "leadership" entirely upon fear. Anything else you would like me to teach you?

Do you ever get the feeling someone is offended or pissed in tone when they comment back? I did, but back to the subject of my query and being, I guess, ignorant. I still truly did not and still do not see her taking his "freedom of speech" away.

Blandly (me) replied with:

"Anything else you would like me to teach you?" Yes, you can teach me how it is that what you infer is her implication is the truth of what she said without any doubt. I still don't see read her as saying that he doesn't have the "right." I see where she lists his qualifications and her lack of patience for "his two cents," but I just don't see her saying "he has no right." Note that at this point I asked him a technical blog comment question which has nothing to do with the subject, so it is not included. He did, by the way respond kindly to my query elsewhere.

Now this conversation is one of those indicators to me as to why spending time commenting is a good use of my time. This post for instance, is going to be my first of the day, it's 11 AM and I'm continuing this conversation with myself. Granted, I realize this is my problem, however I was truly interested in how he came to the conclusion that he did. It is also why I am sharing this as I found it truly weird.

During the course of posting comments, other regular readers of the site chimed in. They are as follows:

Eaprez said: "Typical conservative argument - short on facts but all about attacking the messenger. Bill O'Reilly gets to pontificate as does Rush Limbaugh even though its been proven time and time again (with their own audio no doubt) that they are factually incorrect. The president lies with regularity as do members of his staff --- yet George Clooney, by virtue of his career path - is not supposed to have an opinion? What you meant to say was that you prefer lies to facts because they fit into your distorted view of reality."

Cowboytrance said: Thanks for another great post, Brad. You have a uncanny knack for distilling what more and more of us are thinking. Keep the good stuff coming.

A few comments later, Brad was back with a detailed analysis of why Jessica means what he says she means"

What Jessica was trying to imply, quite obviously in my mind, is that there is no relevance to what George Clooney is saying because he is actor. This is form of manipulation that has been used for a while to discredit political opponents; look at all the people who bad-mouth Michael Moore because he's "just" a filmmaker or Barbra Streisand because she's "just" a singer. But when Ron Silver speaks at their convention, he's lauded because he agrees with their point of view. It is a double standard (one of many!) and it IS a passive form of censorship of free speech.

Now let's analyze one sentence in particular, Zapruder film style.

"i have little patience for society members of hollywood giving out their two cents so freely"

By "two cents" she is not being literal. I think we can all agree to that. The most likely answer, seeing as how she is responding to words written by George Clooney, is that "two cents" refers to Mr. Clooney's opinion. So this translates to:

"i have little patience for society members of hollywood giving out their opinion so freely"

As I raised the point before, why should those in Hollywood be held to any different standards than anyone else? We are all entitled to the same protections under the bill of rights, are we not? So it becomes:

"i have little patience for society members giving out their opinion so freely"

"Giving out their opinion" is quite obviously just an verbose way of saying "speaking". Because in essence, what do we do when we speak? We share our opinions. Some believe we speak "facts" but what is a fact? In a day and age when Creationism can be taught next to repeatable scientific theory, clearly facts are irrelevant. Ergo, we have:

"i have little patience for society members speaking so freely"

The "so" is extraneous because Mr. Clooney, as we already established as the primary focal point of this sentence, was writing on his blog, a forum in which all of us in America can do. Therefore, as referring to how freely Mr. Clooney is speaking, it is irrelevant. And we are left with:

"i have little patience for society members speaking freely"

There you have it. This is why Jessica's post is an attack on free speech.

It is at this point in the comments that Brad signs off, thanking everyone for their posts. One final post is listed after that from "eaprez" : ROFL! BRILLIANT! - your analysis of Jessica's rant Zapruder style.

I did comment back to Brad, although he has comment moderation on his site so he, as blog owner can opt not to post whatever comments he wishes not to. I don't take offense at this as he likely grew weary with my ignorance and bottom line, "freedom of speech" or not, it is his site and his right to include them or not.

If I remember correctly, I just wrote back along the lines of that I don't quite get it; sometimes people just mean what they say; do yourself a favor and don't overanalize things too much and ultimately don't get too pissed with some peoples comments because it isn't always worth it. I also indicated that I still think George Clooney is an idiot and that I would appreciate people in his position to use their "soapbox" in a more "unbiased" manner; especially since people like Brad and myself don't have quite the audience he does. But that of course is just my opinion; George can say whatever he wants, but it doesn't make him right.

I got to thinking later; was Jessica the one against "free speech" or was it Brad? There was nothing in his argument(s) that I could argue with, at least as far as I could see. But if what you say freely doesn't mean what you intend it to, is it really "free speech?"

I now understand the truth of "Bush Lied" and "manipulated the intelligence."


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