Right. I’m in a mood. This is for several reasons, enumeration of which will not serve you, the reader, but will certainly make me feel better. So, bugger your needs, and away-we go with mine: It’s Monday; I am uncomfortably warm and fear the imminent nuisance of menopause; my other flower garden is certainly dead to a heat now hovering at 39C, or 102F if you’d rather the American money. Oh, and I write from the territory usually known as Australia, which will almost certainly burst into flames long before it is ever ceded by just treaty. My coerced association with this Hot’n’Racist franchisee has become fatally embarrassing.
As if this were not enough, Meryl Streep has another Oscar nomination for Best Actress, or Best Performance By An Empowering Lady In A Business, or whatever it is they call it these days. I don’t know, and, honestly, I wouldn’t care if (a) I were not now so sweaty and embarrassed (b) twits didn’t keep banging on about Meryl and the Freedom of the Press, as if such a thing could be meaningfully said to exist.
Steven Spielberg has long been in the business of stinking up the world with works that shriek USA to all doubters.
Yeah, you guessed right. I went to see The Post. I would say that our Daily Review film critic, one of a very few sane enough not to enjoy the imperialist hand-job, should receive some sort of statuette for his restraint. This moving story of an initial public offering (IPO)—that’s what it is, a film that celebrates US business acumen by one with inherited wealth—should be pelted with the most vulgar and the rottenest fruit. Or, better, with my rotten womb—which may as well be put to some practical use before it is lost to lady climate change. Seriously, what a stinker. Spielberg. Not my womb.
Of course, Steven Spielberg has long been in the business of stinking up the world with works that shriek USA to all doubters. We shouldn’t be shocked that he basically took the dude from American Sniper and gave him a newspaper and put him in a frock. And, no. I’m not saying that the Washington Post ever personally knocked off Iraqi civilians, however keen it has been on that US hobby in the recent past. I am not even particularly saying that Katharine Graham, the protagonist of The Post, was an heiress opposed to strike action by her workers and one eulogised by Henry Kissinger—you may remember him from hits including Millions of Dead Brown Bodies.
You could put a sign that says “feminist” on one of Slobodan’s turds these days, and all brutality, idiocy or complicity with extraordinary power is forgiven.
What I am saying, however, is pretty much the same thing I was saying last week, although in a hotter and snippier way. And that is: FFS, people. You could put a sign that says “feminist” on one of Slobodan’s turds these days, and all brutality, idiocy or complicity with extraordinary power is forgiven.
To the impulsive commenter: no. This is not an objection to feminism, and you are quite wrong to read it as such. It is an objection to that feminism—currently, most of it—pressed into the service of power. And, no, I don’t care if you believe that you or such-and-such independently arrived at the conclusion that Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness should be forgiven—just as Kissinger’s apparently has in Cambodia, Chile, East Timor, Vietnam—because She’s a Woman. You don’t get to do that. I mean, you can, of course, but you will look like a tool insisting that there are few acts of violence and/or idiocy that cannot be excused on the off-chance your daughter may be inspired by apparently feminist leadership.
If one experiences sexism, the logic seems to go, then your every move—even if against a sovereign leader—is retaliatory only toward the patriarchy. Girl power!
Clinton invaded Libya, supported a military coup on Honduras, starved Venezuela, shat on most middle-eastern nations not named Israel or Saudi Arabia and drove down the Haitian minimum wage. Pas de problème. If one experiences sexism, the logic seems to go, then your every move—even if against a sovereign leader—is retaliatory only toward the patriarchy. Girl power!
Yes, Kay Graham experienced sexism in the boardroom, and perhaps an entire social season of not speaking with friend and baby-killer, Secretary Kissinger. And, yes, her approval for the release of the Pentagon Papers in the newspaper she owned could be seen as laudable, even a little bit crazy in that crazy era where sickening US foreign policy could be seen for the first time on television. But, be honest, it doesn’t really matter in celebrating this sick-bag scored by John Williams, does it?
If we were a people currently enamoured of free press, we’d all be helping get the founder of WikiLeaks back to this place called Australia. Surely, Julian Assange is at least as half as brave as Kay Graham, what with the release of all those verified documents holding power to account, and the whole detainment deal, ruled twice by the UN as unlawful.
Yes, Assange seems like a bit of a tool—perhaps the product of nature, perhaps that of sunless detention. What does it matter if free press is what we are to celebrate? Have a bit of a gander at Graham’s life, or her memoirs, and see if you can’t really say that she wasn’t also a bit of a tool. A tool, moreover, with close DC connections, money, and attorneys on tap. None of which Assange, afflicted for years by toothache, can claim.
Assange’s public pronouncements about Girls Can’t Count etc. have lately become offensive. Quite the Richard Dawkins has been born in that embassy cupboard. This does not diminish the work that WikiLeaks does.
Yes, Assange’s public pronouncements about Girls Can’t Count etc. have lately become offensive. Quite the Richard Dawkins has been born in that embassy cupboard. This does not diminish the work that WikiLeaks does, yet, it is diminished by the fact that some of it is unfavourable to feminist role-model Clinton. Clinton’s indecent commitment to the finance sector, to intervention and even to promoting racist tension to help her win the presidency can be read, sans editorial, on WikiLeaks—along with much else. But this, apparently, is anti-feminist freedom, ergo not true freedom when the freedom that we seek is the Washington Post as personified by Meryl Streep and Tom fucking Hanks.
Look. Settle down. Have a bit of a think. See beyond #metoo Meryl-powerment and concede that Graham’s single act was precisely the sort for which Assange has been for more than a decade condemned. Let’s even leave aside that contempt for genuinely heroic whistle-blowers such as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning is rife among the same press gobshites who tell us all to go and see this inspiring tale of American exceptionalism, and get a hold of ourselves.
Let’s agree that if we liked The Post, it was due to our urge to believe, just as any devout Trump supporter, that we can Make American Great Again. This film is a vision of the USA and its “free press” as it never was, and how successive administrations, notably Obama’s, has ensured it can never be in the future. The Pentagon Papers—about whose contents few seem to give a shit—were never the rule for the Post. This and the Mark Felt Watergate revelations were anomalous. They serve now as a branding statement for a newspaper owned by the richest man in the world that has long since resumed its complicity with power, and as a memory exhumed by Spielberg to make Americans, and her Australian employees, feel like “fake news” is only the work of sexists.
Press is failing the people. It has failed the people. I am embarrassed to tell strangers that I am a media worker, and I am certainly not going about admitting I’m a feminist these days. This is because the work of the mainstream journalist and the posture of the “feminist” have become almost identical: concealing the shape of power and discrediting any person who would seek to reveal it as anti-feminist and anti-press.
I’m sure you don’t care if this diminution of both truth and feminism hurts my feelings. Nor should you. Might want to have a think about the broader consequences, though. Or, you know. Just keep on rolling that genocidal turd in glitter and give it a feminist sign, maybe a column in the Post. Because there’s no more important fight than for the freedom of American elites.
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