Being “the primary architect of hipsterdom” was fun when I was young, but now I’m a wizened old man who just wants to grab a cheap beer in peace. Unfortunately, I made my bed and lying in it means going to a local bar that’s blaring the Butthole Surfers so loud, I can barely hear all the teenagers screaming at me.
“Dude, are you kidding me?” yelled an aspiring filmmaker who I’ve known since he was knee-high to a grasshopper.
“What?” I yelled back.
“Fox!” he said, as if simply saying that word was enough to bring a man to his knees.
After shuffling past a hundred whores in heels, we found a quieter spot and I eventually deciphered he was mad at me for appearing on the Fox News show Red Eye. “What’s next?” he asked. “You going to start hanging out with Ann Coulter?” I broke it to him that I consider her my soulmate and added that I would pay him $100 for anything she’s written that is factually inaccurate. He changed the subject quickly because like most people who hate her books, he’s never even seen one. “Let’s try this,” I said, lowering the bar. “Give me one specific example of Fox News lying.”
“Look at their coverage of those fucking Marines who pissed on the dead bodies in Afghanistan.” he hollered. “They keep defending them!”
I like this kid, so I held him close and stroked his hair in a slow, soothing motion while quietly whispering, “Shhhh. It’s going to be OK. There, there.” He mistook my affection for condescension and pushed me away, yelling, “Fuck off!” Then he pleaded, “What those Marines did was illegal!” I had to laugh. What does he think this is—Waterloo? The Taliban will stand in a row while the Duke of Wellington yells, “FIRE!” and the front row collapses in a heap? Then it’s their turn and we brace ourselves for the wrath of al-Qaeda’s muskets?
I asked him why his angry young mind wants to get involved in such a sophisticated discussion. Politics is an intricate ball of tangled fishing line, and you need a calculator to get it unraveled. It’s like a sinking cruise ship: Get the women and children off first. “Wouldn’t you rather be picking up chicks?” I asked him.
He was determined to ruin my evening, and I humored him because I consider this kind of discussion to be fatherhood training—it prepares me for the fights I’ll inevitably be having with my own son in about 14 years. I took a deep breath and began to lay it all out. First, I told him I agree with Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch, who said she’d “Drop trou and do it too.” Then I did my best to accurately quote Rep. Allan West, who told the Weekly Standard:
I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah…[U]nless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.
I honestly don’t understand why anyone cares about a terrorist’s cadaver. Where was all the liberal indignation when the Bodies exhibit paraded around the world showing off dissected Chinese corpses in the name of science and art? The only thing we know about these bodies is they came from a place that commits some of the world’s worst human-rights violations. Whereas the Taliban was ostensibly fighting democracy, these dead museum props may simply have been killed for asking what democracy is.
When did the left become some stodgy old British war vet with a giant mustache and a monocle? When did we start caring so much about the enemy’s honor? Back in WWII we were so united against the Nazis, Superman and Mickey Mouse were onboard. Cut to today where we’re so scared of offending the enemy, we have Rambo fighting some obscure thugs in Burma. As the commenters on my comrade’s article keep asking, where do we get the audacity to insist our boys keep a stiff upper lip and act like gentlemen when they’re overseas risking their lives?
I took out my truly righteous indignation at their falsely righteous indignation on my tiny friend at the bar. “This is a culture that is throwing butyric acid in women’s faces today,” I told him. “In London!” He conceded we weren’t dealing with noble foes but said that doesn’t affect the morality of what the Marines did. I told him the only thing the Marines did wrong was to wait until the Taliban members were dead before peeing on them. Then he said something that sums up Westerners discussing the Middle East: “When we behave like that we’re lowering ourselves to their level.” This is the same kind of mentality that has top brass claiming Urinegate could lead to “retaliatory attacks.”
As Pat Buchanan has been screaming since Death of the West: THEY ARE NOT LIKE US. They have different brains. Where we see death as the ultimate defeat, they see it as the ultimate victory. Where we see the separation of church and state as the beginning of civilization, they see it as the end. How can you fight someone like that? They don’t even have uniforms. What does the Geneva Convention have to say about that?
My young friend wasn’t listening and said 9/11 was a direct retaliation for our horrible foreign policy. Ugh, here we go again. This “chickens coming home to roost” mentality implies Muslims wouldn’t attack us if we behaved ourselves. OK, what if all of America instituted Sharia law? Would they be happy then? Right now in Iran, they are chastising women for wearing burqas that are too revealing. You can’t even have a kitten calendar on your wall under Taliban law because it depicts God’s creations. By the very nature of their religion they are impossible to please. The only time they’re happy is when they leave this mortal coil, and nobody on Earth has killed more Muslims than other Muslims. Appeasing them simply does not work. We treated Osama’s body with care and followed their stupid traditions, and Muslims were still outraged. Osama’s sons even dared to call their father’s murder an “arbitrary killing.” Did you hear that? The guy behind 9/11 died arbitrarily! You want to play by the rules with these people?
I thought I was convincing my young friend but he was shaking his head. “What happened to you, man? You said you used to fight Nazis. Now you are one.”
I was actually happy he brought that up, because my adolescence is a great example of what I’m talking about, and children love analogies.
In the 1980s, we were middle-class white kids terrorized by working-class white kids. It wasn’t about punks v. skins. It was about class. We were almost always outnumbered, but occasionally we’d find ourselves in a situation where it was one or two skinheads and a dozen punks. I was thrilled to hear our toughest ally, a huge Native Indian named Les, had found himself in such a situation. “Finally, our side gets revenge,” I thought. I asked my friends how badly Les destroyed them and my friends told me he did something “way worse—he scared them.” Nobody laid a finger on the skinheads and all Les did was “kick one of them in the ass as he jumped on the bus.” He said the skinheads were shaking in their 14-hole Dr. Martens, but I was crestfallen. We had our chance to take an eye for an eye, and we opted not to lower ourselves to their level. The result of taking the high road? The skinheads laughed their heads off on the bus and gave my friends the finger through the back window. Our side pretended they had risen above violence with a far more dignified solution, but the truth was we were simply too bourgeois to get our hands dirty.
The skinhead problem continued unabated until a gang of punks called Bunch of Fucking Goofs came to town and hospitalized every skinhead in the city. They didn’t settle with “scaring” the enemy. They broke noses and cracked ribs the same way the skinheads had been doing to all of us for years. And that was the end of the skinheads.
I relayed all this with passionate detail, but when I looked up from my spine-tingling story, I noticed my young pal had stopped listening and was talking to a young lady with spectacular tits. When she wasn’t looking, he gave me a wink and smiled. He had completely forgotten about our argument. That’s usually how it goes with outraged liberals. They don’t really care. They just want someone to yell at. He went home with her later that night, and although I’m not sure exactly what they did, I know they both slept in a warm, cozy bed in one of the safest places in the world.
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