Thursday, September 09, 2004

add slick-talkin' Pynchon to the hate-America crew, froths Mary Grabar

And so while my colleagues in smooth, even tones criticized Senator Zell Miller's speech at the Republican National Convention for its "zeal" and "mean-spiritedness," I saw a like-minded citizen outraged at what had happened to this country, for I too was outraged first by the attack from the outside on 9/11 and then by the attack from the very building where I worked on 9/12 and after. The time and situation demanded outrage, and Zell Miller through his words and his unflinching steely gazed delivery presented that much needed message. It was a message and form of delivery so true that no one, not even the President, had dared to express it in such a way. There was, thankfully, no moderation to Senator Miller's address. Miller blazed forth and dared to call evil by its name and shake his fist at those who refused to recognize it, much less fight it. He was like the prophet who came down from the mountain, and his case, from one in North Georgia. There is a blight on the land; someone needed to say it.

Rightly, he criticized those who blame conflicts on American "clumsy and misguided foreign" policy. Senator Miller may be unaware of it, but the "slick talkers" with tenure would have responded in the expected way to any kind of attack on the United States. In fact, there was a certain schadenfreude expressed in their editorials and e-mail messages after 9/11. Many protested sending troops to Afghanistan after 9/11 and were critical of the way that campaign was conducted.           

But this anti-Americanism did not begin with the war in Iraq. In the mid-nineties I had the opportunity to experience first-hand the promotion of such a view in a class on the modern novel, in which the major text was Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Indeed, Senator Miller, had he had known about it, would have been outraged back then to hear a popular professor promote the idea that agreed with Pynchon's claim that, rather than being liberators of the Nazi concentration camps, the U.S. was a major player in the regime's inception. The novel, after a string of descriptions of sado-masochistic acts involving children (connected, of course, with the West/U.S./Nazi regime), ends with the indictment of the latest in what Pynchon presents as a long line of fascist presidents, Richard Nixon. Pynchon's book is nothing but a long, hallucinatory propaganda piece that in a disjointed post-modernist style distorts history in order to equate Nazism with Western civilization.
...from: Zell and the Converts by Mary Grabar