Delusions of Bush's allusions

Our esteemed colleague Bock, with whom we don't always agree, has reaped the whirlwind for one of his many satirical articles about George W. Bush. In this episode, Bock shows a clip where Bush appears to claim that Saddam Killed Nelson Mandela. Now of course, we all know this was a metaphor. But it suited Bock's style of humour (which owes much to the great Myles na gCopaleen) to take it literally.

This gentle poke at the Smirking Chimp resulted in an embarrassing torrent of US Republican neo-con flag waving of the kind one rarely one sees outside flame wars on a YouTube comment page about 9/11. How is it that such brilliant minds can recognise the (highly unlikely) use of allegory by Bush, who's record in the area of literature is definitively signalled by this quotation:

'The great thing about books is sometimes they have fantastic pictures.'

And yet when they read a couple of lines from poor old ironic Bock, they storm in with their face-value guns blazing to ridicule him in the most amazingly inventive ways.

Bush was (or rather his handlers/speechwriters were) making the point that Saddam's regime didn't welcome dissent. True enough; however, it must be a very black kettle indeed for Bush's pot to do any name-calling. I needn't bore you with Naomi Wolf's chilling 10 steps to fascism, I may just cite the recent example of some US citizens who were arrested for putting up an anti-war poster.

Mark Steyn is really the culprit here; he's the one who dragged in all that obnoxious traffic in the first place–Bock regulars saw the joke straight away.

I know nothing much about Mark Steyn apart from his Wikipedia entry (for some reason, Bock's detractors rail mightily against any facts garnered from that source. For the rest of us, as people in the information business, we are savvy enough to extrapolate information from Wikipedia, and we know to trust it as much as, say, the Britannica. It's been shown recently that 'experts' rate Wikipedia articles higher than neophobe laypersons like Bock's flamers).

For a man whose very name has been coined into 'Steynwalling' [viz. a failure to respond to repeated demonstrations of error], my expectations weren't high. Needless to say, Steyn misses the point by an Irish mile.

So, with no knowledge of Steyn's writing style, I am choosing to accept at face value, and without any irony, his opening comment:

'It's a shame Bush is a moron because everyone else these days is so goshdarn smart.'

And, as it happens, this is a sentiment with which I can totally concur. Good for you Mr Steyn!

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