Monday, October 4

He Used to Be a Hippy, But He's All Right Now

First of all, here's another PJ O'Rourke piece that leads you all too easily up the garden path of disgust, then jolts you back to seeing things at least a little more his way, because he's made you smile a while . . . though some of his epigrams are lame ducks: " . . . lion lie down with the lamb chop."

Actually the piece is an extract from his new book, and I'm a little late in posting it here - I just sat on it for a while. But then, as I read this rather more aggressive (and print-fresh) polemic on the rights and wrongs of America's current foreign policy, nodding along in pretty much total agreement, I remembered that PJ's was hanging around in the edit debit ledger.

Oh, the top title? There's a remark by an American humorist who said of PJ that "even when he was a young man, you could see the policeman's boots underneath the kaftan".

Incidentally, there is a feeling here - in London - that Tony Blair would prefer Dubya to win the election. I think this is baloney. If anything, there's more chance of some of the policy initiatives (outlined in the New York Times article) that could push things along in Iraq happening with Kerry in the White House; specifically, more troops.

How so? Well, I think Blair and Kerry share a zeal to make the world a better place, a zeal that's essentially tangential to the Republican world view as espoused by PJ O'Rourke. Sometimes it overlaps, coincides with their goal(s), but mostly it doesn't. Hey, Blair and Kerry could even talk to each other in French. Forgive my glibness. Seriously, I think Blair would have got along with PJ's bete noire, Al Gore, just fine. Exhibit A: the Kyoto agreement, which America would almost certainly have signed up to under a Gore presidency. Blair already has.

Moreover, it's worth bearing in mind this: when Blair spoke before Congress in 2003* it was noted by the BBC and others how remarkable it is that a man whose political agenda is much more radical than that of the Democrats is so admired by the leading figures of both parties. That was true then, and I'm sure it's true now.

* It was an impressive speech, given on receiving a prestigious honour** - and flying back from the US Blair had every right to feel good. (After all, the initial Iraq war was won.) But by the time he landed he would have known of the brutish suicide of bearded Dr Kelly.

Shit always happens.

** Though not quite all agreed on its award: have a laugh at this by Congressman Ron Paul. (Who he?) The telltale doffing of the forlock to that old dead fraud Mother Theresa - and the old living one, Pope JP II - signals clearly enough to me which hole he's blowing his smoke out of.

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posted by DD @ 17:08 

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