Deep Underground with Raul Groom

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Department of Unintentional Irony

WorldNetDaily brings us a nice fawning article about a guy who charges $8.98 a month for his awesome insights into world affairs. Apaprently WorldNetDaily gets some of this money, though they find nothing wrong with running a news article about how great the guy and his service are. Nice.

Anyway, the funny part is right in the lead paragraph:

Dr. Jack Wheeler, creator of an acclaimed intelligence website dubbed "the oasis for rational conservatives," predicts Christian civil disobedience is going to become a major social movement in America, "with refusal to obey pro-ACLU edicts more and more widespread."

That's right, repressed Christians are going to use civil disobedience to resist the ACLU. But it gets better.

On his website, To the Point, Wheeler makes the prediction in an open letter to opponents of Christmas...

Actually, fuck it. Let's go through the whole WND article. It's practically a grand tour of the conservative blacklash mindset so accurately described by Thomas Frank in One Market Under God and What's the Matter with Kansas? Let's go.

First of all, I want to see this open letter, just to see if it starts out "Dear Opponents of Christmas" because boy howdy, that would be some funny shit. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the "open letter" is only available to subscribers. I wonder how many opponents of Christmas subscribe to Jack Wheeler's $8.98 a month website. Perhaps he assumes all liberals have a secret code key that allows us to do whatever we want. But no matter. We press on.

Most Americans, Wheeler says, "haven't lost the moral courage to be proud of their country and their civilization."

Just how much moral courage does it take to be proud of your own country and civilization? A lot. Seriously, the key to understanding the predicament this country is in is to understand that in the mindset of the people who read WorldNetDaily, this actually makes sense. It's not actually that hard to understand if you're willing to accept a few basic assumptions - for example, that Congress is constantly handing down "pro-ACLU edicts" to harrass the people and eat out their substance.

"America has always been a Christian country," he tells opponents of Christmas, "and – open wide now, because you’re going to have to swallow this – it will continue to be."

I never grow tired of the unending dick-insertion innuendo that pervades the roots-level right-wing "discourse." You get the sense that conservatives are walking around with their cocks perpetually rigid, ready to take revenge at a moment's notice on some unsuspecting liberal anus.

Besides writing for To the Point, Wheeler heads the Freedom Research Foundation, which currently is working on what he calls the Free Iran Project. The project applies "Reagan Doctrine strategies toward the liberation of Iran," he explained.

I am a little frightened by the idea of "Reagan Doctrine strategies toward the liberation of Iran." Not surprising that the author of the article doesn't elaborate - if you'll recall, Reagan's principal strategy for the liberation of Iranians was to encourage Saddam Hussein to invade and gas them repeatedly over the course of about 8 years (in Ronnie's defense, he also used the conflict as an opportunity to raise some cash for an illegal war in Central America.) Again not having access to the site, I can only assume that since Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, Wheeler is advocating some sort of modified Reagan Doctrine strategy, perhaps involving brutally sodomizing Iranian liberals.

Wheeler goes on to offer some friendly advice to the religion of Islam (Warning: Safire moment approaching - prepare shudder shield)

"Quite frankly," he said, "there are a lot of extinct religions in the history pages, and Islam is going to become extinct unless it's reformed.

"When you start blowing yourself up, when you get that kind of insane desperation, you're history," he said. "This is a religion without a future unless it reforms."

On his site, Wheeler includes a subscription article comparing the Aztecs with Arabs: "Both the Arabs and the Aztecs invented a religion of jihad as a rationale to justify their imperialist empires. …"

"War – Holy War – became the purpose of the Aztec state. All soldiers in the Aztec army were holy warriors, warriors of the gods. Peace was dangerous. No war meant no prisoners to sacrifice, no food for the gods, which risked the destruction of mankind and the universe itself. The only way to avoid cosmic disaster was for the Aztecs to accept the burden fate had given them and wage perpetual war for the salvation of humanity.

"All in all, a pretty clever rationalization for a monstrous imperialist tyranny, wouldn't you say? Sounds like they were taking religion-inventing lessons from the Arabs."

Where to start? First of all, as an accomplished Googler and a dabbler in the technique I'm about to describe, let me admit I'm the pot, and Wheeler's the kettle. But for any of my readers thinking about subscribing to this guy's site, here's a tip - he came up with the idea for this article, then Googled around to find some shit about the Aztecs to throw in there. He doesn't know anything about the Aztecs, or Islam. Nothing wrong with that, exactly, but doing it well requires asking yourself some tough questions, such as:

A) Am I completely full of shit?

Actually, this one alone would have saved us from these "ideas." Remember, we started out with a lecture about what happens to a religion that resorts to suicide attacks. Then we jump to comparing Arabs to Aztecs, because the Aztecs created a culture based around perpetual war.

Now, I have to admit a slight bias here - I think Aztec mythology is really cool. Did you know that in Aztec mythology there was an age when the world was ruled by a woman in a turquoise skirt? Or that the earth was once destroyed by jaguars? That's just smooth mythmaking right there. But never mind all that.

The point is, the Aztecs had some problems - they sacrificed tens of thousands of people per year to appease the gods of natural disasters. So I would agree, this was a religion that probably needed to go. But what does this have to do with suicide bombings? With Islam? Anybody home in there?

Also, can I sign up for some of these "religion-inventing lessons?" I can see the flow charts now. "Does your religion have no god, a single god, or many gods? If no god, sorry, religion exists - see atheism. If single god, how does god feel about sex? War? Hokey vitamin supplement schemes?"

We skip ahead a little:

"My intellectual adventures began when I read Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises and Aristotle, inspiring me to get a Ph.D. in Philosophy," he said. "I explored Africa, the Gobi, Mongolia, Central Asia, Tibet, the Himalayas, the Andes, Borneo and the South Pacific, discovered lost tribes in New Guinea and the Kalahari, took elephants over the Alps in Hannibal's footsteps, skydived onto the North Pole, roused anti-Marxist guerrillas from Angola to Afghanistan and helped get rid of the Soviet Union."

This part is pretty telling. Looks like your basic self-promotion until you get to that last part. What does it mean that Wheeler "roused anti-Marxist guerillas from Angola to Afghanistan?" Doesn't that mean he trained terrorists? Good terrorists, though, anti-Marxist terrorists who were fighting the nig-, er, I mean the communists in Angola. And also the glorious mujahedeen in Afghanistan who with the help of the great statesman Osama bin Laden threw out the evil Soviets and their hated infidel toadies, the Northern Alliance! Wait a minute...

"No lion, sitting underneath an acacia tree in the Serengeti, asks himself, 'What does it mean to be a lion? What is the purpose of my existence?' A lion has no choice but to unselfconsciously follow his genetic program. But human beings have to figure out how and why to survive, they have to choose a rationale that gives purpose and meaning for their lives. My choice has been to try and make my life, and now the life of my son, a thrilling adventure."

This quote isn't quite up there with the rest, hilarity-wise, but it provides the perfect note on which to end this piece...



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