Friday, August 28, 2009

Glorious Stupidity

Something that really bothers me when I see it is the inability some people have to distinguish fantasy from reality, particularly those who use fiction to support real life beliefs and preconceived notions. If you watch a lot of porn and think that the girl who delivers you a pizza can be convinced to blow you, you're almost certainly in for an unpleasant surprise which will at best lead to you never getting pizza delivered again. If your favorite show of all time is According To Jim and you think it's a good idea to lie to your wife and tell her you're going to help a sick friend when you're trying to get out of chores and go bowling, you'll wind up either sleeping on the couch or Divorce Court.

Today, I have yet another example of a right winger who has decided to use a work of fiction to back up her worldview and this time it's not even from Big Hollywood. When I first saw Inglourious Basterds, I was wondering who the first right winger would be to hold it up as an example of how torture works. The winner is Melissa Clouthier. She writes:
1. Enhanced Interrogation works:
It does? cool. I can't wait for all the real life examples she's about to provide to back that statement up.
The reason William Wallace from Braveheart fame was so remarkable was because he didn’t break. Nearly everyone, eventually breaks. When one gets a bad guy to spill the beans, good guys get saved. It ain’t pretty. But sleep deprivation, psychological discomfort, and in Tarantino’s case, a public head bashing are very effective means of extracting information.
Huh! Ok. It's not a good sign when she starts using one of the most historically inaccurate movies ever made as a real life example. The only example throughout her entire post of torture working is the scene in Inglourious Basterds where Eli Roth literally cracks open a German soldier's head with a baseball bat, after which his men give Brad Pitt's character the information he wants. Had that happened in real life, the German sergeant would most likely have given false information rather than face death. Why? Because false information is what you get when you torture people. If you clicked on that link, you found a list of real life examples of the ineffectiveness of torture. Had I been Melissa Clouthier or some other right winger, I'd have probably linked to the 2007 Reese Witherspoon movie Rendition about a man who gives false information after being tortured by a U.S. ally. Why didn't I do that? Because, though it does attempt to be an accurate portrayal of real life torture techniques, it's a work of fiction and, unlike Melissa Clouthier, I didn't need to cite fiction to prove my point. Unlike her, I was able to stay firmly in the real world because I'm right and she's wrong.

Clouthier goes on to lament that the villains in the movie were Nazis and not Muslims and how Good is great and Evil is bad and, finally, gives a real life example of an Iranian boy who was sexually abused by his government's officials for participating in the recent protests*, an example that works against her whole, "torture is a wonderful thing on par with puppies and ice cream," premise.

Here's my favorite part of the post:
The left resisted efforts to get involved in WWII. They didn’t want to see the atrocities of Japan, Germany and Italy, especially, because it didn’t fit their never ending selfish narrative.
She is clearly referring to leftists like Gerald Ford, a fellow who would go on to become a Republican President but in 1940 founded the isolationist America First Committee along with many other wealthy Republicans. I suppose we should all be happy that Republican President Franklin Roosevelt was in office back then along with his Republican Congress to beat back the isolationists and win World War II.

At least Clouthier is original in that she's not citing 24 as the Ultimate Proof Positive that we should brutally torture brown people until the entire Arabian Peninsula is the 51st state. Still, in the end, she's yet another right winger who desperately needs her world view reinforced through fiction since reality ain't cutting it. Melissa Clouthier reminds me of the Baroness in G.I. Joe which, according to her, means she should be imprisoned until the nanomites can be removed from her system. I hope that didn't scare her since, knowing her, she probably thinks I'm serious.

*She cites this as an example of the evil that Muslims do and why they should be destroyed but ignores the recent story of a boy who was captured by the U.S. at age 14 and spent seven years being tortured by Americans even though it was quickly apparent that he was innocent. To me, Melissa Clouthier's silence on this issue means she thinks Americans are also evildoers who should have their heads bashed in with baseball bats. I don't know why she hates America.

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