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By Geoff Metcalf
May 11, 2003
"It's not a question of WHO is right or wrong, but WHAT is right or wrong that counts." is an observation I have too often articulated. It has become a starting point for much of my work for over a decade.
Inevitably, whether it is the petty partisan posturing by congress critters, the geopolitical gamesmanship of insignificant but loud entities like the U.N, and France, or the pop culture pontifications of self absorbed shake and bake celebrities, some people just flat out don't want to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions and/or prejudices.
Have you ever noticed that the most insightful, reasonable, and philosophic observations don't seem to come from politicians or academics but rather from honest Will Rogers's successors?
Opinions are like intimate body parts�we all have them. However, personally (and I don't always agree with these guys) I think Dennis Miller, George Carlin, and Will Durst are more honest, insightful and reasonable that all of Congress, the 'United Nothing', and the dysfunctional European Union. Of course to borrow from Mr. Miller, "�that's just my opinion�I could be wrong."
I read Dennis Miller's first OpEd in the Wall Street Journal May 5th http://www.opinionjournal.com/ editorial/feature.html?id=110003453 and my reaction was "HOOAH! Outbleepingstandard!". Then I watched literary idol Normal Mailer on TV and my reaction was "how sad".
Miller observed, "Mr. Mailer at one time challenged and provoked. Now he just provokes." BINGO! Miller is spot on. Mailer, notwithstanding his warts and blemishes, has been a brilliant writer. However, despite the literature departments canonization, he has become a two-dimensional cartoon character eschewing the company of Hemingway and Steinbeck for the club of Madonna, George Clooney and Michael (the sanctimonious bubble of pus) Moore.
Miller's OpEd was a series of jabs and body punches. The uppercut came when he wrote that Mailer, "clearly abdicated the lucid throne, it must be hellish for someone who can still arrange words so beautifully�to wake up every morning and have it slowly dawn on him that he's effectively been rendered totally irrelevant." It was good wordsmithing but inaccurate.
Dennis is wrong. He assumes facts not in evidence. Although he is right that Mailer has "effectively been rendered totally irrelevant"�Norman hasn't gotten the memo (or hasn't read it) and he has not had the epiphany Miller suggests.
Reasonable people should be able to reasonably agree to disagree. However, Mailer, and Madonna, and Michael Moore, and Tom Daschle, and Martin Sheen et al don't engage in debate. They pathologically refuse to even acknowledge (let alone accept) FACTS that contradict their preconceived opinions and prejudices.
I have previously observed http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ articles/2003/1/8/184338.shtml that what is so galling is the inimitable, yet chronic, double standard the darlings of the left enjoy. The selectivity of the mainstream media in choosing to showcase 'celebrity idiots' when they endorse the liberal left's doctrine and to completely ignore the hypocrisy of the defenders of the downtrodden living high and cheap-shotting anyone who has the misfortune to be even modestly successful by concerted effort.
The religiosity of leftist sycophants defies the reason they veil in empathy. They appear blinded by the 'gospel according to ME' and vilify anything and everything that does not support their flawed and often hollow arguments.
For probably the umpteenth time I quote Teddy Roosevelt, "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
It is a genuine sadness that we find a literary icon reduced to the company of a pretentious hack like Michael Moore who has somehow positioned himself into any prominence based on one semi-professional documentary about his inability to interview Roger Smith, then chairman of General Motors and actors who have gained our attention my making believe they are someone else.
Alexander Pope (in 'An Essay on Criticism') wrote, "Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill appear in writing or in judging ill; but, of the two, less dang'rous is the offence to tire our patience, than mislead our sense".
It is disappointing and annoying to see Mailer and company 'Jonesing' to "mislead our sense" and refreshing and encouraging seeing the Millers, Carlins and Dursts, endeavor to "tire our patience."
� 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. . Visit Geoff's Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Have you ever noticed that the most insightful, reasonable, and philosophic observations don't seem to come from politicians or academics but rather from honest Will Rogers's successors?"