Dagger in hand

A man of prodigious fortune, coming to add his opinion to some light discussion that was going on casually at his table, began precisely thus: "It can only be a liar or an ignoramus who will say otherwise than," and so on. Pursue that philosophical point, dagger in hand.

--Michel de Montaigne, Of the art of discussion.

Stab back: cmnewman99-at-yahoo.com


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Apparently a Paris court will be announcing next Friday at 1:30 p.m. whether Fallaci's book must be removed from distribution because of its alleged "islamophobia." In her recent defense of France's reputation, Fallaci said it would be "unjust, wicked" to doubt that France is still the République Française of Marianne and not the République Française of Islam. She said that the Muscadins counted a big nothing, and proclaimed that "in France liberty of thought and opinion still exists." She based this, however, on the fact that her book was on the bestseller lists and the publisher working overtime to print new copies. In a week that may no longer be the case. Not because the people will have tired of her work but because they will have been forbidden to purchase it any longer. La Rage et l’Orgueil may go the way of the Bamiyan Buddhas. Fallaci writes about that episode in her book, and says that what was most monstrous about the Taliban's act was not the destruction itself, but that it was carried out by sentence of law. Not in a fit of spontaneous rage, but calmly, deliberately, after an announcement to the world that the operation of considered principles demanded the obliteration of those artistic treasures. Well, we're about to find out what France's considered principles are. We're about to find out whether France today is made in the image of Voltaire or of Fréron. And if the court announces the latter, will there be demonstrations in the streets as there were to oppose Le Pen? Or will the Peuple docilely accept the verdict, silenced by the Muscadins who will tell them that Fallaci and Le Pen are the same thing? The same smear that allowed them to dismiss the murder of Fortuyn as ugly but somehow deserved. Will the Peuple do anything to give the world a sign that Fallaci's faith in them was not misplaced? Or will it be the sad case that when we ask whatever happened to Marianne they'll tell us with a straight face, "Oh don't worry, she's still here. Right under that burka."

Comments: Post a Comment