Sunday, November 30, 2008

Don't Even Seem to Belittle Oriana Fallaci in front of Mark Steyn

Rambling and bellicose, and clearly written with great passion.

He is reliably funny, even with all the intensity, and the pipsqueaks he targets are clearly proven to be such. Including the Journalism Doctor (what self-importance!).

A bit of his well-justified admiration:

La Fallaci had just raised with the Ayatollah the matter of “the condition of segregation into which women have been cast” in the Islamic republic. “They can’t study at university with men, or work with men,” she said, “or go to the beach or to a swimming pool with men. They have to take a dip apart, in their chadors. By the way, how do you swim in a chador?”

What a splendidly offhand question. Alas, the Ayatollah didn’t care for it. “This is none of your business,” said Khomeini. “Our customs are none of your business. If you do not like Islamic dress you are not obliged to wear it. Because Islamic dress is for good and proper young women.”

“That’s very kind of you, Imam. And since you said so, I’m going to take off this stupid, medieval rag right now. There. Done. But tell me something. A woman such as I, who has always lived among men, showing her neck, her hair, her ears, who has been in war and slept in the front line in the field among soldiers, according to you, is she an immoral, bold and unproper woman?”

That was 1979 - before any “literary hoax” called The Little Green Book was ever published. I had a thousand points of disagreement with Oriana Fallaci, but I adored her. She was a fearless woman, and when she went into a room with the dictators of the day she was full of facts. In a navel-gazing media forever congratulating itself on “speaking truth to power”, she just got on and did it.

And clearly very annoyed, he lets a bit loose on the Journalism Doctor:

In his “open letter” to me, Professor Miller wrote of Oriana:

"When the New York Times wrote her obituary on Sept. 15, 2006, the headline called her a 'writer-provocateur.' Sound familiar? Remind us of anyone we know?"

What a sad little man. He actually thinks he’s insulting me by comparing me to the peerless Fallaci. But, of course, he's only doing it so he can go all J-school on us:

"Journalists usually try to deal with primary sources (Writer-provocateurs seldom do)."

Oh, my! I wonder if he has any idea quite what a Ryerson-atrophied pansy he sounds wagging his finger at Oriana Fallaci? “Writer-provocateurs” don’t “deal with primary sources”? Well, her “primary source” on Ayatollah Khomeini is Ayatollah Khomeini. What have you got, Finger Boy? When she was hurling her chador at him in 1979, what were you doing? Retyping press releases from Ed Broadbent?

The pipsqueaks asked for it, and it is fun to watch the wrath come down. A sad little man indeed. And I love the word "Ryerson-atrophied".


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