Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fake Orgasms

The comparatively affordable whore Maggie Gallagher suggests that we celebrate the elections in Iraq by taking a moment away from

the narrow, dark, arrow-slinging, testosterone-fueled world of partisans ceaselessly jousting at each other for minor political advantage.
Not one to follow her own advice, the irrepressible Ms. Gallagher immediately takes a reflexive swipe at the anti-invasion naysayers of "Old Europe," and by implication, at those of us who agree with them that the war was illegal, cruel, and catastrophic.

In the course of her addled, bad-faith ruminations, Ms. Gallagher sees fit to explain democracy to her worthy constituents:
What is democracy, and why is it worth dying for? In part, it's a commitment by a people to resolve a nation's internal disputes amicably, without recourse to violence. Because the next election is just around the corner, powerful elites agree to surrender power in an orderly way, and on a regular basis, in accordance with fixed rules.
Very decent of them, too. But I'm not sure that's precisely what's happening in Iraq. Indeed, Ms. Gallagher's own article suggests it's not:
"People have been thirsting for these elections, as if it was a wedding," Akil Muslim told The New York Times. "Najaf is considered the capital of the Shiites, and because they were oppressed under the old regime, they're turning out for the elections."
Only in the Republican stronghold of Candyland would the Shiite thirst for revenge be seen as glad tidings. The only way the elections could be considered a success is if they led to a unified Iraq, in which political differences truly were settled at the ballot box. But the hostilities between the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds can't be compared to the hostilities between Republicans and Democrats, and there's no reason to believe that the Sunnis or the Kurds will wait "amicably" for their place in the sun.

Ms. Gallagher continues:
Today is a day to pause and be proud: proud of being an American, proud of belonging to a country that can dream such dreams, give such an extraordinary gift.
This is the political whore's equivalent of fake orgasms. The facts are these: The invasion of Iraq was a crime under international and domestic law, and it was accomplished through a coordinated campaign of lies, treachery, fearmongering, and bullying. The "dreams" involved were dreams of avarice and empire...the sort of dreams peculiar to evil, hollow people. The "gift" of this election happened as it did only because Sistani put tens of thousands of Shiites in the streets to demand it; BushCo erected any number of roadblocks before it gave in.

It's easy to see why Ms. Gallagher doesn't command higher prices.

2 comments:

Speechless said...

Nah, I've gotta say, the Whore/ Fake Ogasm stuff doesn't work for me. We women have been put down tied down, kicked down and laid down too long to go this route. We need to attack substance 'cause the standard ad hominem arguments cut against the liberal progressive agenda.
And I need to ask: Would you write this way about a man? What is the male equivalent to Whore? What is the male equiv to faking an orgasm? Sure there are lots and lots of slurs and put downs against men, questioning their manhood, their virility, their sexual orientation- and those are just as useless for furthering any uselful progressive conversation. (I wouldn't bother to object if I didn't have respect for your blog and most of your posts.)

Phila said...

You're right, Speechless. I'm not sure if we have any other effective metaphor for selling oneself than prostitution, but we really do need one.

To be honest, I did have doubts about using this terminology...but to answer your question, it's also true that I would've written it exactly the same way if I'd been talking about, say, Armstrong Williams (and would've done so far more confidently). As far as that goes, I'm basically following the lead of sites like Media Whores Online, which certainly don't distinguish between males and females who "prostitute" themselves to BushCo.

In Gallagher's case, she purports to be an expert on marriage and relationships, and generally supports a traditionalist view of male and female roles; that, ultimately, was what led me to go ahead with this metaphor: she's essentially reinforcing the competent, virile masculinity of the Bush Administration, which is one of the specific roles of women in that milieu. But that's probably too nuanced, and I was too angry and hurried to express it well in any case.

I'll leave the post up in the interests of honesty, but after your comment I doubt very much I'd pursue this line of attack again...not even on a man. I'd be happy to move beyond metaphors like these, because they certainly aren't doing any of us any good. I wonder if you have any suggestions for a better one?