Dead Men Left

Friday, October 22, 2004

Grease to their Rome

Continuing in Guardian-bashing mode, what is their problem with the US? On the one hand, salivating in unpleasant fashion over the lumpen Presidential offering of the Democrat's corporate machine whilst smearing a principled anti-war campaigner; on the other, condescending to lecture the misbegotten, unenlightened wretches of Clark County, Ohio to be jolly good sports and vote for John Kerry. Poor souls: like Paul to the Corinthians, Cortez to the Incas, or Boris to the Scousers, the good folk of far-off Guardian land bore the light of God's Liberal Truth unto the Darkness of American Unreason.

I've never been to Clark County, Ohio. But I can rather sympathise with a certain degree of irritation if this sort of thing were to turn up, unbidden, in my mailbox:

O duty

Why hast thou not the visage of a sweetie or a cutie ... ?

Why art thou so different from Venus?

And why do thou and I have so few interests in common between us?

These sentiments on the subject of duty, so brilliantly expressed by Ogden Nash, may well be yours, dear Unknown, when I, a national of another country, urge you to do your duty and vote in your coming presidential election.

To which...

On the other hand, if America ever needs advice on how to turn our cities into depressing grey shitholes, we’ll drop around pronto! not an entirely unreasonable response. The Guardian spam's instigator, Ian Katz, claims to have been a rather hurt by the some of the vitriol hurled back. couldn't fail to be a little shocked by the volume and pitch of the invective directed our way.

This is what happens when well-meaning liberals give in to the related and substantially incorrect beliefs that

(a) Americans are stupid, Republicans especially so; and
(b) Brits are clever, Guardian readers especially so.

Point (b) is perhaps best left for another time; point (a) leads to the foolish conclusion that, for example, hard-right US Republicans will be incapable of organising their own spam attacks in response. As for the ordinary punters in Clark County: they're not stupid, but they are very, very scared, as this sorry incident shows:

The letter came addressed to her mother, but Beverly Coale wasn’t expecting anything from England. She began to fear the writer had an underhanded motive.

“You think, ‘Is this really a letter from a guy in England, or is it from a terrorist?’” Coale said.