Sunday, June 19, 2005

RUSH LIMBAUGH, on why some Americans care about how detainees in U.S. custody are treated:

CALLER: I have one main question here, and that is why is America trying to focus, or seeming to try to focus, more on Dick Durbin's assertions about G'itmo when I lost my aunt, my mother lost her sister, my uncle lost her [sic] father, and my cousins lost their mother, and this is why this happened. This is why we're doing this, and, frankly, I don't get too in a rain barrel about how we treat the people who treated us in that manner. I want to know why you think that America has become so shortsighted and no longer cares about these things.

RUSH: I have an easy answer to this, and there may be more than one, but the easy answer is we're not allowed to see pictures of it anymore. The networks have all decided it's too gory, it's too gruesome, it's too shocking and frightening to children, and so we don't see regularly the pictures of the two aircraft flying into the World Trade Center, the damage done to the Pentagon, or the remnants of the crash of that field in Pennsylvania, we just don't see it. Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th, 1941, remember it every year. We've had movies about it, we've seen pictures, there is a memorial out there, we can still see oil bubbling up from the USS Arizona. It's haunting if you've been out there. I have, of course, as a well traveled and powerful, influential member of the media, number 28, by the way, on the Forbes list.

TONY KUSHNER on the late Arthur Miller's empathy:

He once wrote that he stopped studying economics as an undergraduate because economics, as it was and is taught, can "measure the giant's footsteps but not look into his eyes." His observation reflects his indebtedness to left political analysis--a central tenet of which is the critical consideration of the human, ethical and political meanings of money, rather than the mere prognostication of its tides and currents--and it also reflects his conviction, or perhaps predilection, or natural inclination, even when considering the giant, to look for truth by looking into his eyes, the windows of the soul. Arthur Miller had the curse of empathy, even for the enemy. Humans justify themselves to themselves, even bad humans, and Arthur the playwright always wanted to know how and why. Look into his eyes.

He made it clear in his plays and his essays that his critical thinking and social consciousness had their genesis in the red politics that were pervasive when he was growing up, a politics catalyzed by the suffering he witnessed and experienced in the Great Depression, a politics shaped in response to the toxic, obnoxious valorization of greed always, always re-emerging in American history as a bedrock tenet of the political right. Although he refused the mechanical determinism of the unthinking Marxist left, he created in his greatest play a drama in which it is impossible to avoid thinking about economics--money--in any attempt to render coherent the human tragedy unfolding before you. Consider the Lomans: What has brought darkness down upon this family? Their flaws are part of their tragedy, but only a part--every flaw is magnified, distorted, made fatal by, well, alienation, by the market, where the pressure is inhuman and the human is expendable.

I know which one I want for my model.

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