Tag: Pamela Geller

The Happy Anachronism

 

Vintage Pocketwatch

It is idle to talk about preventing the wreck of Western civilization. It is already a wreck from within. That is why we can hope to do little more than snatch a fingernail of a saint from the rack or a handful of ashes from the faggots, and bury them secretly in a flowerpot against the day, ages hence, when a few men again dare to believe that there was once something else, that something else is thinkable, and need some evidence of what it was, and the fortifying knowledge that there were those who, at the great nightfall, took loving thought to preserve the tokens of hope and truth. — Whittaker Chambers

I don’t recall the exact age when my paternal grandfather stopped caring what the rest of the world thought of him, but I do remember the ebullient freedom with which he would announce whatever happened to be on his mind at any given moment, often to hilarious effect. I once brought a young lady over to meet him and at the conclusion of our visit, as we were leaving, he took her by the hand, smiled warmly and said, “You sure do talk a lot.” As with many things, his observation was absolutely spot-on, though it would have been nearly suicidal for me to agree with him at that particular moment. He winked, I winked, and she kept on talking.

The Nature of Defiance

 

MuhammadThere is an argument about Pamela Geller’s cartoon contest, favored by Bill O’Reilly as well as by many garden variety liberal pundits, that goes like this:

Of course the right to free speech is sacred and the murderers who wish to infringe on that right are vile criminals. Our vigor in the defense of free speech, however, (equally obviously) does not mean that we agree with the speech we are defending. The cartoons that Geller assembled are insulting to 1.5 billion, predominantly peaceful Muslims around the world. We can judge Geller offensive or (as Bill O’Reilly does) “stupid” for deliberately mocking the religion of the benign majority just in order to taunt the violent minority.

I can embellish this argument.

The Innocence of Provocation

 

The good news is that the terror attack on a free speech conference in Garland, Texas was unsuccessful, with two jihadists dead and only the security guard injured (lesson: Texas is a poor choice when selecting a location for terror attacks). The bad news is that the media, having ascertained that the conference participants escaped unharmed, now feel safe to turn their rhetorical guns on the targets of the violence. Exhibit A is the video below of a CNN interview with conference organizer Pamela Geller, who held her own in the interview, of course. But the interviewer, Alisyn Camerota, kept coming back to a line I found astonishing and infuriating.