Civilized people were appalled, disgusted, and sobered by the vicious execution of Daniel Pearl, and the beheadings that followed. But many of the warbloggers are not civilized people. It is clear that despite their sincere protestations of horror, rage, and pity, the execution of Daniel Pearl aroused them on some primitive, subconscious level. They got off on it. It functioned as death porn to their seething, frustrated psyches. (Frustrated, because the war in Iraq simply hasn’t gone the way they thought it would or should. They have been denied the glorious clearcut victory they craved.) The beheading ritual tapped into their sadistic impulses, and excited their own fantasies of torturing their foes. When rightwing bloggers and posters conjure that under Islam, Democrats–which they’ve come to call dhimmicrats–will get what’s coming to them (i.e., the business end of a butcher’s blade), it’s as if it’s a horrible fate that couldn’t possibly happen to them*–because it’s a death wish directed outward. The Islamic terrorists serve as proxies and stand-ins in this imaginary theater of cruelty, enacting what they (the warbloggers) would like to mete out to us (their domestic adversaries). Sometimes the punishment they seek is more Jacobean, as when Michael Fumento greeted Cindy Sheehan’s threat to tie herself to the fence in Crawford, Texas to protest the 2000th military death in Iraq with the sentiment, Good, let her lash herself to the fence: “Leave her there and maybe the crows will do the world a favor and eat her tongue out.”
It’s no accident that it is the rightwing bloggers and pundits who have been avid about defending the use of torture against suspected terrorists. Nor is it an accident that many of them pooh-poohed Abu Ghraib, sluffing it off as no more harmless than fraternity hazing. But what their decapitation odes reveal is that what they’d really like to do is permit torture closer to home. Domesticate it. Trivialize it. Completely destigmatize it as a tool of the state.
Jane has a post up today about the tools over at Pajamas Media and how these guys (in particular, Charles Johnson, Roger L Simon, and to a lesser degree, Glenn Reynolds) landed some VC bucks for their little business model based on pissing down a few dollars (it’s the new ‘trickle down’) to their merry band of goobers, shut-ins, and wannabes. One has to wonder how much these three are pulling down, although it’s pretty obvious it’s not enough for any of them to stop going to Fantastic Sams. Meanwhile their affiliates are probably looking at their PJM stipend and wondering whether they should save it for their kids college fund or blow it on a Cheetos Big Grab.
But what really gets me is the swill that you find on the major anchors like LGF, that Wolcott describes above, and how PJM advertisers like Victoria’s Secret and Circuit City feel about having their ads placed on StormFront Lite and its lessers…unless of course Victoria’s Secret is getting ready to launch their Illsa, SheWolf line and Circuit City is having a sale on nipple clamps and car batteries, in which case it all makes sense.
Maybe someone should ask them.