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Late Night: Other People Aren’t Real to Ross Douthat

Via my pal Spork, here’s Ross spinning fantasies about how attempted rape is such great dramatic fodder:

In the hands of the right screenwriter, Strauss-Kahn’s arrest could be the central thread in one of those sprawling, complex, kaleidoscope-of-globalization movies that aspire to Oscar glory. Think “Traffic” or “Syriana,” “Crash” or “Babel”: the kind of movie that leapfrogs around the planet, shifting from place to place and perspective to perspective in an effort to bring an entire Big Issue into focus.

Instead of the war on drugs or race relations in Los Angeles, though, the subject of this movie would be the potential collapse of the European Union.

The movie might begin with a decorously edited (rather than NC-17) version of Strauss-Kahn’s Sofitel encounter. Then it would cut to the French presidential election, in which Strauss-Kahn was widely expected to be a leading candidate, zeroing in on the rise of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate who rode anti-immigration sentiment into a shocking lead in opinion polls this spring.

1. Can someone please take up a collection to get this guy laid? I can’t imagine being frustrated enough to be turned on by some rich jerk rubbing his sad middle-aged junk on an unwilling hotel employee, but it’s got to be hard on old Ross here if things have gotten to this point. I’m not asking for volunteers, for God’s sakes, just some cash we can use to engage a skilled professional and pay for whatever space-age memory-wipe treatments exist afterward.

2. Um. ROSS YOU SOLIPSISTIC PRICK, other people’s tragedies and crimes are not FOR YOU. They’re not there to neatly illustrate how immigration of Muslims and other brown people are making Europe decadent. They’re not there for screenwriters to make pretty stories about, either. That victims’ stories are told is a result of crimes happening, not the reason for them, and to openly drool over a woman’s assault and speculate about how lovingly it might be lit by Roman Polanski is just goddamn gross.

3. No really, thank God this lady got attacked because it proves that countries should close their borders rather than admit those filthy immigrants:

This crisis takes two forms. There’s the challenge to Europe’s economic union, driven by the upside-down balance sheets in the Continent’s weaker economies. And there’s the challenge to its political consensus, driven by an anti-immigration backlash that’s empowered nationalist parties from France to Finland.


And both have been exacerbated by that same elite’s arrogance and glaring blind spots — its expansion of the monetary union to include economies that weren’t ready to share a currency with Germany and France, and its blithe, politically correct assumption that mass immigration would enrich the Continent, rather than divide it.

Interesting that mass immigration is being blamed for dividing the Continent, rather than the ultra-right-wing assholes who would use the spectre of immigrant invasion to stir up scared old racist nitwits into voting for them. How dare those immigrants provoke Europe like that?

Thank goodness that housekeeper got sexually assaulted, or we’d never be able to talk about this important issue at all.



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Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.