Monday, January 14, 2008

The Herald-Sun Sucks (Part #1): "David Hicks Responsible for the 9/11, Bali, Madrid and London Terrorist Attacks...Possibly WW2 As Well..."

As a masochist, one of my favourite past-times is browsing through the Herald-Sun opinion page, allowing myself the opportunity to reconnect with the thoughts and feelings of the common man. If you happen to hold the belief that rationality in our society is becoming more common, the belief that democracy is unequivocally a good thing, or, indeed, the belief that there is hope for the future of our species, then a daily scan of this page will quickly free you of those delusions. From now on whenever I stumble upon a particularly notable piece of correspondence, I will scan it and post it on this blog so that you too may bask in its insanely disconcerting glory. This letter published on the 13th is a worthy first entry.

It really does have a bit of everything that I've come to expect from the letters published in this paper. That neat, unambiguous dichotemy of the world into heroes (WW2 vets) and villians (David Hicks); a complete incapacity to see nuances or shades of grey on any matter; unrestrained, disproportionate and largely impertinent emotional rhetoric ("how would you feel if that was your family?"); that inexplicable use of the term "do-gooder" as a perjorative; and - above all - a complete lack of understanding about the issue that motivated the correspondence in the first place.

The letter was apparently a response to the quite legitimate question about whether David Hicks had committed a crime or not (under the Australian law at the time, of course, he hadn't), but in his stampede to the moral high-ground Mr Bloomfield appears to have forgotten to address this question at all. In fact, as if to highlight the intellectual poverty of his position, he lists for the world a series of crimes that David Hicks was not involved in. You may laugh, but his vote in this democracy is worth exactly the same as yours...

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