"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Secret Service, Are You Listening?

On Saturday, The Guardian, London's leftist rag, published the following. It was the final paragraph of a TV column called "Screen Burn":

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?


The paper later removed the offending column from its web site, replacing it with this lame apology:

The final sentence of a column in The Guide on Saturday caused offence to some readers. The Guardian associates itself with the following statement from the writer.

"Charlie Brooker apologises for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind."


  • The "apology" refers only to "the final sentence of [the] column". The Guardian knows that no one in its readership would be offended by the reference to the Bush administration as a time of "idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed".
  • Here's my definition of "unwarranted bloodshed": the African embassy bombings, the USS Cole, 9/11, 3/11, etc., etc.
  • Charlie Brooker "deplores violence of any kind"? Really? Would that include violence in the act of self defense? Violence in the process of liberating an enslaved people?
  • Aren't even "ironic" jokes supposed to be somewhat amusing?