Skip to comments.The Sacred Right to Be Stupid: Face to face with antiwar crowd
Posted on 03/25/2003 1:21:20 PM PST by Utah Girl
How's this for irony: a small army of cops, myself reluctantly among them, traipsing through the streets of Hollywood on Sunday, preventing the assembled antiwar protesters from invading the annual orgy of self-congratulation that is the Academy Awards. That's right, we were protecting the highly paid pacifist pinheads inside from the unemployed pacifist pinheads outside. Had it been left up to me, we would have let the rabble storm up Highland Avenue and right into the Kodak Theater to do what mischief they may. In addition to the personal gratification such a spectacle would have offered, it might well have given a needed boost to the television ratings, said to be the lowest in history. (If any network executives are reading this, they're stroking their chins and saying, "Hmmm, sounds like a 60 share.") But as it was, we did our job and things came off without a hitch, thereby providing Michael Moore with the opportunity to prove to the world, or to those few people still unaware of the fact, that he is an arrogant simpleton.
Given the timing of the ceremony, coming as it did as Americans were fighting and dying half a world away, there was much talk of the show taking on a more subtle tone, a more subdued atmosphere. But the only manifestation of this seemed to be the abandonment of the usual mindless chatter before the cameras and the tourists as the Beautiful People emerged from their limousines and promenaded down the red carpet. Watching a tape of the broadcast after coming home from work, I found that most of the people seemed just as vacuous and insincere as they are every year, and there was shamefully little acknowledgment of the ongoing valor and sacrifice of America's armed forces. Gathered here was the cream of the entertainment industry, known here in Los Angeles as the Industry with a capital I. These people in their wisdom chose to bestow on Mr. Moore an Oscar for Best Documentary, this despite the fact that his film, Bowling for Columbine, took more than a few liberties with the truth, a disqualifying defect in a more rational milieu. And, just to prove that this so-called Academy is capable of even further debasement of the culture, they gave the award for Best Director to fugitive child rapist Roman Polanski, prompting a thunderous ovation from those present. If Polanski had dared to appear to accept his Oscar, you would have seen a thousand cops rushing the stage trying to be the first to slap the cuffs on him. Instead we busied ourselves out on the streets, rushing this way and that as the crowd of protesters made attempt after futile attempt to get closer to the center of events.
Protest is of course an honorable tradition here in the freest nation in the history of mankind, and I'll be the last to deny anyone his right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, no matter how moronic they might be. The United States was born of dissent against king and country, and the First Amendment is indeed first for good reason. But in considering the protesters I encountered in Hollywood on Sunday and at the West Los Angeles Federal Building earlier in the week, I doubt Madison and Jefferson would look upon them as upholding the noblest ideals of the Founding. Emblazoned on signs and T-shirts throughout the crowds I faced were images of, to name only the most offensive, Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Mumia Abu Jamal, who oddly can claim some level of moral superiority to the others in that he committed only a single murder.
I concede that there may indeed be valid reasons for opposing the war in Iraq, but I didn't hear any from the protesters I faced off with over the weekend. Instead I heard comparisons of President Bush to Hitler, with Hitler, apparently, being the more honorable of the two. On one level it's easy to enjoy a laugh at the farcical nature of it all, but the moral inversion symbolized by the cold-blooded killers so proudly displayed on all those signs and T-shirts simply drains the humor from things. In the bizarre world of the protesters George Bush is the bad guy, while Arafat, Castro, and the others are the good guys. Given this moral inversion it is unsurprising that the protesters, whether they acknowledge it or not, should in the current debate come down on the side of Saddam Hussein, of whose depravity we will more fully learn as more and more Iraqis are delivered from his tyranny.
But this end will not come about without further sacrifice. As I write this there have been some 50 deaths among the coalition forces now headed for Baghdad, and I doubt these deaths have caused much concern among the no-war-for-oil crowd. While manning a skirmish line and looking through my face shield at the angry faces before me this week, I was glad to recall an encounter of an entirely different nature I had a few weeks earlier. I was working the security detail at LAX, and while there I passed the airport branch of the USO. Gathered there in front, their duffel bags precisely aligned, were about 150 freshly minted United States Marines, just out of boot camp at Camp Pendleton. They were waiting for the various flights that would take them to their next assignments, some perhaps destined for combat in Iraq. I stopped and talked with a few of them, and I was struck by how happy they were to at last be wearing the eagle-globe-and-anchor insignia they had earned through the rigors and discipline of Marine Corps recruit training. They were proud to be Marines, proud to be Americans.
How incomprehensively different those young men were from the protesters who screamed and spit at me these last few days. Yes, protest may be an honorable tradition in America, but an even more honorable one is fighting for one's country. Those Marines may at this moment be in combat, fighting for the rights of people like Michael Moore and all those misguided protesters to stand up, be it on a stage or on a street corner, and act like idiots. God bless America.
How different indeed.
Then it's one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer........unless his unit gets called up.
He is joining the National Guard........would what you said apply to him?
I half-expected a terrorist attack on the Oscars. Instead, Michael Mooron imploded.
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