I know that this will come as a surprise to you, but I am occasionally sarcastic.
Moreover, I am very broadly and obviously sarcastic. This contrasts with my co-blogger Patrick, who is capable of subtlety and keeping a straight face. This occasionally freaks out readers, which is a good thing.
At least, it's a good thing when it happens to them. It's not a good thing when I don't know whether to take something as sincere or sarcastic. That's just unsettling and mean. I'm supposed to be the snarky one.
That's exactly why I am so discombobulated by LZ Granderson's CNN article. I want to believe it is satirical. I want that desperately — to believe that it's tongue in cheek from the very title: "Don't be nosy about Fast and Furious."
But to go much beyond the criticism of these men runs the risk of learning that this great nation of ours is heavily involved in doing some things that are not so great.
It would be nice to see this as a wry comment on American willingness to overlook lawbreaking by the government when it is committed (at least nominally) in service of goals of which we approve.
But the straight-faced reading is too similar to what I have come to expect from the media to be certain of my hoped-for satirical reading. Right now scandals over both Fast and Furious and the government response to it are being spun in many places as a cynical partisan obsession. I have not the shadow of the doubt that many of the loudest critics of the government have partisan motives. But if we dismiss criticism of government misbehavior because of partisan motivations, we'll never entertain significant criticism of the government. We'll always have partisanship. We can't let it be an excuse to abandon our obligations as citizens to monitor and criticize the government.
So: I live in hope that Gunderson is not actually calling for willful all-for-the-best ignorance. But I can't be sure. Can you?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat? - June 21st, 2017
- The Power To Generate Crimes Rather Than Merely Investigate Them - June 19th, 2017
- Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander - June 17th, 2017
- Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times - June 8th, 2017
- I write letters - June 1st, 2017