April 06, 2006

I Control the Mass Media

Danny Miller put up a post yesterday that says so much about the nastiness of human beings, I'm sick to my stomach over it. Entitled "Can I Be Honest with You?" it starts out as a glimpse of a particularly cruel pitch meeting in Hollywood, but then progresses, in Danny's typically brilliant, sinuous way, to a discussion about an experience he had putting one of his essays on the Huffington Post. That post was about circumcision, and expressed Danny's wish to have his possible future son circumcized. The post attracted a shocking amount of hate mail from Huffington commenters -- not just criticisms of circumcision, which would of course be well within reason, but savage expressions of Jew-hating. Given the forum, I'm inclined to think that many of the commenterers condidered themselves political progressives.

As a commenter supporting Danny wrote, "Welcome to the new American left, Danny, where circumcision is equated with murder, and being Jewish is tantamount to admitting that you control the world as part of a shadowy, secret cabal."

It's that kind of nastiness and self-righteousness and, yes, anti-Semitism, that has led me to move rightward, toward the center, in recent months. I don't understand how people can claim to represent the good and the just, and to be deserving of political power, when they consistently display such sheer viciousness, such rabid intolerance and contempt for anyone who disagrees with them. (Read the comment threads in The Daily Kos or Eschaton and you'll know what I mean.)

To cite another recent essay of Danny's, this incident shows that not only are gays the new Jews, but Jews are the new Jews too.

By the way, my position on circumcision is equivalent to a position many liberals hold on abortion: if you don't approve of it, don't do it.