Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tea Bag Trilogy

Over at Dan Abrams' pathetic Gawker knockoff, Mediaitie, Frances Martel writes that the filming of part one of a proposed Atlas Shrugged trilogy is bigger news than the firing of Shirley Sherrod following slanderous attacks on her by racist Andrew Dimbart. Martel implicitly posits that the fact that AS I is in production is more important than the production of any other movie, since the production of movies is never headline news.


Whatever way we define Atlas Shrugged's place in the greater scheme of classic literature, its philosophy is at the cornerstone of the Tea Party movement, intentionally or not. Many of the ideas presented by the movement that seem a bit haphazard and arbitrary —- the initial calls for the return to the gold standard, the belief that extreme socialism could actually overtake the nation in ways similar to how it has previously abroad, the abhorrence of any government aid to the underprivileged -- align more coherently in the context of the book and the greater themes of Rand's philosophy.

Whatever that paragraph means, its incoherence is the cornerstone of Martel's shitty writing, intentionally or not.

But it gets worse:

Many who follow hard news were disillusioned with the fact that the media chose the Sherrod story over bigger national security and economic concerns, and while there is an argument to be made there, it is also unfair to ask the media not to cover, for lack of a better word, propaganda. Of more palpable, more specific concern here is that the media chose Breitbart's Sherrod propaganda story -- because race is a sexy thing to cover -- over Breitbart's story on the development of a sophisticated series of political films that can have a significant impact on the American right. Their eager participation in the Sherrod case does not fully exonerate Breitbart for his part in this fiasco, but it does emphasize how much the media and thus, the public, chooses to pass on interesting and potentially big stories to harp on issues that don't really matter.

As far as I can tell, Martel's beef is that the media covered something that did happen instead of something that might happen -- a film based on a right-wing novel might get made, it might be sophisticated, and if those things happen, the film could have a significant impact on teabaggers. Or maybe Martel is paying tribute to Ayn Rand by writing a long, incoherent and delusional fantasy.

More on Martel's background here, including an unconfirmed rumor that she attended college.

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