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Friday, August 18, 2006

Holding the Mayo

Hot Air gives us the latest scoop on the passenger whose antics caused a London-to-DC flight to divert to Boston yesterday. Even her lawyer says "She's got some very serious mental health problems."

And not of recent vintage, either. The ABC article quotes a Pakistan Daily Times article (URL found by Allah, only he mistakenly refers to it as Dawn, a different Pakistani paper), in which she writes:

The folksongs of the 1960s will never be written again because of President George Bush. He has hampered the liberties of my country in the name of September 11. Songs now can only talk of patriotism they cannot mention peace.

That's the pull quote at the top of the page. The article itself is a mess, rambling on about the Cuban missile crisis and the Civil War, and Mayo practically breaks her arm patting her generation on the back for its "brave" anti-war stance. She also says that her favorite US president is Abraham Lincoln, who made the difficult decision to go to war for a moral principle. Obviously she doesn't know her history, or she'd know that Lincoln drastically curtailed civil liberties in pursuit of that moral principle.

In a May 13 column, she wrote:

It is hard to explain to the rest of the world what is happening in the American mind right now because the people in the US are being ruled by their mental health system. Their consciences do not operate according to moral standards, or religious beliefs. They do things because of the diagnoses they have received from their psychiatrists.

She goes on with a very eccentric tour of the history of psychiatry. Americans, you know, constantly assess their own minds to make sure they're not having any unusual thoughts. If they do, they immediately run to a psychiatrist to drug them into conformity. Apparently the psychiatrist does not bother to explain the concept of projection. This column you really must read.

Best of the Web (second item) has found several other Daily Times columns. Here are some more (all from 2003):

In Pindi on March 1 March 11
After Doomsday May 6
Dear Senator Byrd May 27
A New Kind of Arrogance June 10
New Face of Justice June 17
The View from Mt. Abraham June 30
To the Guantanamo Bay Inmates July 15 ("If you were to read the US Constitution now, it would read like a fairytale. None of it can be found in actual practice in the country.")
A Ray of Hope July 29

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The columns I read were uniformly simple-minded and self-absorbed, continually assuring her audience that Americans "know" various facts which exist mainly inside her head ("Americans understand, deep down, that they have lost their freedom.") Many (if not all) of her columns contain references to rock music of the '60s (ABC reports she was wearing a Rolling Stones T-shirt to her arraignment). I guess if you just try hard enough you can wish yourself back to those golden days, when you could flatter yourself that you were brave and relevant.

I hate to think of Pakistanis frowning or nodding over these columns, and thinking, "So that's what Americans really think. Huh." I guess I should be used to that sort of thing by now. If only Mayo could replace her hippy dopeyness with an acid contempt, she'd fit right in at the Sydney Morning Herald.

I wonder if someone at the Daily Times was thinking of Katherine Mayo, author of Mother India, a 1927 book arguing against Indian self-rule. One (rather crazed) site I saw said that Katherine Mayo had a "hatred of Hindus", but given her emphasis on women's rights in India, I doubt she'd think much better of Indian Muslims.

(Pre-posting update: Commenter "john" at Rantburg (see comment #10) has found the story of the Pakistani pen pal. It's a romance, and Mayo wrote about it here.)