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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bite Down Hard

Irishman Eamonn Fitzgerald takes advantage of today's holiday to remind us that British novelist Margaret Drabble has for years admitted to an uncontrollable disease: hatred. Specifically, she admits to being possessed by vicious loathing for...a sammich.

Here's just a small, non-sammich-related, lagniappe from that dog's breakfast:

But what struck home hardest was the subsequent image, of a row of American warplanes, with grinning cartoon faces painted on their noses. Cartoon faces, with big sharp teeth...But there was something about those playfully grinning warplane faces that went beyond deception and distortion into the land of madness. A nation that can allow those faces to be painted as an image on its national aeroplanes has regressed into unimaginable irresponsibility. A nation that can paint those faces on death machines must be insane.

Among the insane nations of the Earth would be World War II Britain. Or, in fact, modern Britain. The RAF has recently forbidden this practice, lest, I suppose, the Margaret Drabbles of the world have another spell of the vapors. Talk about infantile.

Try to read Drabble's drivel without thinking of this magnificent item:

"...I mean, one does not wish to say that this debacle is what America deserves for its arrogance, its vulgarity, its bullying ways -- well, actually one does wish to say it, doesn't one rather? Really, one just hates America. Really, one always has, ever since one was just a little chap."

Anyone, even a Serious Novelist, can be parodied by some hack scribbler -- but to be parodied nearly two years in advance requires real effort. Well done, Drabble!

This is what our intelligentsia has come to -- penning flailing incoherent screeds about how all the essential wickedness of the world is due to the unique evil of hamburgers. It's just as well, then, that wars for civilization are not fought by novelists. At least, not since Kipling.

If Drabble's dribbling has got you down, try this for a pick-me-up.