It can't be easy being a movie critic. (Although I guess they have TV critics to look down on. Like no matter how bad a national anthem is, it's still better than Christmas music. There's always something shittier.) So you can't really hold Michael Medved's redolent awfulness against him. Lots of people fail utterly at a thankless job.
Still, it would be nice if Michael Medved confined himself to the subject he barely understands -- film -- and didn't write about the things he doesn't understand at all -- everything else. Because when he writes about the movies, he's just useless. When he writes about politics he sounds like the friendless guy at the old age home who smells like piss all the time because the nurses hate him too.
Take the massacre at Virginia Tech, for instance. If the killings weren't gruesome enough, now we have to suffer through the commentary. And the spin on the commentary. And the reaction to the spin. And then you get to the bottom of the barrel, and you scrape it out. And then you scrape through the bottom of the barrel, to the mud and the silverfish and the rolypolies. And then the silverfish and rolypolies run away, and there's Michael Medved.
"On TV and radio, we've already heard that the killing spree was the product of too many guns, or too few guns, or violent video games, or the breakdown of the family, or ill-considered immigration policies or, even, global warming..."
(Pause for laughter, because, haha, dead kids are funny, but a dead planet is hilarious. Get it, nurse? Nurse?)
"Glib, shallow explanations allow us to turn away from the one real lesson of these events: that evil exists, and that dark forces - forces believers would call demonic or diabolical - play a powerful role in our world..."
("Demonic" and "diabolical" mean the exact same thing, but true believes say both because they love the sound of their own voices. Just like me. Nurse? You there... in the hall... could you get my nurse?)
"Regardless of the background or motivation of the killer, Virginia Tech reminds us of the most important truth of our time: that terrorist monsters can't be explained, or excused, or appeased, or ignored, or negotiated into civilized behavior..."
(Wow, the most important truth of our time. Auden said it was that we must love one another or die, but what did he know? Did he ever co-host the Movie Minute?)
"They must be confronted and destroyed - before they destroy more of the decent and the innocent."
Okay, calm down, pee-berry. Let's slip a bedpan under this and think about it for a second. I thought we were talking about the shooter at Virginia Tech, Cho Seung-Hui. Who's the "they" who have to be destroyed? Schizophrenics? Koreans? English majors?
And when should they be destroyed? How will we even know who to kill, if we can't ask any questions or look for any patterns or warning signs except evilness? Let's say -- for argument's sake -- that we were more interested in saving lives than getting revenge; how soon before the demons strike should we preemptively destroy them? Birth? Freshman orientation?
Honestly, gramps, it's almost like you're using thirty-one dead college students to grind some axe about the Middle East.
At least Michael Medved has the sense of shame -- if not smell -- to be oblique about the connection between Virginia Tech and America's mission to free the Middle East from the Middle Easterners. Oliver North has the courage to spell it all out.
"On April 18, as the potentates of the press were discovering stories of courage and compassion at Virginia Tech, (Defense Secretary Robert) Gates, standing beside his Israeli counterpart, Amir Peretz, declared that they had decided to "deal with the Iranian nuclear problem through diplomacy, which appears to be working." ...This sounds eerily like urging deeply disturbed, homicidal students to seek counseling and talk about their problems in lieu of more stringent measures that might deter them from committing mass murder."
Because if there's one thing a schizophrenic understands, it's deterrence.
This metaphor doesn't work at all. Because crazy people should get counseling. Then we can see if they're crazy and get them help. Somewhere off campus and away from the gun shop. What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you some kind of alien?
I take back what I said before about how there's always something shittier.
Because underneath the barrel's bottom, and the bugs, and the fourth-string movie critics, there's mud, and beneath the mud, there are pockets of methane. And under that methane, at the earth's core, there's hell. And in hell, there's Oliver North.
Michael Medved Minute!
Michael Medved wrote an editorial for USA Today in 2005. It was called "Iraq and Vietnam: Nine Big Differences - And One Crucial Similarity." One of the differences Medved notes is that today there isn't a draft:
"Cindy Sheehan notwithstanding, all those who sign up for the U.S. military are clever enough to understand the very real possibility that at one point you might be required to use your expensive training in actual combat."
That sounds kind of sarcastic doesn't it? I guess the brighter mothers take the cost of boot camp into account before they go boo-hooing about their dead sons.
Another trenchant point:
"In Vietnam, we faced more than a rag-tag guerilla band: we confronted one of the world's most formidable military machines in the nation of North Vietnam..."
He refers to the people who fought in Vietnam, and those currently in Iraq, as "we," "us" or "our" a further 22 times. ("We faced"/"We confronted"/"Our current struggle"/"Our work in Iraq...")
In which theatre did Michael Medved face "actual combat" with the North Vietnamese?
Which of his actual combat skills has he passed along to his sons and daughters in Iraq?