Thursday, January 15, 2004
With help from the inimitable Cox and Forkum, LGF has officially awarded the Fiskie for Idiotarian of the Year to none other than Rachel "Squish" Corrie, whose last moments were spent feeling the full weight of the American-Israeli War Machine (or one such war machine, at any rate).

Many commenters, some of them quite sober and reasonable, have expressed reservations and even a degree of disgust with the levity of the mocking comments (not to mention the Fiskie cartoon itself) and the general indifference to the life of Rachel Corrie that such awards and commentary demonstrate. After all, Corrie wasn't out to fill mass graves; she was ultimately just a severely misguided fool who let the heat of the moment get the best of her, and paid for it with her life. Why all the hate? Wasn't her life worth something?

Well, I can't speak for others, but you won't find me broken up over Corrie's death. By working to protect Arab smuggling tunnels, she was directly aiding the mass murder of Israelis in their homes and on their streets; that alone leaves her far short of my "must be kept alive" standard. And frankly, it's not like anyone set out to kill her; her death, like much of what preceded it, was a consequence of her own extremely stupid behavior. But that only explains why I don't grieve over her death, not why I'm happy to mock it. The mockery is not so much for Corrie herself, but for what she represents: a know-nothing white-bread college student, head stuffed full of Chomskyite drivel and imbecilic romantic notions of "resistance," infusing meaning into her life by inserting her ignorant self into a conflict she neither understood nor had any business in. Ultimately, she was just another war-tourist who thought that her blond hair, pale skin, and American accent put her above such petty things as those icky Israelis with their big nasty bulldozers. Oops -- sorry, Rachie-sweetie, but the laws of physics still apply to your progressive self.

Some have tried to argue that mocking Corrie's death brings further suffering to her parents, who went through the horrific experience of having to bury their young daughter. How touching. One would hope that Mr. & Mrs. Corrie might have formed a deeper appreciation of what it's like for an Israeli mother to bury her child -- after she is killed by a terrorist supplied through tunnels quite similar to the ones Rachel was so valiantly trying to protect. Hardly; instead, the Corries travel to Ramallah and meet with Arafat, accepting some "award" from him for their daughter's "martyrdom." These aren't the actions of grieving parents appalled at the death of their child in a conflict she didn't understand -- no, they are the actions of people letting Arafat and the gang use their freshly-buried daughter to further their own political and terrorist agenda. Whatever sympathy I had for the Corrie parents evaporated when they set foot in Arafat's office.

Ultimately, though, the Corries don't matter. The daughter is dead, and I don't care. The parents are cretins, and I care even less. What's important is to deflate the cult of personality that some on the Left have tried to build around Corrie -- to make her into a heroic principled freedom-fighter, instead of what she really was: a dumb, pitiful klutz without enough sense to not stand between a bulldozer and a terrorist tunnel. For that, she needs to be mocked, and her death poked fun at, because if it's not, the ISM and the Arabs will paint her death as heroic, and that may encourage other misguided fools to enter conflicts they don't understand, with consequences they can't appreciate.

I'd never heard of Rachel Corrie until she died; I certainly didn't want her dead. I don't rejoice at her death, the way the terrorists she helped would rejoice at the deaths of Israeli schoolkids and grandmothers. But her demise was no tragedy: it was an unhappy, but wholly foreseeable event of her own making. The way she lived was appalling. The way she died was self-parody. I can't help but see the humor in it, and I do not owe her my grief.

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