Wolcott's on fire.
Okay, Wolcott is always on fire, and if I were ever to attempt to make a go of being a witty essayist instead of a seventeenth-tier blogger, Wolcott is who I'd like to be when I grew up. But some days he's better than others, and this is one of those days.
He's dissecting Mickey Kaus among others on the right-wing side of the blogosphere over their screeching that Oscar-winning-director Oliver Stone is going to be directing the first big studio film about the 9/11 attacks and aftermath. Kaus's argument, to use the term loosely, is this:
"This is the first big Hollywood movie about 9/11. It will be sent around the world. I do think Paramount has some cosmopolitian and humanitarian--if not (God forbid) patriotic--obligation not to put it in the hands of someone who has to be kept 'on a very short leash' because of his previous dumb, left, conspiratorial hostility to the U.S. government."
Wolcott's reply is devastating:
Just to be clear, is being "left" an automatic disqualifier for this most thorny of contemporary subjects, or will any combination of "dumb," "left," and "conspiratorial" do? And if Stone were to graciously or grudgingly step aside on this project and let another director sit in the canvas chair and helm the movie, to use a Variety verb--would he be acceptable as a studio director on the second, or third, or fourth major 9/11 film. Or is he blackballed into perpetuity?
It's also dead-on.
Kaus and Instapundit and the other various right-wingers who are crapping themselves over this are much like the Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass: "All ways are my ways." In other words, if the director of the first, second, third and all future 9/11 films isn't a "redblooded / lousy with pure / reeking with stark"* (read, theo-con) American, then Kaus et al will be dissatisfied and it will be yet another bit of proof that Hollywood is a decadent, 5th column out to destroy America.
But after disposing with Kaus and Instapundit, Wolcott turns his guns on slightly bigger game, and scores a palpable hit.
There are thousands of 9/11 stories, no single one will ever be definitive, and not even the worst tendentious hack can do a better job of blaspheming the memories and tragedies of that day than Dick Cheney does by simply unlatching the side of his mouth on Meet the Press.
That, my friends, is something "something authentic and delirious / you know something genuine like a mark / in a toilet."*
*Quotes are from the e. e. cummings poem "let's start a magazine"