Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today's Unionist award goes to......... Unionist

There is no paucity of malicious misreading, willful distortion, of wanton decontextualization, of utter disingenuousness, and basic intellectual dishonesty. Something I'm sure we're all guilty of from time to time, but occasionally people elevate this to an art form. For years I used to call this "pullin' a Cherniak", but having recently come across Cherniak's doppelgänger in the rabid Left wing of the blogoasylum known as babble, I now use the phrase "pullin' a Unionist" to refer to such practice on the Left.

In my previous post I pointed to a classic instance of "pullin' a Unionist". Today I will demonstrate another, and not only because I'm an a**hole, but because I want to share with you some beautiful words, which I wouldn't have discovered were it not for Unionist "pullin' a Unionist". You see, as Grand Inquisitor and Supreme Authority on babble, Unionist is prone to seeing himself as not having to abide by babble policy (although in fairness, the policy only really exists to allow for the banning of those who disagree with the apparatchik) and as the final authority on any given subject.

Anyway, Unionist was one of the first of the babble feeding frenzy on ONDP & DiNovo to steer the criticism towards vitriol and scorn, and what seemed to really set him off were some comments in Hansard about DiNovo attending a Passover Seder which began by praying for one's enemy. This sent Unionist into a frenzy of namecalling, charges of lying, of ignorance, of questioning her sobriety, and led to his pronouncement the it is Christians who are called to love one's enemy, and that Jews pray on, not for, their Egyptian enemies in a traditional Haggadah. Then earlier yesterday Unionist wrote:
I've mentioned this a few times - but in her speech, DiNovo said that the Passover Seder begins with a prayer for the Egyptians, who were the enslavers of the Israelites. I pointed out that that is not only false, it is a loopy crazy invention - because the Haggadah (the booklet which is read and sang every Seder night) is filled with triumphalist rhetoric about God destroying our enemies, etc.
My point - how can a rational person stand up in public and make up nonsense like this? Did she just badly misinterpret something someone had told her?
So this becomes the foundation of Unionist's public derision. DiNovo lies, she makes things up, badly misinterprets and this justifies his zealous and scornful attack on her character. Incidentally Unionist's comments about her receiving death threats are truly special, but can also be seen as emanating from this foundational premise. In response I posted:
I am no Jew and have never assisted at a Seder supper, but in two seconds I was able to find a Passover Seder Haggadah, that begins essentially not only as DiNovo described in Hansard, but also are simply beautiful words:

So let's now close our eyes. Can you see the universe and your place in it? Affirm now your role as partner with God in the healing and transformation of all that is. The Seder can also be a time to do "tikkun" (to heal and transform parts of ourselves and our society). To read the Seder please continue reading this piece.

"KIDDUSH We are gathered here tonight to affirm our continuity with the generations of Jews who kept alive the vision of freedom in the Passover story. For thousands of years, Jews (and our non-Jewish allies) have affirmed this vision by participating in the Passover Seder. We not only remember the Exodus but actually relive it, bringing its transformative power into our own lives. The Hebrew word for Egypt, mitzrayim, means "narrow straits." Traditionally, mitzrayim has been understood to mean a spiritual state, the "narrow place" of confusion, fragmentation, and spiritual disconnection. Liberation requires us to embrace that which we have been taught to scorn within ourselves and others, including the split-off parts from our own consciousness that we find intolerable and that we project onto some "evil Other." The Seder can also be a time to reflect on those parts of ourselves. Israel, according to the Torah, left Egypt with "a mixed multitude." The Jewish people began as a multicultural mélange of people attracted to a vision of social transformation. What makes us Jews is not some biological fact, but our willingness to proclaim the message of those ancient slaves: (Say Together) The world can be changed, we can be healed."
Unionist, of course, dodged this reply, "pullin' a Unionist", because his foundational premise for defaming a public figure would vanish. In the meantime, we might just revel in the beauty and hope of a prayer which I otherwise would never have stumbled upon. Hate can lead you to beauty, but only love will lead to peace and justice.

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