Left, Right & Center
Jewish World Review / January 1, 1998 / 3 Tevet, 5758
The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
The presentation of my Unacceptable People Awards is an annual recognition of those who, by word and deed, have descended to the realm of legend. For them, nothing is more fitting than that quaint Victorian expression, "You, sir, should be horsewhipped."
Woody Allen (age 62) and Soon-Yi Previn (age 27) wed last Tuesday in Venice, after the bride reportedly acquiesced to a prenuptial agreement that commits her to live apart from Daddy Sugar but make regular conjugal visits.
Allen confessed, "I don't think I'll ever find it in my heart to forgive" that "portion of the public" which was horrified by his relationship with a woman 35 years his junior, who is the adopted daughter of ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow. (Is the director planning a remake of "Lolita"?)
At last report, the public was holding up well under the burden of Allen's refusal to grant us absolution.
Anita Hill wrote the year's most embarrassing book, "Speaking Truth to Power." Beyond its rancor and narcissism, the memoir has little to recommend it.
The merits of her allegations against Justice Clarence Thomas aside, the book displays Hill's self-centeredness (she refers to Thomas' confirmation hearings as the "Hill-Thomas hearings") and resentment. She demands apologies from almost everyone for lack of sensitivity about sexual harassment.
There is as much truth in Hill's screed as there was in the Soviet propaganda organ Pravda, which also had "truth" in its title.
Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger is Hill's sister under the skin. During her campaign for mayor of New York, the desperate Democrat accused incumbent Rudolph Giuliani of sexism. In a dispute over the city's budget, the mayor told his opponent that she "can't count."
This is the sort of sexist put-down typically used against strong women, Messinger fumed. Of course, with this tactic, Messinger fed the stereotype of the whiny woman who retreats from the political fray to complaints of hurt feelings. Messinger was not only buried in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, but lost the women's vote, too.
Billionaire currency speculator George Soros has become a one-man Marshall Plan for the social left -- contributing $20 million to the drug-legalization lobby and $15 million to groups pushing euthanasia.
In a 1995 interview, Soros expressed disappointment with his gravely ill father's reluctance to die. "My father unfortunately wanted to live... and I was kind of disappointed in him... I wrote him off," the paragon of compassion confessed. The opportunity to dis two commandments at once (the prohibition against murder and the mandate to honor one's parents) must have been kind of exciting for Soros.
In an Oct. 16 Hollywood speech, Vice President Al Gore embraced comedian Ellen DeGeneres. "When the character Ellen came out millions of Americans were forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light," the veep proclaimed. Hey, I thought Hollywood merely reflected popular culture. I didn't realize that TV shows indoctrinate by forcing us to look at controversial issues from a particular perspective.
Gore might as well have "liberal elitist" stamped on his forehead. His lecture (you stupid bigots must be compelled to come to terms with reality) reflected the smug self-righteous glow liberals get when displaying their tolerance and condemning our fossilized attitudes. If voters elect him to the presidency in 2000, perhaps we are as dumb as he believes.
Finally, William F. Buckley Jr. wrote a column that sought to downplay Russia's recently enacted Nuremberg Laws for cults (like Seventh Day Adventists and Roman Catholics). Let's see how it works before we get bent out of shape, Buckley advised. The Vatican, which protested the measure, is less sanguine.
Eager to make his point, the columnist stooped to slander. Russian "liabilities on secondary religions (including his own) do not come close to the liabilities on Christianity imposed in Israel," Buckley blathered. Quick, Bill, would you rather be a Mormon in Moscow or a Baptist in Jerusalem?
This year also saw the publication of William F.'s confession of faith, "Nearer My God." His insouciance over the coming persecution of his church in the land of little tolerance shows Buckley and his God need to get closer yet.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Unacceptables of 1997. Long may they rave.
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism