Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The truth will out

The cancellation of a planned raid by the Israeli Army after a soldier posted the details on FaceBook goes under the headings of "something you couldn't make up" and "why does this not surprise me?" It reminds me of an observation by William F. Buckley, Jr. that I read long ago, about Phil Donahue interviewing Geraldine Ferraro and asking, what was still considered a little tactless even in 1984, what it felt like to be confronted by the revelations of her husband's venality.

Buckley commented that Ferraro regarded Donahue, "Who probably would have asked Christ on the cross what it felt like to be crucified" in dignified silence for a moment and then said "Phil, some things are personal," which, as Buckley observed, "to Donahue, was like the revelation to physicists at Los Alamos in 1945 that E does, indeed, equal MC squared."

The foolish Israeli soldier who betrayed his battalion's plans was removed from combat duty and imprisoned for ten days. Had he been sentenced to serve his time in offices of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, he could at least have pondered his folly in silence, after the DMV canceled its subscription to Muzak, following numerous customer complaints. That's a start, certainly, though it's less certain how to cancel boors who sit down near you and start loud cellphone conversations. I'm hoping that Sharper Image will eventually start selling a jamming device that you can activate silently from your pocket in such an event.

© Michael Huggins, 2010. All rights reserved.

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