Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Hey! Leave that Billionaire Alone.... A friend emailed me this Fox News gem, which I'm sure is making the rounds. Our buddies from the surgically altered Fox desk apparently have their snare drum tight eyebrows in a micro-furrow over Ted Turner calling the 9/11 hijackers brave men. dictionary.com defines bravery, or its root brave, like so:
brave: 1. Possessing or displaying courage; valiant. 2. Making a fine display; impressive or showy: "a coat of brave red lipstick on a mouth so wrinkled that it didn't even have a clear outline" (Anne Tyler). 3.Excellent; great: "The Romans were like brothers/In the brave days of old" (Thomas Macaulay).
Valor then seems to be important so:
valor: Courage and boldness as in battle; bravery
Which brings us to:
courage: The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.
I think were back where we started. By definition these men, or at least some of them were brave. The unwitting saps who helped hijack the planes and had no clue they would be roasted on impact, may have been bold but they weren't brave. It's easy to be bold when your holding a weapon, even a simple box cutter, against a bunch of unarmed people in a confined airplane cabin. But the guys at the controls, those men were as brave as they come, but they were also immoral, misguided, confused, vengeful, blinded, enraged, hateful and hopeless. So what if they were brave. Bravery is overrated. They probably weren't kind, compasionate, loving, caring, thoughtful, independant, free thinkers. I think most people confuse bravery with some kind of white-hat western morality. The definition of the word says nothing of the sort. I'm not mincing words here. Language is all we have to communicate. It's important we know what words mean when we use them and when we take them out of context to beat someone we don't like over the head with them. So who cares that Ted Turner thinks those guys are brave? No one should. This isn't what we should be debating. But perhaps some people should wonder why news agencies would stir up this kind of sentiment. I think people are a bit tired of pot-shot journalism. I know I am. Give us some real news for a change. How about some real insightful analysis of real issues? Stop spewing this excrement on the airwaves and on the net. We are not that stupid. At least some of us are above this form of mass marketing. Yes that's right mass marketing. You don't think Fox is actually in the news business do you?

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