Monday, November 03, 2003

Clifford May - Knight of the Golden Arches 

National Review Online chucklehead Clifford D. May's recent scurryings in The Corner offered up the following sound-bite of stretched historical musings. For a fuller context (and link) see Leah's earlier post here. And as I write this, Digby's take here. (I especially enjoyed the part about "Joan Crawford in a coat hanger factory.")

Otherwise, consider the following tid-bit of fanciful prattle from Clifford D.

That includes you, Ms. Doumani. You too, represent the hated Judeo-Christian West and it won't help for you to say you never eat at McDonald's and that you think George W. Bush is a unilateralist and uncultured cowboy. The fact is you're working for the Red Cross and people who remember the Crusades and the sacking of Baghdad by the Mongols remember what that cross used to stand for. - Cliford D. May

"Huh?" you might be askin' yourself "did I read that right?" Well, you read right.
Does Cliff think that medieval European Crusaders in the role of International Red Cross workers were passing out leeches in Baghdad in 1258? Ok, forget the Red Cross. Does Cliff May perhaps believe that European Christian Crusaders were vacationing in Baghdad in 1258? Maybe taking calligraphy classes from Al-Mustasim Billah?

Does Clifford think that the international emblem of the Red Cross is derived from the St. George's cross? The same English St. George recalled by legend for his assistance of the Christian Crusaders at Antioch? The same St. George popularized in Edmund Spencer's allegorical tales The Faerie Queen and The Legend of the Red Cross Knight? I'll bet he does. It is not. The Red Cross symbol is an inversion of the modern Swiss federal flag. And its no more a Christian symbol than our own modern day Santa Claus is a Chrsitian symbol. (*more on this later) By the way Cliff, that story about St. George and the dragon....you know, the big dragon in the pond and the pretty girl and all that... thats a poem Cliff. Its not a like a Bible story or anything. Its an allegorical poem that was written in the late 1500's. In case you were wondering.

And whats with the "fact is" time travel thing? Golly Cliff, as if perhaps there are still people wandering around out there today, alive, working for the International Red Cross, who are old enough to personally "remember" the Crusades and the sack of Baghdad by Hulagu's Mongol army? What in the name of gurgling baby-blue Jesus are you talking about Cliff-erd?

I mean really, is this the kind of sophomoric twaddle that passes for journalism over at NRO these days? Wasn't the National Review at one time, say 30 or 40 years ago, at least considered a mildly serious publication? Well maybe not, but in any event, see what all that inbreeding will buy ya. And to think that Clifford gets paid actual real money to scratch that kind of bull-doodle in a corner. Gosh, they'll let anyone into that NRO place these days.

And whats with the "hated Judeo-Christian West" reference as it relates to the Crusades and Ms Doumani? Uh, Cliff....do you have any idea what those happy Crusader doods, swimming in visions and voices of angels, contributed to the legacy of "Judeo-Christian" hatreds. And long before anyone erected a golden archway to fast forage injection mold hamburgerland. Lets revisit the first Crusade (1095-1099) to get a little better feel for the erstwhile era. [italic emphasis below are mine]

After spending six months in refreshing and reorganizing their weakened forces, they led their armies toward Jerusalem. At last, on June 7, 1099, after a campaign of three years, the Crusaders, reduced to 12,000 combatants, stood in exaltation and fatigue before the walls of Jerusalem. [...] On July 15 Godfrey and Tancred led their followers over the walls, and the Crusaders knew the ecstasy of a high purpose accomplished after heroic suffering. Then, reports the priestly eyewitness Raymond of Angiles, "wonderful things were to be seen. Numbers of the Saracens were beheaded...others were shot with arrows, or forced to jump from the towers; others were tortured for several days and then burned in flames. In the streets were seen piles of heads and hands and feet. One rode about everywhere amid the corpses of men and horses."

Other contemporaries contribute details: women were stabbed to death, suckling babes were snatched by the leg from their mothers' breasts and flung over the walls, or had their necks broken by being dashed against posts; and 70,000 Moslems remaining in the city were slaughtered. The surviving Jews were herded into a synagogue and burned alive. The victors flocked to the church of the Holy Sepulcher, whose grotto, they believed, had once held the crucified Christ. There, embracing one another, they wept with joy and release, and thanked the God of Mercies for their victory. ~1~

Can't you just feel the "Judeo-Christian" Crusader love - Clifford? What do you suppose those 11th century Red Cross workers thought of that holy smokin' cakewalk?

Due to the length of this post, and to save space, I've posted the remainder at the following overflow page: CONTINUE HERE if you want to.

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