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Screw Chris Hedges

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So NYT reporter Chris Hedges got booed off the stage while speaking at a college commencement ceremony in Rockford, Illinois. Good.

If a professor brings a guest speaker to your poli sci class, then you should give him a listen even if you think he’s a fool. You need to be exposed to other people’s points of view, etc.

If someone is speaking at a lecture hall or out on the green saying stuff you don’t like, you have no right to prevent them from saying their piece. When some punks show up at a speech just for the purpose of being disruptive, they need beat down. Let them say their piece. Maybe you can argue with them afterward or during Q&A if you please. Or you can just stay the hell away from them.

That does not, however, mean that you have a right to inflict yourself on people anytime you can weasel your way to a microphone. A graduation ceremony is for graduates and their families, not for some yahoo to jack himself off in front of a captive audience.

Graduation is about the graduates. Junior has worked for years to earn this degree. His folks have put themselves out tens of thousands of dollars to get him through. It’s THEIR day.

Then some jackass from the NYT comes out to wag his finger at them at precisely this important personal moment, telling them that they’re a bunch of bullies and everybody in the world hates them. Honk off, jackass. Do it on your own time.

Then this buttmunch reporter comes back the next day with his little feelings all hurt. He’s heartbroken at how uncivil we’ve become because his captive audience refused to remain captive. The graduates booed you? Hey, that’s THEIR free speech- and it is THEIR day.

Mr. Hedges, when your people from the New York Times are having a meeting to figure out better ways to lie to people and spread commie propoganda, I don’t come storming in to rant Ayn Rand at you and tell you that you’re going to hell [even though you are:)].

Mr. Hedges showed rudeness and disrespect for the graduates and their families by inflicting his harangue on a captive audience that didn’t sign up for a political argument. For my part, I would be most delighted to have Ann Coulter show up at a graduation ceremony and start harassing the damned liberals. However, it would not be welcome by all the hard working Democrats in attendance, and would be just as inappropriate as Mr. Hedges’ remarks. Plus, Ms. Coulter has better manners than that.

You got booed off the stage? Brother, you asked for it.

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Hedges’ commencement speech
CLICK HERE to download an mp3 file of the event. [If this comes up dry, search Kazaa for “Chris Hedges Rockford”

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  • John Palkovic

    Your argument would be more persuasive if you lost the ad hominem. It’s a big turn-off for me. It gives your whole piece a third-grade tone. Executive summary: Chris Hedges sucks. Grow up. Do you know Hedges personally? Why not provide a link to the text of the speech?

    Comment on the email req: I’ll be damned if I’m going to put my live addy on a web page that can be crawled by a spambot.

  • Your accusations of ad hominem attacks in themselves constitute an ad hominem attack on me. As does the accusation of behaving like a third grader. Quit your whining.

    When I criticize a person, I do try to be clear exactly what behavior I am critical of, and exactly why they’re wrong.

    I think Mr. Hedges was disrespectful to the graduates and families with his display, and earned a little bit of simple, direct rebuke. I’m not beating around the bush nor coloring. I think he acted like a big jerk. So there.

  • Email is required? It shouldn’t be. But even if so, I’ll make it clear that specifying a URL masks the email addy from appearing.

    On preview, realized that the site provides notification of responses and so on, hence the email requirement. Perhaps silly, but you can always specify a bogus one, as you did, or a URL, which I’ll make clear on the page.

  • Movable Type protects email addresses from spambots:

    If the spam_protect attribute is provided, and the email link is to be displayed, the email address will be modified so as to prevent spambots from harvesting it. The web browser, however, will still display the email address properly. For example, if the email address is foo@bar.com, and you use

    <$MTCommentAuthorLink spam_protect=”1″$>

    the email address will be displayed as foo@bar.com.

  • Thomas

    I was reading through the transcript of Mr. Hedges’ speech and I came across this paragraph, which, I believe, paraphrases his position:

    “The circle of violence is a death spiral; no one escapes. We are spinning at a speed that we may not be able to hold. As we revel in our military prowess — the sophistication of our military hardware and technology, for this is what most of the press coverage consisted of in Iraq — we lose sight of the fact that just because we have the capacity to wage war it does not give us the right to wage war.”

    Why do you believe Mr. Hedges is going to hell for saying this? If Mr. Hedges is going to hell, then who is in heaven? (Those who encourage violence, perhaps?) Your moral compass is way off.

  • Wow, such noble sentiments from Mr. Hedges. Now, how exactly will his masturbatory “nobility” stop terrorists from killing us?

  • Thomas

    You’re absolutely right. I was being naïve and unrealistic. Clearly, the only way for a president to fight terrorism is to launch unprovoked wars of aggression against weaker nations, steal their natural resources, enrich his corporate patrons with no-bid reconstruction contracts, and prance around on the deck of an aircraft carrier in a flight suit.

  • Dubya really got the goats of all you commies with that simple little flight suit thing, didn’t he? I don’t even like him that good, but he really looked sharp there. I can appreciate how badly you must hate that.

    However, you STILL haven’t even begun to try to answer the question: how are you going to stop terrorists from killing us?

  • that’s an extremely complex question al.

    if you’re happy with the extremely simple answer (kill ’em all) then so be it.

    personally, i can see how the war will provoke more terrorism in the future.

  • You’re being dishonest, Mr. Saleski. “Kill ’em all” is not even vaguely like what the president is doing or proposing, or what I would support. You know better than that when you say it.

    And you’re STILL not even attempting to BEGIN answering the question. Yes, the world is complicated. You can’t answer the whole question in the comments section of a post at Blogcritics. Understood.

    Why don’t you begin with a whole new post, however, with one or two ideas about how to start? Not more crap about how evil Dubya is, but what exactly you would do instead to actually deal with the problem at hand.

    I’d recommend the same to Mr. Hedges, to bring it back a little more on topic. Instead of just haranguing everybody about what big mean bullies we all are, he might get a better reception with an explanation of what we should do instead.

  • Thomas

    You might be onto something. That would make an interesting post, I think. Sort of an open letter to both critics and supporters of the Bush Administration on how they would fight terrorism if they were president. You should make that happen, Al. Maybe it would get people thinking creatively instead of just criticizing or cheerleading.

  • dishonest my ass. better be careful al, you’re sounding more like rush every day.

    just because i don’t have the answers does not mean that i’m automatically disqualified from stating that i don’t think war is the answer to terrorism.

    what i am pointing out is that the president (and apparently the majority of most us citizens) think that war actions are a suitable response to terrorism….and that i don’t agree.

    sorry if “kill ’em all” was too off the cuff.

    i just enjoy seeing that vein throb on your forehead.

  • mike

    What’s the alternative, Al?

    Stop funding terrorists like bin laden (in the 1980s) who fly airplanes into our buildings twenty years later.

    Coming in 2013: the Shiite bombing of the new World Trade Center, sponsored by one of the lunatics we’ve let loose to liberate the Iraqis from electricity and running water.

    And after that, another Sunni bombing. Or perhaps some right wing Israeli fundamentalists. Or maybe a Communist we’ve funded to fight the fundamentalists we funded to fight the Communists.

    My guess is: Sunni 2013, Likud 2023, and Maoist 2033. Keeps those World Trade Center architects busy!

  • Yeah, “simplistic… ‘kill ’em all'”, that was the main offending part. Play nice. Thank you.

    Mr. Larkin [comment 13] has a legitimate point that we should be much more careful about what kind of people we’re getting in bed with over there than we have in the past.

    Yet even he would surely agree that we have to have friends in that part of the world. We have to make the best of, frankly, a largely crappy part of the world. Good liberal democrats who believe in human rights and fair elections are few and far between in the Middle East.

    Still, we are not the targets of such rage because we’ve done such terrible things. We mostly haven’t. Saddam Hussein massacred many times more people than anything you could legitimately even TRY to blame on US. We’d be getting screwed with by bin Laden whether we had supported him those years ago or not.

    And you’re STILL not answering the question: What should the president do to stop terrorists from killing us? Even if you think it’s a good idea to cut off funding to some of our questionable contacts, surely you don’t think that’s enough to solve the problem.

  • mike

    The President, my man, and all kidding aside, should be much more solicitous towards our traditional allies like the French, who have been extremely helpful in fighting the Islamists. The most effective actions against bin laden have involved long overdue cooperation among intelligence agencies.

    It’s one thing to cooperate with police agencies and intelligence services of dictatorships like the Pakistanis’ when it comes to fighting terrorism. It’s another thing to prop up despotisms simply to make the world safe for U.S. imperialism, as the statist neoconservatives want us to do now, and as we did with Iraq in the 1980s.

    Hussein didn’t have threatening or potentially threatening amounts of WMDs, and he had no connection with bin laden or 9/11. His army was a joke, as the war made clear. Attacking him has simply inspired more terrorists.

  • All government is a vampire contrivancy that feeds off of families and their bugets and, additionally taxes the corporations of commerce.

    Just because persons can put together organisations does not mean that they have a right to impose anything on families, including imposing breeding modalities i.e. manogamy.

    For humans to be valuable to the evolution of consciousness they do need to know the dna agenda. That is THE GOVERMENT that builds a phenomenon we know as MIND.

    By not understanding the nature of intention and its short and long term consequence, we play a game we will lose.

    Google: intention relevance quotient

  • cheyenne

    What does anybody do when de-escalization is required? Certainly NOT starting illegal wars and propping up authoritarian despots!

    Look up anger management, apply it writ large, and you have your answer.

    The right wing believes in corporate personhood and profit uber alles. Therefore profits come before peace, sanity or social justice. The machinations of the right control pretty much all forms of general education (elementary curricula, radio, newsprint media, televised news) so practically nobody knows that corporations are also required to benefit the common good, or were originally limited to 40 years’ existence, and were NOT ‘persons’. (What a ridiculous idea!)