Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Actress "surprised" she was "misunderstood"

So, assume you're attacked in your own home. Going about your business like any other day and some nutjob sneaks into your house and attacks you and your family putting your spouse and your kid in the hospital. You find out later that the person who attacked you was ticked off at foreign import automotive makers and noted that you had a Toyota in your driveway. Coming to the conclusion that you are responsible for the penetration into the American consumer market of foreign cars, he decided to bust you and yours up. In discussing the situation with your neighbors, one of them turns to you and says that you were "responsible in some way" for the attack.

OK, pop quiz: do you conclude that your neighbor is of the impression that you did something to justify the attack on some level?

And how seriously do you take it when, after confronting your neighbor on his comment, he later says, "I was so surprised by the way it was misunderstood, and the disdain that came back at me was a real shock. I regret what I said, but I think my intentions were good."

This is the story of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal who said of the 9/11 attacks that America was "responsible in some way." After taking the considerable heat that any rational person would know was coming from such a comment, she's "surprised." Go figure. Enter yet another of the non-apology apologists who "regrets" that she was "misunderstood." News flash, honey: you weren't misunderstood. People understood you just fine, they just happen to think you're an idiot who's so completely wrong as to warrant a new line item under the dictionary definition of that word. Where is all this coming from that people say such cluelessly crass things and then, when people get upset at them, claim they've been misunderstood? It's not their fault, you see, and it can't possibly be that their point is so off the mark as to not even be close. It's that people just don't understand. Don't take my word for it:

::::::::Gyllenhaal told the newspaper that the backlash taught her "that neither the red carpet nor an interview about a movie is the right place to talk about my politics. I realize I have to be careful, because it's very easy to misunderstand a complicated thought in a complicated world."::::::::

Ah, well, that's much better. The reason why we in the public "misunderstood" was that it's a "complicated thought." The implication - clearly - being that anyone who doesn't agree with her is just too dense to get it. Incapable of grasping such a "complicated thought" living, as we do, in a "complicated world." Sorry to spoil the worldview for Ms. Gyllenhaal and anyone else who feels as she does, but I'm perfectly capable of grasping the thought being articulated here. I reject the notion that anything - anything - can justify the attacks against America on 9/11 and all the hand wringing in the world about "misunderstanding" won't make the concept any more acceptable. What makes this worse is the false apologizing. Does she really believe that these attacks were justified in some way? If she does - and she's said that she does - then state your reasons and stand fast. If it was worth saying at all, and she meant it, then don't insult me further by offering a regret over the matter especially if her regret is that I'm too dull to keep up. She just needs to be prepared for me to disagree strongly and dismiss her entirely if she's unable or unwilling to back up her comments.