The sort of cultural criticism you notch all the way to the top.

>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We here at Lawyers, Guns and Money are solidly in the Roman Polanski belongs in prison camp, but we are also rank pedants, and the following sentence is something up with which we shall not put:

When Franz Kafka wrote “The Metamorphosis” he may have had someone like Roman Polanski in mind.
Because Jeffrey Jena is a very serious thinker who "has been seen on Murder, She Wrote, Hunter, appeared in shows with Jenny McCarthy and Weird Al Yankovic and in several films including Raising the Dead with Allison Eastwood," we must consider the implications of this literary reference very seriously, as there is no chance he inserted it solely to make people think he reads important books.

Jena's complaint is that, much like Gregor Samsa in Kafka's novel, Roman Polanski rapes children—only Samsa did nothing of the sort. Let us try again: Jena's complaint is that, much like Gregor Samsa in Kafka's novel, Roman Polanski awoke one morning to find himself transformed into einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer, a monstrous vermin—only that would absolve Polanski of moral responsibility for his crimes, as he had no hand in his transformation and, more importantly, no one expects monstrous vermin to abide by human law. Jena's complaint must be that, like Gregor Samsa, Roman Polanski is not being treated by the Swiss courts in the manner their American counterparts treated John Wayne Gacy, who murdered thirty-three people—only that makes no sense at all. We are officially stumped. We have no clue what Jena hoped to accomplish by dropping that reference. Unless:
[Pierce] Brosnan went on to say that in order to work with Mr. Polanski, “You have to know your onions.” I am not really sure what that means but it tells us two things about Mr. Brosnan, he’s not great with metaphors and he may be a little dense. Brosnan is the poster boy for the term “limousine liberal.” He claims to have become an American citizen during what he terms “the atrocity of the Bush years” to help his family “endure the hypocrisy and stupidity of the man’s power.” His power is stupid? His power is filled with hypocrisy? How do you figure that?
Of course! Jena was priming the Pump of Irony. Had he not dropped in a completely random, utterly irrelevant reference in that first sentence, readers may have breezed over his criticism of Brosnan without realizing how ironic it is when someone with Jena's linguistic facility criticizes someone else for mouthing an infelicitous metaphor. We're not sure whether we should thank him or file this away with all the other examples of cultural conservatives whose knowledge of the culture they aim to conserve is as wide and deep as a playa lake.


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