Friday, April 30, 2004

Peggy Noonan, critic at large

Besides being an apologist for the worst the Republican party has to offer, and a fawning fan of Mel "some Jews did die in WWII" Gibson, Peggy Noonan apparently also writes theater reviews. You can read her trying to claim that Raisin in the Sun is pro-life here.

I honestly don't know whether "Raisin in the Sun" is supposed to be pro-life or pro-choice. I doubt it was really trying to be either, considering all the other things that play has on its mind. What the play does contain is a discussion by a character who is thinking about abortion. Audiences have their own agency, and are going to take away from an experience many different reactions. The fact that some audience members thought her getting an abortion was the right idea and a symbol of liberation doesn't make them monsters, nor does it mean that they don't get what an abortion means. It simply means an abortion means something different to them, Peggy, than it does to you.

Maybe you should think about, for a second, just for a second, why an urban audience would view abortion as a good thing. Maybe you should just think about what your party is trying to do to people of color, poor people, women in this country. Maybe instead of condemning a portion of the audience's view point, and accusing them of supporting murder, you should realize that only a minority of this country views a fetus as a life, and that minority was actually smaller when "Raisin" was written. And maybe you should remember that there is not a single quote you can furnish from the play to back up your interpretation of it, so maybe, just maybe, there's multiple ways a scene can be, well, seen.

When I read Peggy Noonan's article I thought for a second (just a second!) we'd be seeing something about how telling it is that "Raisin" is still relevant today. But she doesn't really think it is, or rather she only thinks its portrayal of difficult moral choices is still relevant. Apparently the Civil Rights movement was not only a complete success but is now over. After all, Bill Cosby was a doctor, and his wife a lawyer.

When will the Right offer up a credible public intellectual?

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