The Breakfast Table

Some Protests Are More Equal Than Others

Dear Mick–

I am utterly, utterly serious when I say that Buffy the Vampire Slayer and seriously felt and thought-through opposition to the death penalty existing as they do cheek by jowl in my life, I consider them to be perfectly compatible and cohesive elements of a unified world view. Or maybe not so unified, since, although I still don’t agree with you about Miramax, I see that I agree even less with myself, in that I don’t actually think that the political protests of Catholic, feminist, and gay-rights organizations regarding their portrayals by the mass media are really of comparable weight, seeing as only one of these special interests is allied with an extraordinarily wealthy institution with one of the most coherent and cooperative global network of outlets in history. I mean, of course, Disney. Kidding! I mean, of course, the Catholic Church. The New York Post reported yesterday (and even David Bowie could probably learn a thing or two about self-promotion from the Post, which today did a story on a Giuliani reference to yesterday’s story) that Arnold Lehman, the director of the Brooklyn Museum, has led the church into the sin of wrath before, when, as director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, he co-sponsored a series of films on religious extremism that included Hell’s Angel, a scathing critique of Mother Teresa written and narrated by Christopher Hitchens. As I recall, his writings on this subject are eminently rational. While in Baltimore, Lehman also did an exhibition involving Warner Bros. cartoons, which seemed to bug the Post writer, Rod Dreher, almost as much.

To prove my initial point about sociopolitical cheek-by-jowlness, I would like to conclude by saying that if I have to hear Lenny Kravitz sing “Fly Away” on that Nissan ad one more time, I am going to consider starting a personal little war, and like St. Augustine, I would consider it just.