You couldn’t make it up. I mean, really, you couldn’t make it up. The way various actors, media figures and fellow travellers have rallied around Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, often motivated by support for abortion and homosexuality. Ted Turner was there, of course. And he is typical of the breed.
Remember Ted? In 1990 the founder of CNN and vice-chairman of Time-Warner, said Christianity was “for losers.” Two years ago he made a racial joke about the Pope.
Addressing a meeting of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Centre in Washington, Turner was asked what he would say if he met the pontiff. In reply he commented, “Ever seen a Polish mine detector?” Then he held out his foot and showed it to the audience. In other words, all Poles are stupid.
Poland has produced Chopin, Joseph Conrad, Copernicus and some of the greatest minds in history. It has suffered brutal invasion and domination by Russia and Germany, been wiped off the face of the map and still blossomed as a vibrant and fertile nation. The United States has known little but privilege and has given us Madonna, Norman Mailer and the Big Mac.
All this aside, what would have happened if Turner had made such a joke about Jewish or black people, or homosexuals? The question is rhetorical; the answer is obvious.
But Turner did not have to resign. He made some sort of apology and that was that. Not quite. He also suggested the ban on adultery should be removed from the Ten Commandments, that the world is grossly overpopulated and that there should be a one-child-only policy in force.
On the adultery issue, Turner might just ask himself what the encouragement of the betrayal of a spouse has to do with responsible parenting.
He might also question his research. Because the world is not overpopulated. Repeat, the world is not overpopulated. In Europe and North America we are not even reproducing ourselves numerically and in the developing world families are often quite small – but food is scare and money is like water in the desert.
Where, then, does the money go? Let’s say hello again to Ted Turner and his good old buddies. These lifestyle liberals seem unaware the West is so greedy, so over-fed, so exploitative and so consumer-obsessed that the Third World suffers as a direct consequence.
What Turner is in fact saying is that if you are black or brown you shouldn’t have children. For such a statement he is described by his friends as a visionary.
Yet by a slight adjustment of the world’s resources we could feed the hungry and, in so doing, silence the nasty shouts of the likes of Ted Turner. That, however, would take a small sacrifice. So much easier to tell the poor to do what they’re told.
If Turner wants a few cases of North American indulgence I can help him out. Just by chance I recently saw a catalogue by the Dundurn Group of publishers. It devotes a full page to a new book entitled Fits Like A Rubber Dress.
“At 29, three things occur to Indigo Blackwell: she hates her job in public relations, her life is decidedly unremarkable, and death is inevitable.
“Indigo is married to Sam, a self-absorbed wannabe novelist, who nonetheless supports her decision to forfeit her career in favour of film school. No sooner has she made the leap from financial security than she walks in the back door of her house to find …” (I won’t quote it here, but she finds her husband in a perverse, compromising position.)
“Alone for the first time, Indigo finds herself propelled into the kind of intense, urban life she’d always wanted. She begins an affair with Jon, a toxic young artist who treats his own life and the people in it like he would a sculpture – as things to manipulate. Through him she experiences the underground world of drugs, fetish parties and sadomasochistic sex.”
The blurb is accompanied by a photograph of a woman in an erotic outfit lying on her back. Oh, and by a nearby statement acknowledging the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage. In other words, by you and by your tax dollars.
Look, if you want to write a stream of embarrassing cliches, if you want to indulge your sexual and personal fantasies, if you want to produce a novel based on strikingly unoriginal banalities, fine. But do it with your own cash.
Or ask Ted Turner for a loan. And if he’s unwilling, give Hillary Clinton a call in Washington D.C.