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venting at lilli and more

[This is the third in a series on this subject. See, here and here].


'When I think that you will never see my home entertainment system: with a screen as wide as the Lake Superior', said the brown haired guy in Kenneth Cole. - 'Too bad... but don't give up now, the firemen will be here in just a few minutes', said the blond girl wearing Ralph Lauren.
- 'Saint George Soros, pray for us!', said the brown haired guy in Kenneth Cole.
- 'Oh Ted Turner, please save us!' said the blond girl wearing Ralph Lauren.

----Excerpt from Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World

It should be noted that the closer it gets to September 11, 2003, the more I will write about September 11, 2001. If this is something that bothers you - and judging from some email I get I would assume there's a good number of people out there who are bothered by this - I suggest you just look the other way for a while. There are other things I would suggest to some folks inparticular, but I'm trying to keep my anger down to a smoldering flame today.


Let's go over a few important points here. First, I am not suggesting in any way that Beigbeder's book be banned. In fact, I don't recall writing anything even resembling that thought. Unfortunately, some people, when reading things that they don't agree with, tend to see what they want to see, not what is really there. While their hackles are raised and their sharpened claws are out just waiting to pounce on my words, their anger and indignation have already combined to form a response and they either read no further or read phantom words designed to let their rant carry some weight. So while some people read my rant and saw someone who was a little pissed and very much upset, others read it and saw the words "Ban this book! Kill this person!"

Yes, a few people said in the comments that they wish for Beigbeder to meet an unfortunate end. However, no one said that they were going to march over to France and do the deed themselves. No one formed a posse, gathered weapons and made plans to snuff out Beigbeder for being a smarmy bastard.

Now, for Miss Lilli Marleen, who was so insulted at my disparaging of the French and the book, she wrote a nice long screed about it entitled, We are a tad self centred, right now.

We are a tad self centered right now.

Lilli writes:

Frederic Beigbeder has written a book about 9/11 Windows of the World which is not about the great nation being attacked by nasty dirty terrorist

Stop right there. Warning bells. I know that English is not Lilli's first language (she is German) but she seems to do a pretty good job of conveying disdain and a sharp tongue in that sentence.

...about some people who have wild and furious sex while the towers - where they are in - are burning and coming down. Okay, so let's take a deep breath and try to have the brain work and not just the patriotic-departement right from the brain, just right next to the ear.

This has nothing to do with patriotism. It has to do with human lives. Not everyone in that restaurant was American, you know. I don't care what their nationalities were, whether they were citizens or carrying green cards or voted for Nader. They were human beings, with real names and real lives and now they are being made into fictional whores.

All of these so called patriots who scream up now and want to see him dead - have you ever spent a second and thought that other nations or ethnic groups have gone through far worse stuff and you.

Oh here we go again. The self-centered Americans think they own the patent on tragedy, yadda yadda. Yes, Lilli, I realize that. But this is not the time or the place for that argument. I don't recall any books written by Americans where the suffering of a nations was turned into slash fiction.

the US of A has not just made sex films but cheapest TV comedies of it? How about the silly comedies about Vietnam and Nazis? And even worse - the whole "Western" - John Wayne and Cowboy Comedy genre makes fun of so many killed native americans, and the USA has made and written uncountable stuff about it. What do you think, how have people in India or China felt when they saw one of those Hollywood thingies about big flood and how bad boy and good girl find each other? Do you know that in the last years just there were several thousands of people dying from floods and stuff like that?

Have you been able to think even for a second about this? If so - please point me out where the difference is, if not that it's this time on your doorstep with your neighbours and friends and not with others.

I'll let Faith handle this one:

9/11 happened not two years ago. Westerns were made over 100 years after what she's talking about. F-Troop made the US military look dumber than dirt and protrayed the indians as playing them any chance they could. Hogan's Heros -- not a bunch of people having sex while Jews were slaughtered in Auschwitz -- American POWs playing the Nazi's in order to defeat them. And again, at least 20 years after the fact (I'm not doing any research to respond to this twit). M*A*S*H* -- same deal. And NONE of this portray the victims of the war or tragedy or whatever as engaging in tawdry activity in the face of their impending deaths. There's no Auchswitz sex stories. I mean, think about how sick that sounds. Indians doin the nasty while John Wayne's burning down their teepees? Nope, don't think so.

Back to Lilli:

No sensible person in the western culture has been or is happy about what happened at 9/11. But either can no sensible person think to have an exclusive right on suffering and bemoaning victims. But that's what so many of this oh so "right" folks in the US do. You do remember that also french people dies there? If it weren't so boring and predictable, it would piss me off.

Where did we ever say we have an exclusive right on suffering? Does the fact that so many people die in floods, fires, earthquakes and war around the world make my suffering any less? No. Does the fact that there are people dying of malnutrition and horrible diseases mean I shouldn't write about my own pain? No. Does the fact that people drown in ferry accidents and blizzards and plane crashes mean that I can't bemoan the victims of 9/11? No.

What is it with people who would like to deny others the right to piss and moan about 9/11 just because there are people starving in Africa? The world's plights to belong to all of us. Some of them, however, belong to us in a deeper, more profound way.

We are not self-centered for being appalled when someone takes that personal plight and turns into something grotesque and crass. I don't think Lilli and others like her quite understand what is going on here, in regards to Beigbeder's book.

I repeat again what Merde wrote to me about the book: The porno segment, with all possible hardcore references, starts afterwards with the blond girl wearing Ralph Lauren telling the brown haired guy in Kenneth Cole that she has had, especially for him, a laser epilation of her pubic hairs.

Do you not understand that this is about real people? We know the names of the people who were in that room. We know about their lives. It's all right here. Go ahead, click on that page. Scroll down the long, long list. Click on this link. That's Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista. He was a 24 year old New Yorker, from Peruvia. He died in Windows on the World.

This is Stephen Adams. He was the beverage manager at Windows on the World. He was 51.

This is Manuel Asiimbay. He was a 36 year old cook in the restaurant.

Do you see what I'm getting at, Lilli and those who agree with her? Do you realize that Beigbeder is turning a very real tragedy into a farce - one which will make him a whole lot of money?

The tone Beigbeder takes with this book, judging from the excerpt, is one that cares not for the real victims, the real events of that day. What kind of soul does a man have that could write such horrible things, especially while the event still lays fresh in our minds. It's not even two years yet and this ogre is satirizing the death of innocent people.

I am disgusted with him, disgusted with the French for the fact that this book will be a best-seller, disgusted with people who tell me to get over 9/11 already, and disgusted with people who think I am self-centered for still being in mourning.

[For further ruminations on this, please see Andrea and Merde (who writes of yet another Beigbeder anti-American novel)].

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» No words from Sheila Astray's Redheaded Ramblings
This is beyond infuriating. It's an outrage. Came across the bunch of newspapers and magazines I had saved in the wake of 9/11 during my packing frenzy this weekend. It was odd. Time-travelers. And in one of the magazines there... [Read More]

» Mockery and zombies from Inoperable Terran
Here's more on the French 9/11 novel. The comments are awesome and not to be missed.... [Read More]

» Go Read from Sketches of Strain
The comments on this post at Michele's. D... [Read More]

» Michele On The Warpath from Wizbang
Few things warm my heart as much as a pissed off Michele. When the target is a pond scum French author attempting to turn 9/11 into a soft core porn book and anti-capitalist screed, well that means it's time to... [Read More]

» Why Can't People Just Feel Anymore? from oxymoronic.org
I've started and stopped this post at least 10 times today. I don't seem to have the ability to coherently... [Read More]

Comments

"Let me tell you about my new book," said the dark-haired writer in black pants, black shirt, black shoes, and black beret which smelled more than a little of brown cigarette smoke. "I capitalize on the deaths of thousands by reducing them to grasping, shallow stereotypes. Then I wait for barrels of Euros to roll in."

"Hmm, interesting," replied the blonde man in baggy shorts, Metallica t-shirt, and black beret. "But will it really have an audience? I mean, using all those people so crudely..."

"Of course people will buy it!" Exclaimed the writer, as he set down his tiny coffee cup on the table, next to the carved graffiti that read "Hans was here, June, 1942." Leaning closer to his companion, he intoned, "After all, this is Europe."

"You go get 'em," said Hondo as he drank his venti traditional from Starbucks while avoiding dripping the coffee on his slightly too tight Dockers.

At that point, a slender young man in black jeans and a red Che Guevara T-shirt ran up to the table of the black-clad writer and his companion. "Bonjour, mon ami," the writer said. "What is the excitement this morning?"

"Oh, it's just divine"

"Ah, magnifique!" replied the Dark Author, getting up to kiss our little revolutionary on both cheeks. "What installation is this?" asked the blond man.

"I call it 'America 2003' " said the artist, with justifiable pride; he handed the blond a photo.

"Um..." the blond man stalled, "this looks like, uh, looks like, well, a pile of dog shit."

"Dog shit!" cried the Man of the People, wounded to the very soul. "Non! Non! It is my shit, my own personal shit, the labor of my love and my bowels. I ate nothing but McDonald's for a week to achieve just this perfect texture and color! By this I say that we, we all, are treated like shit by America. This is what we have become under her baleful influence. She has eaten up the world, and what she does not need she has excreted, and that is us! Do you not see?"

To be continued...

[I meant to write last night that I think the best way to deal with these things is not with outrage. Beigbeder is no doubt counting on outrage. That's the emotion he wants to inspire. No, better to respond with mockery. Now I want to see zombies.]

You are zo richtig," gushed the self-important blonde woman in the overly tight red dress with a cigarette holder waving insouciantly from her left hand. "Ze Amerikaners, zey tink ve Europeans are zuch snooty zelf-important nincompoopernische, ja? Und ze joke iss on zem, for zey are zuch gooz-shteppink jingoistische Amerika über alles dinkelgruppers, zat zey don't even realice how shtupid zey are!" And she threw her head back and laughed self-importantly. "Ha ha!" she laughed.

"Mais oui," agreed the dark-haired writer in black pants, black shirt, black shoes, and black beret which smelled more than a little of brown cigarette smoke. "It ees so gratifying to talk about what imbeciles zee Americains are, non?"

I wish sometimes that Euros like Lilli Marleen would just STFU. I don't often swear, but please, STFU. As we say in my community, stay out of grown folks' business. That childish crap about how Americans have no right to grieve, how we have no right to care about our dead because of someone else's dead is just too stupid for words.

So, Lilli Marleen is German? She actually has the audacity to use the dead of other nations as a pathetic cudgel against Americans and our respect and our grief for our tragedies? When is the last time Germany went to any length over someone's suffering? Decent common courtesy is, if your country never liberated other nations, STFU about them, you don't try to use the dead of those nations as a weapon against Americans. You save that nonsense for your countrymen, or your buddies the French. Don't dare say that we shouldn't mourn our dead because of other's sufferings---especially not when you are the citizen of a counry that doesn't lift a finger to help relieve other nations' sufferings. You know good and well, for example, that Iraqis have no reason to think warm thoughts about the German government and the German people who allowed that government to try so hard to keep the staff rapists in the raping business. No Liberians are asking for Germans to help them, now are they, Lilli Marleen? They know your country couldn't care less. So again, you can shut up now about those non-American dead.

Common decency. Maybe that is too much to ask of Lilli Marleen and her kind. Note, to those of you who can't read right: I am specifically condeming Lilli Marleen and her kind. And Lilli Marleen, to you specifically, don't waste your time complaining about anyone, let alone me, judging you and other Germans---you have no stones to throw here. You and your kind want to treat Americans like this, you can keep your mouth shut when it's brought back to you.

Sorry, but a pet peeve of mine has been triggered.

What "silly comedies" have their been about Vietnam? I must've missed them.

Before you say M*A*S*H, that took place in Korea. In the very last episode, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", Vietnam is mentioned, but Klinger responds, "Vietnam? Where's that?"

I had much to say to Lilli. There is no need. JC's last comment hit it on the head.
Lilli, my dear, simmer down. You've lost your way.

Well said, JC. I agree with you 100%, although I probably couldn't have said it as well as you.

The excerpt made me violently ill. And to know that the author had specific visages in mind when he created this drama, well, I am too stunned to even continue this comment.

Oooo-ooo-ooo! Major useless trivia coup!

The Six O'Clock Follies was a silly comedy set in 1967 VietNam. It aired in 1980, had like three episodes (if that many) before they canned it and actually had people you've heard of in the cast, such as Phil Hartman and Laurence Fishburne.

I wish you would keep writing about September 11. It's too important. We dare not forget; it would be as if it never happened.

I don't have time for a well-thought out comment just at the moment, so I'm just going to say that I think that book and the defense of it are absolutely disgusting. How anyone can turn that into p0rn is beyond me. That is just beyond words it's so vile.

Frédéric Beigbeder isn't even worth your bandwidth, Michelle.

He isn't an artist or an author with anything relevant to say. He's a very petty, immature person who enjoys being obnoxious. The excerpt makes this obvious. Windows of the World is poorly worded garbage written only to provoke a visceral gut reaction. It's "shock" literature, if you even want to call it literature.

Beigbeder is nothing more than a literary troll, and deserves nothing but mockery and pity.

I guess _Good_Morning_Vietnam counts as a silly comedy, maybe.

Damn, traveling on business to California today, and I log in at the hotel and see some people have picked up le ball and run with it. Bon! ahem

"Ah, that was good," sighed the writer, who belched while scratching his belly.
"Yes," agreed the blonde, "although I shouldn't have had that second cracker. What a glutton I am."
"Shall we go?" asked the Che fan, patting his pockets, pretending he forgot his wallet.
The man in the baggy shorts, eyeing a couple nearby, noting their "I (heart) NY" shirts, said quietly,
"Why don't we slip away, telling the waiter they'll pay our tab?"
All heads swiveled to the tourist couple, then the writer turned back to his companions with a broad grin.
"He gets it! Let the Americans pay!"

The sneering French, those cheese-eating surrender monkeys, those garlic-munching soap-dodgers, you can't argue with them, you can only mock them for their cowardice and poor hygiene:

Q: Why are French roads lined with trees?

A: So their conquerors can march to Paris in the shade.

--

FOR SALE: French Army rifles, never fired, only dropped once.

--

"'I'm shaking like a French soldier!" -- Lenny, 'the Simpsons'.

--

"I'm as dirty as a Frenchman." --- Homer, 'the Simpsons'.

Q: How many Frenchman does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

1:One. He holds the bulb and the world revolves around him.

2):All of them. One to screw in the bulb, the rest to stand around bragging about how great Frenchmen are at screwing.

3):None. If you're counting on the French to get the job done, it's screwed anyway.

it does not matter where one lives or who one is, when someone dies a horrific death courtesy of terrorists, then grieving is the order of the day for the country in which it happens AND for those who honor life and for those who stand with that country.

i find it incomprehensible that several of the countries who presumably stood with us during 9/11 and shortly thereafter, failed completely and utterly to understand fully what war on terrorism means. it does not mean we are going to mouth pretty, pious words about action; we are the united states and we can only put up so long before we stand up and put a stop to harm.

and enough is enough. seems to me that europe is happiest when we're down. and yet, when the soviet union was going strong, where did most countries in europe want us???? pray tell, berlin and germany so the soviets wouldn't continue rolling west. seems hypocritical to me that if freedom is good enough for europe that it's not good enough for iraqis.

and oh yes.... a reaction to that book.... anger is frequently a good thing when it prompts us to action. if the author intended to earn a few dollars off the blood and lives of our victim, i don't think we should indulge the twit by buying the book.

vote with our feet after using our brains.

I am astonished by your hysterical reactions, your racism and your ignorance.
How can you talk about a book you have not even read ?
Well, I've read this Beigbeder's book. He does not insult the victims, he does not attack the United States. On the contrary, he shows a lot of compassion when he describes the sad fate (and the courage) of a family stuck in the building.
And he shows lots of wit when he analyses the political, philosophical and humain consequences of this tragedy.
And he apologizes for the anti-american sentences of his previous book.
All your talk about his book, "Windows of the World" worth nothing: you have not read it. Would you talk about a song you have never heard?

About all the anti-french insults:
We, french people, have never heard so much hateful propaganda since Hitler. It hurts to see that in the country of freedom, people still think like in middle-age.
You may call me a french wimp, but I won't say these kind of jokes about the united states.
I have visited your country many times. I've seen a great civilization. I've met wonderful, welcoming people.
Are they the same people that are spreading these insulting jokes today? Just because our presidents disagree...

PS: Saddam Hussein did not have any mass destruction weapons. The proofs were false. You were allowed to do war (Saddam Hussein was an ugly dictator, he had oil, you were the strongest, so you did not need much reasons for attacking him). But your president lied.
Sorry folks, you've all been fooled.

For the person who wrote "I don't recall any books written by Americans where the suffering of a nations was turned into slash fiction."
Well, Bret Easton Ellis "Glamorama" shows bombings and attentat taking place in Paris.
The were all directly inspired by islamic bombings which happened in France during the year 1996.
In France, no one complained.
I've read that Bret Easton Ellis was one of the most famous american writer.
You should know better your own litterature.