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Friday, December 28, 2007

A Regrettable Photograph

posted by on December 28 at 10:05 AM

This one made it into the print edition…

Dan Savage, editorial director of The Stranger, is certain he WOULD regret inviting a group of Stranger staffers over to his house to bake matzo using human blood in place of water IF Mr. Savage had done any such thing. But IF Mr. Savage did invite several coworkers over to his house—including Jewish coworkers—to prepare blood matzo, Mr. Savage’s intentions were pure. If blood matzo was prepared in Mr. Savage’s kitchen on or near Passover in 2007, it was a misguided effort to disprove the “blood libel,” e.g. the claim that Jews prepare matzo, the unleavened bread consumed by Jews during Passover, with the blood of innocent Christians. If Mr. Savage and Brendan Kiley, performance editor of The Stranger, had their innocent Christian blood drawn in Mr. Savage’s kitchen by a licensed phlebotomist, and if their blood was mixed with kosher flour in a food processor, and if this mixture was then rolled out on sheets of wax paper, and then baked in Mr. Savage’s oven, and it was discovered that a fine, deep-purple matzo could be prepared with human blood, that would be very regrettable indeed. Successfully baking matzo with human blood wouldn’t prove, of course, that any Jews anywhere at any time in history had ever actually made matzo with human blood—save, of course, one hypothetical Jewish phlebotomist and one hypothetical Jewish cook—only that it was possible to make matzo using human blood. Which is very different. If any of this had happened, and if a videotape was made of it, and if blood matzo was still sitting on a shelf in Mr. Savage’s kitchen, and if a food processor and a cookie sheet and a rolling pin all had to be discarded after this happened, that would all be very, very regrettable. Luckily, however, none of this happened.

This picture did not…


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I want that poster.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 28, 2007 10:09 AM

I thought that chip I ate from your shelf was a blue tortilla chip , Dan. Ewwww.

Posted by Michigan Matt | December 28, 2007 10:22 AM

Best Example Of War Hawk Narcissim Yet: Christopher Hitchens' Brave And Heroic Iraq Confession
December 28, 2007 -- 12:24 PM EST // //
Okay, everyone, let's give a hearty round of applause to Christopher Hitchens for the long piece he's now published in Vanity Fair. War-supporter Hitchens did a very brave and heroic thing: He admitted that he feels really, really bad about the death of a soldier in Iraq -- and devoted an entire magazine article to his own feelings about it.

Now, most people go about their lives enduring their most painful burdens in private. Not Hitchens. He fearlessly went public with it in paragraph after paragraph, and even courageously admitted that his guilt places him in the same class of great writers like William Butler Yeats and George Orwell, who also confessed to such feelings. This must have been very, very difficult for Hitchens to admit indeed.

Really, we should immediately put Hitchens' essay into the time capsule as the most perfect expression that we've seen yet of the narcissism and extraordinary delusions of historical grandeur that our war hawks keep revealing themselves capable of.

Hitchens' piece is all about a young soldier named Mark Daily, who had initial misgivings on the war but was turned in favor of the war by Hitchens' writings and was subsequently killed in Iraq. Upon learning this, Hitchens confesses in his article, he felt dismayed, asking himself if it was "possible that I had helped persuade someone I had never met to place himself in the path of an I.E.D."

Hitchens then recounts in great detail the horrific emotional journey he then endured.

Hitch tells us he thought of Yeats, who "was chilled to discover that the Irish rebels of 1916 had gone to their deaths" quoting his work. Hitchens assures us modestly that he "abruptly" dismissed any comparison between himself and the great poet (though of course Hitchens went out of his way to explicitly float this comparison in his article). He tells us he had a similar thought about Orwell. And he assures us in the article that "I don't intend to make a parade of my own feelings here" -- before going on to do just this at great length. He even went to meet the family of the dead young man, and to his tremendous relief, they treated him well.

Now, a few points immediately present themselves. Why does Hitchens feel so much more angst-ridden about this young man than he apparently does about the other 3.899 Americans who died in Iraq? After all, the case he and other hawks made for the war is also indirectly responsible for lots of other deaths and injuries, too. The key difference here is that this one Hitchens' writings, creating a jumping off point for this narcissistic little Yeatsian fantasy and subsequent act of self-aggrandizing emotional exhibitionism in the pages of a glossy magazine.

I'm sure Hitchens does harbor some genuine emotions about this somewhere. But really, Hitch -- show some decency and keep them to yourself. You want to write long articles about the Iraq War dead or about how devastated the parents of the dead are? I'm all for it. But let's focus exclusively on them and how they feel, not on you. Writing about them, and only them, would be a genuine gesture towards these people. Neither they nor the rest of us really give a crap about your heroic self-cleansing efforts or about where you think they place you in the pantheon of immortal writers.

Oh, and here's the perfect coda to all this: Hitchens' courage and heroism was lauded today by -- who else -- David Brooks, another war-supporter obsessed with the intellectual bravery of his rarefied war hawk class. It's a nice little club they have going there. It works for them.

Posted by Greg Sargent | December 28, 2007 10:23 AM

BTW, I can't post a link, but today's Rocky Mountain News reports that one James Brown, "music minister" of Heritage Christian Center in Arapahoe County, Colorado, was arrested Tuesday for "sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust" and several other charges.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 28, 2007 10:29 AM

wtf was the matzo letter all about?

Posted by is this real? | December 28, 2007 10:29 AM

Fun in theory, nasty in practice. I was surprisingly grossed out by that picture.

I do, however, want one of those handy-dandy "F*ck the sh*t out of someone!" posters you have there in the background. Perhaps I'll go poster shopping now that my lunch plans are - uh - postponed.

Posted by greendyke | December 28, 2007 10:32 AM

What does this have to do with Benazir Bhutto or the Carnation dairy cow murders?

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 28, 2007 10:36 AM

Oh Dan, don't you just LOVE that Protocols of the Elders of Zion cookbook? So much more adventurous than that Bellevue Junior League crap.

Try the Star of David pork and cheese sandwich -- it's a Revelation!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | December 28, 2007 10:38 AM

I hear San Francisco has about 350 pounds of tiger meat they don't know what to do with....

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 28, 2007 10:43 AM

I think it's funny how people who eat kosher are insistent about how certain foods can't touch or be on the same plate. It's OCD at its finest.

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 28, 2007 10:48 AM

@10: No, it's an early sanitary meat-handling practice. Get it right.

Posted by Greg | December 28, 2007 11:03 AM

I regret looking at that picture before lunch.

Posted by Barf | December 28, 2007 11:09 AM

The most troubling part of this for me is the inference that some "innocent Christian blood" was to be found in Dan Savage's kitchen. It would be news to a lot of us - especially Mr. Savage - that his blood was either Christian or innocent.

Posted by parsonbrown | December 28, 2007 11:20 AM

@9 - no, sorry, that was why I flew thru SFO on my way back. I needed it for this recipe I've been making for tiger taquitos.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 28, 2007 11:53 AM

Number 13 beat me to it. No self-respecting Jew is gonna look around Savage's place for "innocent Christian blood."

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 28, 2007 12:28 PM

Innocent Christian santorum, perhaps?

Posted by Fnarf | December 28, 2007 1:49 PM

a freakin' Terra Chip... (MY matzos never looked like That). The perfect dip? That'd be the sauce I made with the bottle of beer fermented with vaginal yeast... mmmm... chow ^..^

ps Aren't they selling the tiger parts online? god- they're worth a Fortune! ^..^

Posted by herbert browne | December 28, 2007 3:58 PM

This reminds me of the Slog post about that woman who did art with blood. Remember she had a blood scarf and some other things? That was nasty and so is this.

Tiger references? Uhm, did anyone read Jonah's post about feeling bad about joking about the woman's death? Come on.

Posted by Papayas | December 28, 2007 6:22 PM

So what's the full text of the College Republicans poster in the background?

Posted by RainMan | December 28, 2007 9:16 PM

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