Michelle Malkin is all orgasmic over Oriana Fallaci, "This lioness has taught me much. Opened my eyes." Where, she opines, are the feminists? the free speech champions?
Fallaci has been charged in Italy for defaming Islam under an anti-hate criminal code. It is a ridiculous charge, on par with Fallaci's ridiculous rantings on the topic of Muslim immigration to Europe. Her opinions, intolerant and specious as they are, are not criminal and she has a right to voice them, much like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin have a right to foist their narrow-minded, intolerant opinions on the world.
Fallaci is a fascinating study as this article in a recent New Yorker makes clear. However, her current obsession with radical Islam brings to mind a recent blog by BlueGal, in which BG raises the question of political narcissism, to wit, we love to hate that which we most resemble.
It strikes me that the rise in religious fundamentalism, whether Christian or Islamic, is a fear-based reaction to cultural change. Muslims fear the influence of western culture on their societies, and Christians in the west fear the loss of their political and cultural power as their world becomes pluralistic.
Oriana Fallaci, courageous and intelligent as her early journalistic work proved her to be, is sadly, not immune to the conservatism of age. The fear of change.
In the New Yorker interview, Fallaci tells the story of interviewing Federico Fellini, the great director whom she greatly admired, and how her opinion of him changed dramatically afterwards.
To be exact, I'm no longer fond of him. That is, I don't like him at all. Glory is a heavy burden, a murdering poison, and to bear it is an art. And to have that art is rare.
Ms. Fallaci might have written those words with some prescience for her own state of being as she nears the age of seventy-seven. Certainly, throughout the decades of the sixties and seventies, the glory was hers. Now, unfortunately, the "murdering poison" is narcissism.
Michelle Malkin never says exactly what it is that she has learned from Ms. Fallaci. One can only hope the lesson is how not to turn into a crank.