Friday, August 26, 2011

Let's Help Lourdes Garcia-Navarro Understand Things

I turned on NPR during a long drive home from a ballgame yesterday and found myself listening carefully to the news from Libya. I tend to listen carefully to NPR, because only through any strain on the user's end of the exchange can one divine actual information from the verbal miasma of "both sides of this confusing and open-ended story are equally valid!"

NPR dutifully reminds you that it just can't make the call on the events of the day; it would be unseemly. The verb "seem" triumphantly stomps action and causality into speculation. Immediately thereafter, great wet beltway farts gurgle out to explain the two ways to look at all this uncertainty, with the Brookings Institute "on the left" and the Cato institute "on the right" handwaving away any crazy notions not their own. Sometimes EJ Dionne says something, that poor doomed bastard.

It was during this close reading that I heard what can only be described as a "Look at That Wacky Gaddafi!" update from Lourdes Garcia-Navarro's "News of the Weird" dispatches from the front. The entire tone of the piece pointed up what a nutty family those Gaddafis have, despite the fact that it takes all the education available from a PC game about World War II to understand why. From All Things Considered yesterday:

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We are now getting glimpses into the Gadhafi family's secret lives, and it seems the whole family had an obsession with being underground.
Hmm, ah, yes, it "seems" that the family of a leader who came to power via coup, who antagonize the bomb-heaving Israelis and Americans, who jeer at fellow Arabs and who have always feared internal insurgency have an interest in being someplace where it's harder to die. This is like saying the Inuit have an "obsession" with fur. The NYPD has a deranged fixation on Kevlar. Prostitutes have a hang-up about condoms.

A list of other leaders with obsessions with being underground:
Dick Cheney
It might "seem" worth pointing out here that the United States targeted and killed Saddam Hussein's family within the last decade, but whether those events had any impact on these circumstances can't be determined unless we throw the questions open to a lady who might happen to be standing nearby or something.

This is so bizarre. One of the strangest features of Moatessem Gadhafi's house, I'm walking through it right now, is a fully-equipped hospital buried underneath the garden. The entrance is hidden by bushes, and the doors are all thick steel plates that can withstand attacks.
You've gotta love the total non-informational value of that last sentence. My skin can withstand attacks. The door to my guest bathroom can withstand attacks. Neither can repel mortar or RPG attacks, but there are still numerous attacks to which they will remain impervious. Like: attacks by ghosts; rubber-band guns; Rick Moranis' kids in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Attack of the Clones; Rush 'n' Attack and Massive Attack. (Brah, they're overrated. Not a five-tool threat like Sublime.) Although you have to give credit for crafting the sentence in such a way as to indicate that the steel doors serve a purpose without actually being on the hook for any specifics about that purpose whatsoever.

Still, seriously, this Gaddafi guy is waaaaaay out there. Why would you build an underground fortification against attack and then include some means of repairing people possibly wounded in the defense against said attack? Who would fucking do that? I have no idea. BRB, I'ma go watch another Youtube video of that movie about that Hitler guy living with dozens of generals, friends, aides and their family underground and complaining about Justin Bieber, losing his ESPN Fantasy Baseball league, the discontinuing of Surge/Mountain Dew Code Red/Crystal Pepsi, or the ending of LOST.

(To neighborhood doctor Asraf al-Jaderi) Why do you think they had this fixation with burying things underneath the ground?
I don't know, Lourdes. It can't be because the United States did this shit to Libya in 1986, or dropped over 88,000 tons of bombs on Iraq in 1991 or did all this to it by March, 2003, or keeps treating Afghanistan like a combination video game and family trip to the remote-control airfield — or the fact that NATO is currently dropping tens of thousands of tons of the world's most advanced laser-guided bombs on Libya in an eminently foreseeable campaign. No goddamn clue, Lourdes.

Let's go down to the market and ask one of the locals. Maybe they'll have fresh dates.