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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Highly strung

This week's award for biting the hand that fed her was to go to Michelle Obama. Or so I thought until today, when I read the facile moral equivalence coming from Martina Navratilova. From The Times:

Martina Navratilova, the former world number one tennis star, said yesterday that she had regained her Czech nationality more than 30 years after fleeing its communist rule to live in the US.

The 51-year-old, who won the Wimbledon singles title a record nine times, said she was maintaining dual nationality and keeping her American passport. But her announcement, at a Tokyo press conference, raised questions over whether she planned to leave the US after a series of controversial attacks on President Bush and the Republican Party.

Born in Prague, Navratilova defected to the United States in 1975 aged 18, angering communist authorities who stripped her of her nationality. She was granted a green card within a month and US citizenship six years later. She became known for her unstinting opposition to communism. Navratilova said last year that while she was once ashamed about Czechoslovakia, she was now ashamed of the United States under Mr Bush. “The thing is that we elected Bush. That is worse. Against that, nobody chose a communist government in Czechoslovakia,” she told the Czech daily Lidove Noviny.

In 2002 she told a German newspaper: “The most absurd part of my escape from the unjust system is that I have exchanged one system that suppresses free opinion for another. The Republicans in the US manipulate public opinion and sweep controversial issues under the table. It’s depressing. Decisions in America are based solely on the question of how much money will come out of it and not on the questions of how much health, morals or environment suffer as a result.” She was confronted with her comments in July 2002 by Connie Chung, then a CNN talk show host, who told the tennis star that when she read them, “I wanted to say, go back to Czechoslovakia. You know, if you don’t like it here, this is a country that gave you so much, gave you the freedom to do what you want”.

Quite.

Posted on 03/12/2008 9:13 AM by Mary Jackson
Comments
12 Mar 2008
Send an emailgreenmamba
Highly strung

Yes she should be  (Basil Fawlty)

I wonder what the deuce is the matter with her.

12 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson
You read my mind.

12 Mar 2008
Oliver P Camford

Really, Mary, where do you get off. Martina has every right to complain. Yes, yes, I know that we gay folk are better off in the West than anywhere else but if you think that life is easy for us then just walk a mile in my shoes - or her's. Just experience the petty, everyday aggravations and stupidities which people, just like you, throw at us - the insults, the denial of services (despite what the law says), the constant carping lying criticisms of the Islamics and the Christians, the deliberate and highly damaging conflation of homosexuality with paedophilia. Each and every day a thousand pin-pricks by all you straights which eventually wears you down and destroys some of us.

It takes a strong person like Martina to say 'F**k you' and state her own beliefs and do her own thing. If you were half the woman she is then you wouldn't be carping about her position here you'd be supporting her. Quite frankly, her position ("Decisions in America are based solely on the question of how much money will come out of it and not on the questions of how much health, morals or environment suffer as a result") seems to be fairly accurate, not just in the USA but in the UK and the EU also.

Isn't this precisely why we are in so much trouble with Islam - because we put money ahead of our own cultural and democratic ideals and wellbeing. I really don't understand why you are criticing her. I think that you have completely failled to understand what she actually said - and as for siding with Connie Chung, well, enough said for that destroys any credibility that you may have thought you had!

Oliver



13 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

Just experience the petty, everyday aggravations and stupidities which people, just like you, throw at us - the insults,

Like what? I don't have a problem with gays, and that is not the point of my post. My point is that Martina Navratilova came to the US when it suited her, took full advantage of all its freedoms when it suited her, made a lot of money, when it suited her, and now, when it suits her she insults the country that has given her so much.

I'm not American, but if I were, I'd tell her to go f*ck herself, and mind the door doesn't hit her "bony ass" on the way out.



13 Mar 2008
Oliver P Camford

"Insults the country that gave her so much" or tells the truth? It seems to me that yours is a thinly disguised and perhaps ever so slightly homophobic and racist  position - do, please, correct me if I'm wrong. Well, of course you will. You have to, don't you?

We do not exist to serve countries - democracy and freedom 101 - countries exist to serve us. You don't have a problem with gays? Well, yes, you obviously do and it comes through crystal clear - a great paean of superiority - in your post.

Let me re-state what Ms. Navratilova argued: "Decisions in America are based solely on the question of how much money will come out of it and not on the questions of how much health, morals or environment suffer as a result"; and what I said: "...seems to be fairly accurate, not just in the USA but in the UK and the EU also. Isn't this precisely why we are in so much trouble with Islam - because we put money ahead of our own cultural and democratic ideals and wellbeing."

It would, just once, be nice if you could reply to the substantive points as opposed to the fantastical contructs of your own mind - oh, and whilst you're at it drop the slightly desperate air of superiority which pervades, in my opinion, all of your posts and answers. Such faux superiority is tiresome and makes you boring and predictable - much as I am, I'll grant you - but you are the poster and I am merely the pin-prick little reader and this little reader is becoming bored and turned-off by your arrogance.

Oh! suddenly I see it. You're jealous of Ms. Navritlova, aren't you. She's achieved what you can't. Prowess in her field, fame, money and a voice. Really, Mary, that's not worthy of you! You have  voice here - just don't carp so much then more of us will listen.

Oliver.



13 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

If you don't like my posts, don't read them. Most readers do.

Nobody asked you to read this site or to comment. Your comments will not be missed if you take them elsewhere.



14 Mar 2008
Oliver P Camford

But I do like your posts, I just don't like your replies to my comments upon them. You're too dismissive and you don't address the argument - you just seem to me, probably erroneously, to just stamp your feet and throw a paddy if I challenge you. I'm looking for reason and justification and all I get from you is tantrum and told to f**k off.

Your posts are good and apposite - don't give up - but your replies to my comments don't do you any service. I take issue with much of what you obviously believe - witness our differences over Ms. Navratilova - but that doesn't mean that I don't value you and your posts: grief, quite the opposite. One can only get annoyed by people when they express opinions which you believe matter and are important. If I thought that you were some silly and malformed teenager , or similar, then I couldn't possibly get hot under the collar and comment on your posts.

It is precisely because you annoy and provoke me that I feel I must comment. I want you to be robust and comment back (where appropriate and when you have time). I read you first and Esme second when I come to this site precisely because you annoy the hell out of me and Esme often makes me feel that I live in a sane world.

You are quite correct, nobody asked me to read at this site or to comment, but you put yourself out here and you must expect to be challenged by commenters like me. If I've gone too far and gratuitously insulted you then I apologise unreservedly - but if, perchance, my harsh remarks have struck home then I am sorry for the harshness but not for the reality check.

I disagree with you often. When I comment upon your posts and challenge you I want you to argue back and convince me of the rightness of your position and arguments. You may fail to do so - perhaps I might convince you of the validity of my viewpoint. Unlikely, I feel, but who knows! But I don't expect to be simply told to f**k off ("Your comments will not be missed if you take them elsewhere"). That's just school playground stuff and not worthy of you, and you know it, I'm sure.

What I want, and what most people who read the comments here want, is a good, sound and robust defense of your original post when I challenge your interpretation of it - or, of course, agreement with me that you were wrong in your original interpretation!

I challenged your interpretation of Ms.Navratilova's words. Prove me wrong or admit that I am correct - but don't just tell me to get lost because I dared to challenge you. That's not debate and discussion - that's dictatorship and absolutism.

Oliver



14 Mar 2008
Oliver

"If you don't like my posts, don't read them...Nobody asked you to read this site or to comment. Your comments will not be missed if you take them elsewhere."

So mature of you. Would you like to stamp your feet and roll around screaming on the carpet and demand that Daddy lifts you up and tells you, repeatedly, that he loves you and that the bad boy (me) wil go away? Grow up! You put yourself out here on the Web and you must expect to be challenged. Your's isn't the only way of looking at the world. Much as I value you, Mary, you're being very childish and tiresomely illogical.

Oliver



14 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

You haven't so much challenged and disagreed with me as insulted me and made a completely false, not to say irrelevant, accusation, which is that I have a problem with gays. You will be hard pressed to find any negative comments about gays on this site, and certainly none by me. I hadn't the slightest idea that you were gay before you mentioned it in this post, and do not care, now that you have. If I criticise someone who happens to be gay, about something that is nothing whatsoever to do with their sexuality, does that mean I have a problem with gays?

OK, here is my problem with Navratilova. It's basic. She says:

I have exchanged one system that suppresses free opinion for another.

As if the US and communism were equivalent. This is utterly fatuous, vacuous and immoral. The US gave her a home when she desperately needed it. She was amazingly talented and deserved to do well, but the US gave her the opportunity to do well. Her sexuality, since you mentioned it, does not appear to have stood in her way. Yet she now has the nerve to bite the hand that fed her. If I were American, I would say, well if you don't like it, f*ck off.

That's it.

You may disagree with this. Perhaps you also think that America is the Great Satan. (That stuff about money first would never happen in a Communist country, would it?) But my main problem is with your tone and your personal attacks, and ludicrous chip-on-the-shoulder touchiness. If you can't lighten up, avoid ad hominem attacks on me, and a tendency to make wild assumptions, then I suggest you don't comment on my posts. Your comments have not been very constructive or informative, and it is not childish, but merely accurate, to say that I won't miss them.




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