Ed Driscoll

The Chechen in the Rye

In a post titled “Anger Management,” Mark Steyn writes, “Former brother-in-law Elmirza Khozhugov explains Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s grievances to The New York Times“:

So he blew up an eight-year old boy and a couple of hundred other Americans.

And now the media are full of stories about how the Tsarnaevs were all-American kids and “beautiful, beautiful boys” and maybe it was the boxing or the Ben Affleck movies or the classical music but, whatever it was, it was nothing to do with Islam. Nothing whatever.

I blame The Catcher in the Rye. Particularly after the New York Times‘ Michiko Kakutani did, too, on their front page, to boot. (Link safe; goes to Newsbusters):

Given the layers of irony, sarcasm and joking often employed on Twitter, it can be difficult to parse the messages of a stranger. Yet some of them can seem menacing or portentous, given what we now suspect: “a decade in america already, I want out,” “Never underestimate the rebel with a cause” or “No one is really violent until they’re with the homies.” But others suggest a more Holden Caulfield-like adolescent alienation: “some people are just misunderstood by the world thus the increase of suicide rates.”

As Ace notes, Kakutani is “the writer they usually trot out when they need to have a conservative’s book reviewed for their book review.  Oddly enough, she doesn’t drip with such conspicuous sympathy for law-abiding people who haven’t murdered anyone.”

Presumably Kakutani will be calling for a parole of Mark David Chapman in tomorrow’s edition of the Times. He also had a Holden Caulfield-like adolescent alienation, which he publicly expressed in a manner as nearly as effusive as the Tsarnaevs.

Update: At Twitchy, “Bomber in the Rye.” And at the Breitbart.com Conversation, Iowahawk runs into Muggeridge’s Law, which posits that there is no way a satirist can compete with reality for its sheer absurdity. Or the New York Times, whichever strikes first:

Over twenty years ago, Tom Wolfe wrote:

While Malcolm Muggeridge was the editor of Punch, it was announced that Khrushchev and Bulganin were coming to England. Muggeridge hit upon the idea of a mock itinerary, a lineup of the most ludicrous places the two paunchy pear-shaped little Soviet leaders could possibly be paraded through during the solemn process of a state visit. Shortly before press time, half the feature had to be scrapped. It coincided exactly with the official itinerary, just released, prompting Muggeridge to observe: We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.

Or as Iowahawk writes today, “When I tweeted that last night, it was in response to the Times’ bizarre stream of ‘poor little misfit alienated immigrant teen’ profile puff-pieces. It was (as satire is suppose to be) an intentional exaggeration meant to make a point. As God is my witness, I swear I had no idea they would ACTUALLY LIKEN HIM TO HOLDEN CAULFIELD.”

Too bad there aren’t any grownups left at the Times who would have seen such a passage and edited it out before the writer embarrassed herself; Gray Lady Down, indeed.

(Bumped to top.)