September 19, 2003

Blogging For Dollars

I was grazing over at Fragments this usual Fred emparted tasty tidbits, wonderful photos and thoughtful links...then I clicked on the link in this entry:

Then listen! All about bedbugs (coming soon to a interstate motel near you!) and an interview with Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger and called the "the Anne Frank of this war."

I composed and discarded several comment entries, no, I thought leave Fred to his own devices...shout not in his gentle space...use the blog.

The comparison between 13-yr old Anne Frank's diary, and 29-yr old Iraqi blogger Salam is beyond the pale...the Elvis reference is simply bizarre. Has the journalistic world gone mad? Is their moral compass so skewed that they have abandoned common sense?

The comparison to a family hiding and fearing for their very lives every second of every day is an affront to decency and the memory of 6 million murdered Jews.

Salam's own words reveal how little his life resembled Anne's:

:: Wednesday, December 25, 2002 ::

The good news first. We are going to celebrate New Year's at my parents place, they are throwing a party and since the house will be a mess anyway I am occupying the upper floor for my partying purposes. Everyone is invited bring a friend, a bottle of whatever you drink and a candle. Make that lots of candles. The electricity situation is getting out of hand.

An excerpt from Anne Frank's diary:

"I've reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can't do anything to change events anyway. I'll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end." - February 3, 1944

Peter Maass writes:

I needed a new interpreter to fill the gap for two weeks or so, and the colleague mentioned that he had just met a smart and friendly guy named Salam. I quickly traced Salam to the Sheraton Hotel. Salam—this is his real first name—was sitting in a chair in the lobby, reading Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle".

How very hip of the trendy Salam, wonder what they were reading in the prisons under Baghdad while Salam was blogging?

There was no escape or choice for Anne Frank only a brutish internment and death.

Anne Frank was sent to Bergen-Belsen after being evacuated from Auschwitz in October, 1944. As starvation. cold and disease swept through the camp's population, Margot, Anne's sister, developed typhus and died. A few days later, Anne herself, in April, 1945, succumbed to the disease a few weeks before the camp was liberated by the British. She was 15 years old.

Salam however seems to be holding up well in spite of his victimization by American right-wing extremists:

:: Saturday, September 13, 2003 ::

My life has taken a sharp turn towards the surreal.

it starts with this [The Baghdad Blog].

did you see the promo, it is so scary it freaked me out the first time I saw it. do turn up the volume, the track is by the Aphex Twin and when Intro contacted Warp records they said that they can choose any track they want by the Aphex Twin and it's for free. Warp even has the promo linked from its site.

Then there is the today show on BBC Radio 4 later followed by a web chat.

a radio interview with Late Night Live in *australia*.

A daily telegraph piece (needs registration).
A web page on the Guardian site.
A million other interviews by people who are nice enough to bring me books as presents.

What an admirable man our Salam is, living large, American style. Will anyone remember Salam Pax in 20 years? I think not.

Whereas, Anne Frank will live on until the end of recorded history as an example of what happens when men such as Salam do not stand up against evil.

Iraqi's bear moral responsiblity and condemnation for the bad acts of the Ba'athist Party as much as any German who joined the Nazi party to get along and live comfortably off the misery and murder of their fellow countrymen. The fact that the media elite doesn't support the current administration and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein doesn't excuse Iraqis from culpability for children's prisons and mass graves.

Sorry, but as Elvis once remarked "That dog won't hunt."

Posted by feste at September 19, 2003 01:03 PM | TrackBack

There's that thing about opinions and belly buttons. I thot it an odd opinion leading to comparing SPax and AFrank, but I got an innie, this journalist's got an outtie. I'll just try to keep mine reasonably free of the belly button lint that leads to error or folly. It's too early for this and more coffee will only make me more aware of how early it is on a Saturday. Tsuga says hi and what's for breakfast.

Posted by: fredf at September 20, 2003 01:35 AM

That flip little blurb just grated on's bugged me ever since it appeared at Slate...but they have an anti-Israel mindset, so you expect it of them and it's a private publication...they can say whatever they choose and we can vote with our keyboards and wallets.

However, the people at Fresh Air broadcast on public airways...which means we expect a certain decormum and code of ethics. It also tells you that whomever edited/approved that page has very little empathy or understanding of the Holocaust.

Can you imagine the outrage if PBS made the same throw-away remark using a hero of the black community?

As the entertainment elites smugly chide us in their PSA's: words convey hate...hate kills.


Posted by: feste at September 20, 2003 09:21 AM
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