So far, I’ve left the Wisconsin chapter of the Sam Alito Appreciation Society in Scott’s capable hands, but I can’t resist drawing attention to Project Runway’s Reynoldsian link to this repugnant commentary on the current off-Broadway production of My Name is Rachel Corrie. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that someone who finds Ann Coulter to be “motivated by comic energy” would also approve of Terry Teachout’s irrelevant description of Corrie as “unattractive in the extreme, albeit pathetically so,” by which he apparently means that Corrie was “whimsical, humorless and–above all–immature.” Maybe Althouse is simply grateful that WSJ publishes her op-ed pieces; maybe it’s because Teachout has inexplicably described Althouse as “divine.” More likely, I think Althouse links to Teachout’s “arts” coverage because she’s incapable of distinguishing well-reasoned criticism from a heartless, unthinking smear job that dismisses Corrie as a “terror advocate” and offers new fodder to the mouth-breathers who mock her death.
I haven’t seen MNRC — and considering where I live, I probably won’t — but I have no doubt that a play based on the writings of a young American over the span of 13 years would have its moments of breathless pretension, its scattering of over-wrought metaphors, or its banalities galore. I also recognize the problems inherent in viewing the squalid prison that is Gaza through the eyes of a white American woman whose experience in the occupied territories was brief and fatal. Teachout is constantly inveighing against the merger of politics and art — in part because he recognizes that Republican write shitty plays — but it’s difficult to imagine a play about Rachel Corrie that Teachout would admire, as he appears convinced of her unworthiness as a subject of art in the first place.
As for Teachout’s disapproval of immaturity and whimsy, though, we might note that the words “Rachel Corrie” serve as a grotesque applause line in certain quarters, where the mere mention of her name arouses the faithful into a masturbatory frenzy, at which point they crack wise about flapjacks, Caterpillar t-shirts, and Corrie’s hypothetical sex life. Get it? The jihadi got run over by a bulldozer. She must have been flat as a fucking pancake! She must have died a virgin — unlike the vast majority of Charles Johnson’s readers, who are doubtless grinding it out trick-style as I write this.
Of course Althouse understands “comic energy,” so perhaps she can direct us to the funny parts in all this, and to the intelligent parts of Teachout’s review.