I'm trying to figure out if the University of Ottawa's academic vice-president François Houle is the stupidest man in Canada right now. I think he may well be. I understand this varies from moment to moment, but he certainly strikes me as the man of the hour.
I don't understand much about what could possible make Ann Coulter tick or how she could possibly believe some of the things she does. But I do understand this much about her - she is a specialist at getting publicity and generating outrage so that she keeps herself in the spotlight, which in turn allows her to sell more of whatever it is she's shilling at that moment.
Do I think she has the right to go and speak at a university? Yes. I don't like her for any number of reasons, but universities ought to be a place where you can have different opinions and debate them. But honestly, sending her a letter reminding her to behave....are you really that stupid? Have you not done even the most basic research to realize what someone like Coulter does with that kind of material?
She generates controversy, portrays herself as the martyr and then goes and says horrible things...claiming it's all satire, of course. You play into her hands when you send letters threatening her with consequences if she doesn't play nice when the smartest, wisest strategy is to just ignore her.
I'm not saying you always ignore those espousing hate. Sometimes you have to stand up to them and say you're not taking this anymore. That they're wrong and you will fight them with every fibre of your being to make sure people like them don't thrive. However, someone like Coulter thrives and, more importantly, profits under that kind of fire. The best attack for someone like that is to show up and turn your back to them all night long. To not say a word. Or better still, don't show up. You can't reasonably argue with someone like Coulter because she's not reasonable. She's not in it to win arguments. She's in it to generate controversy and to make money from that controversy. And spread a little hate, just for the icing on the cake, you understand.
So yeah, thanks Houle. It had been months since I had last heard Coulter's name mentioned and then you have to give her a big heaping load of attention. Well done. Idiot.
1. Murder in the Southlands - Mark Bragg*
2. Until the end - Norah Jones
3. I through a brick through a window - U2
4. Gone forever - The Raveonettes
5. Acid tongue - Jenny Lewis