Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bradley "Filler" Miller

What better way to undermine one’s ideological opponents than to have them simply show themselves to be the idiots they are? No embellishment required. The National Post, I think, has made good use of this tactic by taking on Bradley Miller as an occasional columnist.

I first noticed Bradley’s idiotic ramblings in a piece he wrote called “Don’t count on abstinence” (National Post, April 13, 2005)—an astonishingly sophomoric piece of nonsense, so confused in its grasp of the central issue (i.e. abstinence), that, I feel certain, the thing couldn’t have earned him a C in a grade 10 Civics class.

More recently, in a piece called “Lessons from Pym Fortuyn” (National Post, June 9, 2005), Bradley—incredibly—warned that any minority groups in Canada collectively positioning themselves against Bill C-38 were “encouraging an anti-immigrant backlash among those who already fear that immigrants are a threat to tolerant Canadian values.” Swear to God! He posited the existence of a tolerant Canadian who lives in fear of immigrants. (Which, of course, would’ve been quite astute of young Bradley if he had meant it as an ironic underscoring of the limitations (that is, the contradictions) of so-called Canadian tolerance. Alas, that most assuredly was not his intention.)

In this weekend’s Post, Bradley takes on a slightly less contentious subject matter, but still manages to bungle it magnificently and—I have a sneaking suspicion—to the great satisfaction of the paper’s editors. He starts, in his best attempt at a hook (in spite of its having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the (ahem!) substance of his argument), with a whimsical view of the First World War as it is treated by military historians retracing significant actions in situ. Then, the bulk of the piece is taken up with a mind-bogglingly original argument to the effect that the war was pointless, and that it was fought exceptionally badly … He devotes only the final four paragraphs, of a total of 15, to his actual point: that “language was badly abused by the war.” (The “evidence” he gives to back up this bizarelly obtuse claim is so flimsy it doesn’t even bear mentioning. You could fill whole volumes with these quotes and have trouble maintaining such a thesis, given that it amounts to the claim “men say one thing, but do (or mean) another.” Hardly an abuse unique to any one war, or even to war at all, Bradley. Grow up, for God's sake.)

Now, unless the column in its entirety was meant to be a rather elaborate metaphor for the consequences of young Bradley’s claim; that is, unless it was meant to be, itself, the evidence that the language has become a total bloody mystery to those who use it in the aftermath of WWI, one can’t help thinking that the only reason the Post printed it is because they can’t resist the sight of a person like Bradley hoist with his own petard.

Indeed, the more I think about it, the more strongly I feel that this might be the case. And far from continuing to marvel at this ridiculous person—so incapable of recognizing that his balls are exponentially bigger than his brains—I begin to wonder just how trustworthy the Post really is. Could it be that, in the ostensible interests of fairness, it hired an activist Liberal to give the appearance of counterpoint, but made very sure in so doing that it was the most inarticulate one they could find? Can we even be certain that Bradley Miller exists?! Or is he, perhaps, the malignant concoction of a fiercely partisan propaganda machine?

I think I might be on to something.