About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Monday, September 18, 2006

Obituary: Oriana Fallaci (Age 77, 2006)

Makes one proud to be a human being, to see the courage of a questioner, a person who managed to rise above the burdens of celebrity while sharpening its cutting edge. She was both fearless and glamorous. Today, we note that she was almost alone in identifying religious fanaticism for what it is -- dangerous, intolerant, and intolerable.
Oriana was born in Florence (Tuscany), raised by a family of anti-fascists, and after a career of interviewing dicators and publishing books which are landmarks of historicism (for example, Interview with History 1976) against abuses of power, she moved to NY for a provocative retirement.
A few specific watershed achievements:
* Fought with the Justice & Liberty resistance, helping guide Allied soldiers escapes during WWII, while she was a teenager (eldest of 3 daughters of Edoardo).
* She practically invented an unsettling biographical interview style, usually taking people surrounded by sycophants by surprise. Kissinger wrote that his interview with her was his single most disastrous conversation with a member of the press.
* She was shot while covering a student revolt in Mexico City.
* She used journalism to confront abuses of power she felt were inevitable, even within journalism. "For this reason I like journalism. For this reason I fear journalism."
* She understood that often those in power simply do not deserve to be there.
* 9/11 jerked her out of retirement, although she was suffering from cancer. She saw Islam as the successor (from their own text, their own writings) of Nazi fascism. She described the dynamics of the suicide population bomber -- keeping women in the kitchen concentration camp having babies for Islam while European intelligentsia accommodate the mullahs claim that the chador is for "modesty".
* In her interview with Pope John Paul II, she acknowledged her own atheism, and asked the holy father "Is it true you apologized to the sons of Allah to forgive the Crusades? But...did they ever apologize to you?" for seizing the Holy Sepulcher.
* In The Force of Reason (2004), she described the colonization of Europe by Islamicists bent on the destruction of Western values. An Italian judge ordered her to stand trial on charges of insulting a religion. The trial was aborted by her death, and her books are now best-sellers.
* She never married, but she was an unapologetic enthusiast for love.
* She never had children, but she was devoted to those who choose life over death and annihilation.