At first I thought I would use this heading to join everyone in knocking Sharon Stone for her asinine comments on the Chinese earthquake. Now comes a strong challenge from Michelle Malkin, the Islamophobic historian and commentator best known for defending the U.S. policy of interning Japanese-Americans during World War II (not that Malkin being of Philippine descent and thus having a beef with Japan would have anything to do with her views, would it?) Malkin's latest exploit is to provoke a new fit of Islamophobia aimed at Rachel Ray, the TV chef and talk show host. Malkin was alarmed when she saw Ray wearing what she took to be an Islamic and hence terroristic scarf in an online Dunkin Donuts ad. Because the checkered garment resembles something Yasir Arafat used to wear, Malkin concludes that Ray is indulging in radical chic, not to mention "hate couture." She started a ball rolling that led to the donut chain withdrawing the advertisement. In short: Malkin and her fans were alarmed and angered because of something a TV personality was wearing, that had no intellectual content and no symbolism except in Malkin's bigoted imagination, that Rachel Ray didn't even choose for herself. So why exactly didn't the folks at Dunkin Donuts tells Ms. Malkin and her agitated acolytes to drop dead? I'll do it for them: Michelle Malkin, drop dead!
On the other hand, the flavor of the day should not lead us to neglect Ms. Stone. For those who came in late, she opined that the earthquake and the deaths of 50,000 people in China might have been a form of karmic retribution for the Chinese government's oppression of Tibet. This is just as repulsive a thought as the late Rev. Falwell's famous opinion that God had permitted the 11 Sept. 2001 attacks to punish America for its sins, or the lately famous Pastor Hagee's analysis of God's intention for Hurricane Katrina to prevent a gay pride parade in New Orleans. Karma is just as bad as the wrath of God as an attempt to blame humans for natural disasters, or innocents for others' crimes. It seems that you don't need to believe in such an obnoxious entity as Jehovah to articulate your personal opinion that masses of people deserve to die for something that offends you. It may be a universal commonplace to think that when something bad happens to someone, it must be deserved in some way. On such occasions I appeal to the wisdom of William Munny, because the truth probably falls somewhere between his two great utterances in Unforgiven: "Deserve's got nothing to do with it" and "We've all got it coming, kid."