Where do you start with Ann Coulter? The answer is, you don’t. You smile wryly, realize that life is too short for certain things, and walk away.
However, rubbernecker that I am, I just spent a short time reading about this extreme right-wing American media figure, just to see what the score is, after noticing a reference on the BBC site about her appearance on Newsnight:
Some bloggers—from that objective demographic of extreme right-wing, sexually frustrated males—thought she “beat Paxman”. One, a BNP member, throws in a classic Coulter quote:
If you don’t leave liberals in a sputtering impotent rage, you’re not talking to them right.
Of course Paxman is not quite a “liberal” (this side of the Atlantic, that is), but his muted, bemused response to her in the interview shows his class as much as any browbeating of British politicians. He obviously just can’t believe she’s serious. He smiles wryly at the end, and all but turns to the camera and shrugs his shoulders. Where else to go when someone seems like a vicious satire of themselves?
Well, dear Henry Rollins has found one other valid take on the matter:
It’s highly curious to me that I agree with some of her points, in their most basic form. Apparently her new book Godless: The Church of Liberalism accuses modern Darwinians of effectively being, despite their professed opposition to religion, creatures of faith themselves. I recently read Mary Midgley’s fascinating book Evolution As A Religion, which proposed the same argument. A more diverse pair of women than Coulter and Midgley you will not find, however, and Coulter’s take on the view is slightly less nuanced than Midgley’s. (In the same way that Cliff Richard is slightly less funky than Bootsy Collins.)
I’ve seen it a few times recently: right-wingers—presumably rabid free market types who shed not a tear for the underprivileged—decrying Darwinism as the invention of liberals. Oh, sorry, it’s fine if you wrongly apply this “wrong” theory to economics and society, but in the name of Jesus, can we all stop applying it to contentious areas such as biological evolution!
In any case, I paid a short, sweet visit to her official website, and clicked straight away on her “Reading for Right-Wingers”. I had to take a screengrab. Obviously it’s a server screw-up that might be fixed sometime, but it provided a crude visual joke for me to finish this on: