Tuesday, March 19, 2002

My old buddy Harry Broertjes writes:
I think you stretched a bit too far with your analogy to Moonwatcher in 2001 because, it seems to me, Ariel Sharon and his close supporters are Feelers rather than Thinkers, and Sharon has the bloodlust of Moonwatcher. (A bloodlust that, by the way, you sanitized fairly thoroughly.) Sharon's words and actions all point toward his having the bone in his hand and the desire to kill all those who are different from him and his people and to drive them from the land. It's hard to imagine his not being happy if somehow all Palestinians were eliminated -- or at least removed from lands they have lived on for centuries longer than 90 percent or more of today's Israeli Jewish families. Ariel Sharon is not a man to promote political, social, intellectual or any other kind of advancement; if anything, he shares far more in common with his opponents than he would care to admit.
By describing a war precisely between the Thinkers and Feelers, I do admit that I've oversimplified the issue. If you subscribe to Keirsey personality type theory, there are actually four different personality components, and therefore, sixteen (four squared) distinct personality types. If you're going to seriously psychoanalyze Ariel Sharon, the component you're grasping for is the Perceiver-Judger continuuum -- and Sharon is absolutely a Judger, in that he sees the conflict in stark terms of absolute right and wrong. But Sharon the Thinker -- the political leader and military strategist -- puts the restraints on Sharon the Judger, which is why we have not yet had that next war. Political realities do not permit him to act on bloodlust.

Make no mistake -- I am no great fan of Sharon, and it bothers me not in the least that his days in office are numbered. He's flailing about, trying to placate the hardliners and peaceniks every alternate day, and ultimately solving no problems and satisfying no one. His coalition will fall soon enough.

But meanwhile Sharon, as Israel's democratically elected leader, represents the interests of an electorate which, on balance, is of a more thoughtful and enlightened bent than their neighbors. Reasonable men and women can debate the validity of Palestinian claims and pertinent 50-year-old U.N. resolutions. But in the end, very simply, most Israeli citizens favor peaceful coexistence, while -- according to recent polls -- an enormous majority of Palestinians believe that suicide bombings targeting civilians should continue until all of their demands have been satisfied. Such are not thinking men and women; indeed, such people barely qualify for membership in the human race.

Harry also adds:
I appreciated your defense of [Jim] Shooter and the link to the CBR interview, which I hadn't seen. Here's a link to a different interview that covers much the same ground -- amazingly, I bookmarked it three or four years ago, and the site's still up and running. Check it out if you haven't seen it already.

My balancing act between political commentary and cultural ephemera sure does lead to some rather abrupt transitions, eh? But in revisiting Shooter's Marvel legacy recently, it got me to thinking -- how different things might have been if he'd been able to air his side of the story in Real Time, just as Peter David and Joe Quesada are right this moment publicly airing their own dirty laundry over a twenty-five cent price increase on Petey's Captain Marvel title.


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