Friday, September 15, 2006

Oriana

Former journalist and current racist crank Oriana Fallaci passed away yesterday. Before she went bonkers, though, she was the real deal - sort of a Lara Logan with gravitas. The New Yorker profiled her earlier this year:

Equally absorbing, in a different way, was the section of her 1969 book, “Nothing, and So Be It,” in which she describes the events of October, 1968, in Mexico City, when soldiers shot and bayonetted hundreds of anti-government protesters. Fallaci was detained with a group of students, and was ultimately shot three times. “In war, you’ve really got a chance sometimes, but here we had none,” she writes. “The wall they’d put us up against was a place of execution; if you moved the police would execute you, if you didn’t move the soldiers would kill you, and for many nights afterward I was to have this nightmare, the nightmare of a scorpion surrounded by fire, unable even to try to jump through the fire because if it did so it would be pierced through.” Dragged down the stairs by her hair and left for dead, Fallaci was ultimately taken to a hospital, where she underwent surgery to remove the bullets. One of the doctors who cared for her came close and murmured, “Write all you’ve seen. Write it!” She did, becoming a crucial witness to a massacre that the Mexican government denied for years.

The article notes that, in her later years, "her memories of Mexico City in 1968 had largely devolved into a dislike of Mexicans." Typical.

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