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Stardumb: Tori Amos

What the strange little girl of American agit pop has to say about her mother country. Mo' Moby. And introducing . . . The Barbrometer!

11:00 PM, Jan 30, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
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As we all know, there is a special dimness that comes from having a small group of people hang on to your every word. The stars of agit pop, it seems, are especially vulnerable to this encroaching stupidity. Meanwhile, the rest of us get told to make sense or shut up.

Overall Stardumb rating for Tori Amos: Two and a Half Barbra Streisands out of five.

Grader's Comment: For her ridiculous genderspeak and spider's web commentary of personal, political, and pseudo-poetic, she might have been in the four-plus range; the polling work she's done on university campuses, too, is a real standout accomplishment; but she kept stopping short of ever making sense, which unfortunately keeps her in middling numbers. All in all, she sounds (here at least) like a person who's genuinely questioning whether the country should go to war, but can't bring herself to speak like a genuine person. She lacks the forthrightness that either earns one a really high score or keeps one out of Stardumb completely.

Moby update: An alert reader complains that I didn't include enough of Moby's comments praising Saddam for being so patient. Yes, patient. Yes, that Saddam--who in the last twelve years has done more to discredit inspections than any human being alive. Pretty hilarious of course, since Saddam's own accounting of existing weapons stocks have been radically incomplete even according to the United Nations, hilarious because Saddam does not allow his scientists to be interviewed abroad or even without minders reporting back everything they say; hilarious in a rather morbid way since Moby was praising the patience of one of the most dangerous men on earth, one of the few tyrants around who've even used such weapons as sarin and mustard gas; really revolting for dozens of other reasons, but you get the point. The following is Moby's full diary entry on the subject, in which he also claims "american diplomats" are trying to "assinate" Saddam (original grammar and spelling intact):

it goes without saying that i, like most sane people, find iraq's actions over the last 20 years to be pretty reprehensible.

using chemical and biological weapons on iranians and kurds and sunni's (is it sunni's? or shiites? i forget, oops). burning the oil fields in kuwait. attacking israel with scuds. and so on.

but i'm actually kind of impressed by iraq's patience right now . . .

i mean, look at it objectively. they've opened their doors to un inspectors, they're being bombed by british and american troops, american forces are massing at their borders, american diplomats are actively looking to assinate saddam hussein, etc.

it almost seems like bush is doing everything he can to taunt saddam hussein. not just "if you step over this line i will hit you", but "if you step over this line while i put rats on your back and put butter on the floor and make fun of your mom and move the line then i will hit you, in fact i'll hit you even if you just stand there and do nothing."

it's painfully clear that iraq should not be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction. but it also seems painfully clear that the bush administration have no intention of finding a peaceful resolution to the situation in iraq.

which is a shame. cos at the end of the day peace is better than war, right?

or have things changed? according to the bush administration and the american media it would seem that most americans prefer war to peace. i'm guessing that's because most americans have never actually experienced war. and just as it's easy to eat meat if you never step foot in a slaughterhouse, it's easy to espouse the virtues of war if you've never actually experienced war firsthand.

it's a sign of dark and troubled times when a powerful nations leaders do their best to keep people away from the high road.

Note to readers: There are of course enough examples of stupid celebrity moments to keep me quite busy, but if anything catches your eye, please drop me an email to let me know.

David Skinner is an assistant managing editor at The Weekly Standard.