It is not often that I turn to Woody Allen for practical wisdom—or any other kind of wisdom—but John Podhoretz brings to our attention a fragment of dialogue from Manhattan that fits the Charlie Hebdo aftermath just right:
“Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey, you know? We should go there, get some guys together. Get some bricks and baseball bats and explain things to ’em.”
“There was this devastating satirical piece on that in the Times.”
“Well, a satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks get right to the point.”
“But biting satire is better than physical force.”
“No, physical force is better with Nazis.”
I’m sure Woody Allen has recanted this clear headedness by now. But we don’t have to.