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Showing posts from November 25, 2001
Remora Michael Thomas' column in the NYO, which is a jackdaw's nest of various bright and shiny objects (not that Limited Inc, in the nest of our own iridescent preening, objects) includes a little attack on Homi Bhabha. It flows from reporting that the Harvard football team beat the Yale football team (sports news of trifling importance) to this graf: "That very same morning, The New York Times practically gasped with orgasmic excitement in reporting at length on another Harvard triumph: the appointment to a tenured professorship of one Homi K. Bhabha, a well-known spouter of multiculturist twaddle, bunkum and flapdoodle, formerly of the (it figures!) University of Chicago. This is an appointment that henceforth obliges us to capitalize the "cant" in "Cantabrigian." I have had my eye on this Bhabha for some time now, since I encountered him by chance on that invaluable Web site, Arts & Letters Daily (, and his stuff has to b
Remora "...headlong themselves they threw Down from the verge of Heaven: eternal wrauth 865 Burnt after them to the bottomless pit. �Hell heard the unsufferable noise; Hell saw Heaven ruining from Heaven, and would have fled Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. 870 Nine days they fell; confounded Chaos roared, And felt tenfold confusion in their fall Through his wild Anarchy; so huge a rout Incumbered him with ruin. Hell at last, Yawning, received them whole, and on them closed� 875 Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain. Disburdened Heaven rejoiced, and soon repaired Her mural breach, returning whence it rowled." Which is how John Milton described the fall of Enron. Less cosmically, the NYT describes the tenfold confusion in Houston in this way: "Enron's swift collapse left the prospect
Remora Clash of civilizations -- the continuing saga. An article about an exorcism turned bad in New Zealand gives us a little Weegee snap of the sometimes dark alleys of the Christian faith. In this instance, a Korean pastor bounced on one of the members of his congregation while she was held down by other members of his congregation. He grabbed her neck, he roughhoused her, she cried out. He went after that devil inside her body with his faith's customary singlemindedness, but he ended up killing the poor woman. At first the minister though that her spirit had merely gone to heaven for a brief respite, a strictly R & R stay. When her body turned black, he explained that this was just God's way of renewing her. But God's ways aren't man's, and the pastor was duly reported to the police, who took him in on a murder charge. A sad story all the way around, but enlivened a bit by expert testimony from another exorcist (the intersection of the courtroom and
Remora Limited Inc is no fan of either John Rawls or Ronald Dworkin. Philosophers who produce casuistry which reads like memos from Kafka's Castle, are, in our eyes, under grave suspicion of boring without a licence. Unless they are doing something completely original -- you know, like exploring the ontology of holes . But in the conservative City Journal there is an attack on the dull duo that is below par even by the debased standards of the Manhattan Institute (the foundation, darling, that puts out the journal). In an article by John Kekes , we are forced, at a certain point, to feel some lukewarm solidarity with the pair. Dull they may be, but they don't deserved to be sniped at by a moron. Not that Kekes is a moron, of course -- for all we know he might put on his pants one leg at a time like anybody else. But judging by the quality of this article, he probably tries to put them on three legs at a time, and trips into the dresser in the process. Here's how Kek
Death tolls. Why does Limited Inc circle this rebarbative topic again and again, like the Biblical canine slinking back to its biblical dejecta? Simple answer, honey, is: it is history � yours and mine, for ever and ever, world without end, amen. As I said in yesterday�s post, the historians of the Soviet Empire (file under evil) have a disconcerting habit of flaming each other about death toll numbers. How many died in the de-kulakization of the early 30s? Robert Conquests figures are holy writ to the National Review crowd, while the Nation crowd views them as insufferable puffery, fixing the death accounting books. (The same ideological divide, but a differently distributed disposition to skepticism, presides over the number of Sanction dead in Iraq.) The vested interest in increasing death toll numbers is in contrast to the usual political positions taken by the people who brandish the numbers. The larger the number, the greater the ideological difference between the accuser an
Dope Limited inc is quite familiar (as, I assume, hypocrite lecteur, you are too) with mass murder as a background phenomenon. After all, we all grew up in a world where the weaponry stored underground in Arkansas and the Ukraine would be more than sufficient to wipe the whole breed of Yahoos from the earth; along, probably, with many other breeds -- chihuahas, siamese cats, etc. This knowledge was, properly, bystander knowledge -- to use Karl Krauss' distinction between Dasein and Dabei-sein. The era, in other words, of Black magic. But Limited Inc has not had the honor of personal, sensual acquaintance with mass murder. No rifle butt aimed for the lower back propelled us into a pit at Babi Yar; no NKVD boot landed on our ms in a cramped Moscow apartment. We never had to swallow our teeth, or our feces, in a basement in the Lubyanka prison, as did Meyerhold, the great theater director, before he confessed; never had to confront our formerly friendly neighbors in some Rwanda v