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Showing posts from July 7, 2002
Remora. The addict returns to the needle. The pyromaniac returns to the flame. And LI returns, every Saturday, to Edward Rothstein's column in the Times -- a column in which erudition and ignorance perpetually arm-wrestle, with ignorance, in the end, generally getting the best of it. So it is with his column, today, which makes a self-referential detour through his column of September 22, 01. In that column, Rothstein, deciding that 9/11 was unprecedented in the whole wide world and seeking to bring this to the attention of the educated public, used the attack as a stick to attack post-modernism and relativism. Relativists, apparently, had never heard of Bosnia, Rwanda, the slaughter of millions in Sudan, Bangla Desh, the Iran-Iraqi war, Eritrea, Biafra, Cambodia, the Great Leap forward, South Africa, the dirty war in Argentina, the military takeover of Brazil, El Salvador, and other of the various blots of the last thirty years. But the destruction of 3,000 lives in the Wor
Dope It is late. I've eaten (pork tenderloin, potatoes, veggie). I've drunk (Shiner Bock). I'm listening to Sari Odalar, which begins with a solitary trumpet, an emblematic jazz flourish calling up every dive from the great Spion days in Istanbul, 42, 52, the Germans, wasn't Ribbentrop the Nazi ambassador there, or was it Franz von Pappen? the Americans, Kim Philby himself for a while, the coupling of that tango culture which was imported in the thirties and notes from way away, black New York, cool jazz of California, those unimaginable shores --and then the trumpet breaks off, Sezen Aksu's voice swells, those marvelous, hypnotic vocals, gramaphone nostalgia for that mythic scene becoming, as she goes on, sad with its own irony, as real and unreal as Turkey was, historically, a marginal site on the border of all that great apocalyptic dread, those slaughterhouse movements of peoples, weapons, wealth. Istambul, where the wires crossed, where the man in silk pa
Remora There is not a single bon-mot, a single sentence in Cobbett that has ever been quoted again. If any thing is ever quoted from him, it is an epithet of abuse or a nickname. He is an excellent hand at invention in that way, and has 'damnable iteration in him.' What could be better than his pestering Erskine year after year with his second title of Baron Clackmarman? -- William Hazlitt Alan, to whose website, the Gadfly's Buzz , we have referred in a previous post, recently published extracts from another weblogger, Jane Galt, which admonished webloggers to embrace a form of controversial decorum based on reason, not rhetoric. Galt's advice is couched in an irritating, faux motherly tone, like Diamond Li'l collecting charity for out of work girls in a saloon. We object both to the tone and to the advice. Moderation in defense of liberty is no virtue, as Barry Goldwater (or Stephen Hess, his ghostwriter) once said, and we are definitely with Barry on this
Remora Casus Belly-flop Yes, so far the drums of war, about Iraq, have lacked one of those petty, European features -- namely, a cause. A reason that the U.S. should, at this moment, as Al Qaeda people are oozing between the Pakistani-Afghan border, decide to invade Iraq. The best the Bushite right can do is contained in this op-ed piece by Richard Brookhiser. Brookhiser's argument consists of this: 1. Al Qaeda, by itself, couldn't organize 19 hijackers in the U.S. 2. Thus, another entity organized those hijackers. 3. What entity hates the U.S. 4. Iraq 5. So, the U.S. is quite justified in attacking Iraq. Wow. The incoherence of this argument makes me dizzy. If, indeed, Al Qaeda couldn't organize the 19 hijackers (organize, here, doesn't mean, well, train these guys in flying. It doesn't even mean any intensive training time. It means getting the hijackers the money to take flying lessons in the U.S., and then getting them to take boxcutters past airpo