Skip to main content


Showing posts from February 11, 2018


The news that Newsweek has now become a front for a cultish religious organization to launder money made me think of a post about Reader's Digest I wrote in 2009. It is still a pretty good analysis of business culture in the Bush-Obama era. Hell, in the Trump era. RICO CAPITALISM IN THE AGE OF BUSH-OBAMA “Now he's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with a bill, to Paulie. Trouble with cops, deliveries, Tommy... ...he calls Paulie. But now he has to pay Paulie... ...every week no matter what. "Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Had a fire? Fuck you, pay me." "The place got hit by lightning? Fuck you, pay me." Also, Paulie could do anything. Like run up bills on the joint's credit. And why not? Nobody will pay for it anyway. Take deliveries at the front door and sell it out the back at a discount. Take a 200 dollar case of booze and sell it for one hundred dollars. It doesn't matter. It's all profit.” – Goodfe

Fake news in 1800 - or how to do history

There’s a good rule that goes: by indirection find direction out. Or, translated from the Shakespearese into nice wooden ideology critique terms: since present injustices rest on past ones, one of the ways to delegitimate the former (otherwise known as “waking up”) is to go after the latter with a blowtorch. That’s a rule of thumb, natch. It can allow the scholarly type to disappear into the tunnels of history-mongering and never emerge again, blowtorch in hand. Rectifying the past is a painstaking business, and liable to blowback. When you find what you want to find, often you have to ask: is this a poisoned gift? But vanity more often whispers: hey, hypothesis and proof, don’t have nothing whatever to do with the unconscious libido. So far, I am not describing Abbé Gregoire; I’m merely farting around with ideal types. However, there was, in Gregoire’s capacious C.V., room for activist scholarship – especially when he was on the outs. As he was in 1800.

Stalinism in America as directed by shameful twitter feminists!

Bret Stephens, the NYT’s star climate change denialist columnist, got shamefully smeared on Twitter for writing, about Woody Allen: “If Allen is a pedophile, he appears to have acted on his evil fantasies only once. Compare that to Larry Nassar’s 265 identified victims.” These twitter feminists, as the ever heroic Katie Roiphe has named them (Roiphe, in the Stalinist conditions prevailing in the U.S., has only been able to avail herself of our imperiled freedom of speech lately on CBS news, Harpers Magazine, and Slate. In other words, she has been muffled just like Solzhenitsyn in the U.S.S.R!), have found something a bit fishy about a defense that seems to come down to, come on, one little rapish situation with a little girl is no big deal. Of course, as Stephens defenders have pointed out, he did not mean that at all! What he meant was, Allen, who at the time was taking nude photographs of his partner’s 18-20 year old stepdaughter, was way way too busy to go after other of Mia