Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Comment Trail for Tuesday:

Bob from Brockley: McCain derangement syndrome:

My comment:

There is such a phenomenon as "Hillary derangement syndrome", too:

"Horowitz observes that there is an “inexhaustible fertile market of Clinton hostility,” but that “the search for a unifying theory of what drives Hillary’s most fanatical opponents is a futile one.” The reason is that nothing drives it; it is that most sought-after thing, a self-replenishing, perpetual-energy machine. The closest analogy is to anti-Semitism. But before you hit the comment button, I don’t mean that the two are alike either in their significance or in the damage they do. It’s just that they both feed on air and flourish independently of anything external to their obsessions. Anti-Semitism doesn’t need Jews and anti-Hillaryism doesn’t need Hillary, except as a figment of its collective imagination. However this campaign turns out"


Mick Hartley: This man is not a relative

My comment:

I understand the point of this post, Mick, but my attention was grabbed by these phrases which are like Freudian slips that offer a glimpse into the subsconscious of a culture (please forgive me for mentioning the F-word whom you despise:-)):

“They checked that I had nothing with me and threw me in the cell with all the others.”

"after some strings were pulled, Yara was out of jail."

She was thrown in a cell "WITH ALL THE OTHERS". And then "SOME STRINGS WERE PULLED". One wonders how many of those "others" had someone close to them who could also "pull strings" on their behalf.

And then this: "whose mother teaches Qur’an recitation to children."

Not teaching the Quran (to encourage thinking) but very properly "Quran recitation".

Engage: John Wight, organizer of Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition, pushes antisemitism

My comment:

"He explained this accident by saying that he had been intellectually lazy and had failed to take sufficient care to substantiate his sources."

This is a much more interesting admission than whether or not he can be labeled bona-fide antisemite. A person who so openly and easily admits to laxity and intellectual laziness; how can anyone trust anything anywhere or whatever he has to say? Why would any movement want such a person to speak in its name or represent its cause? And what worth is a cause that such are its representatives?

Someone in the Engage Comments dropped this response:

Why is it that any post that goes up on Engage - Noga knows better? And always so quickly! On this occasion I think Noga is wrong. Anybody can make a mistake. Anybody can fail to check a source. But the point here is not that he's made a mistake and that making a mistake makes you worthless. The point is that the form of the mistake is connected to the politics.

It's not a simple mistake. A person like John Wight, who made a career out of his pro-Palestinian activism, claims to be knowledgeable and credible when he brings in history to sustain his various claims and prescriptions. But this proves that his alleged reliable sources are nothing of the kind. This should really erode whatever credibility he has when he purports to push for academic violence against Israel. It is much more important to the maintenance of genuine scholarship and academic integrity, both verifiable and even quantifiable values, to expose this failure than to label him antisemite, which is a crime of the heart, not of the mind.

Solominia: Who gets credit for suicide?

My comment:

"Propaganda" seems like thin gruel compared with this ham-handed mass-marketing of suffering. Hitchens called it more appropriately in one of his recent articles the "auctioning of pity" which more or less hits upon the cyncism of both the manufacturers of these images and their disseminators.


At 8:54 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article about Martin Amis' comments about Muslims on the front page of Comment is free.

Something Amis

Despite evidence to the contrary, I don't believe Martin Amis is a lost cause - if only he actually spent some time with the 'Muslims' he writes about

Sarfraz Manzoor



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