Saturday, November 15, 2003

I am relying more and more on Juan Cole, not only because he's a college teacher and fluent in Arabic, but because he gives Iraq and Iraqis the respect they deserve. Even to say he 'gives' respect misses the point. I've spent some free time this week posting comments on this thread on Maxspeak, and I've had it.
I noticed a few weeks ago that some righteous liberal had posted a list of favorite movies from the past few years. Others chimed in with their own lists; I don't even want to say who got involved, it's too embarrassing. The imports were limited to a few films from the past year or two. Nothing from Iran. Nothing from China or Taiwan: No Wong Kar Wei or Hou Hsiao-Hsien. No Claire Denis; no Mike Leigh. I don't think even Almodovar made a list. It's the same disease.
Not that it's been mentioned much recently but here's the graph showing the results for many of those who took the Political Compass test. I'm not listed but I'm in the lower left somewhere. When I took the test I hoped I would end up in the upper left, along with Russell Arben Fox. But there is a difference between approving of something and allowing it to occur. The Anarcho-narcissism of libertarians -left and right- drives me nuts, but I don't think there is much we can do about it without redefining justice in a way I can't accept. I don't think it's practicable, or moral, to proscribe self indulgence. But I do approve of forms of social coercion other than those given the force of law, and that's a different matter entirely.

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