Monday, April 03, 2006

sin titulo:

I first read Crunchy Cons, by way of Russell Fox. I wouldn't have bothered to if he hadn't mentioned it.
I smiled when I found out that Bill Kauffman writes for Counterpunch. Alex Cockburn is one of the few people who has actually paid attention to the red state anger and more importantly given it the respect it deserves. David Brooks' secret is that he feels as much contempt for people of small town america as the average urban and demi-urbane liberal; but unlike them, he's guilt-ridden and self flagellating. I've always found Atrios' Bobo's World posts offensive.
It's been commented upon often enough, but the perverse populism of Jerry Springer's trash TV show was rooted in the political populism of his past. "Our father the left-handed transvestite dwarf is having an affair with the family hog... We still love him but we still need our bacon and eggs." Springer at his worst was never putting himself above his guests, he just wallowed in the same mud. A child of the Holocaust trying to love and be loved and make a very good living in a world where events are lost to memory after half an hour. There are worse things.

The opinions or red state conservatives are no more or less symptomatic, reactionary in the strictest sense, as those of the majority of liberals. The thought that "we" need to worry about China or the Iranian bomb strikes me as odd; the world needs to worry about Pakistan, and the only reason to worry about Iran isn't Iran, it's Israel and our client state's culture of paranoia. I'm amazed that Brad DeLong and others can go on about logic and rationality, raging against obscurantism and religious gobbledegook while arguing from nationalism as if if were as self-evidently an objective truth as the earth revolving around the sun. But nationalism, like religion, is objectively a political truth. Why secular technocrats can't see faith in their own assumptions I can't claim to know, but it seems to me that like conservatives they prefer their answers neat, tidy, and with a ribbon on top. Maybe that's why they all read science fiction.
Having to decide whether or not to turn in a contractor who brings a crew of 15 and 16 year old Ecuadorian laborers to a job site in Manhattan; wondering whether they're better off here, living without their parents in an apartment in Williamsburg, or if they'd be safer back in the villages they spent so much time and money and blood to escape.
That's not economics or science fiction, that's literature.

And the convergence of Counterpunch and the Crunchy Cons may be seen as relevant to this.

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