Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Letter to Henry Farrell et al.

I've been banned by them for awhile now, but I figured they must have known I was always around. Not a very intelligent bunch.
I may link to the references later. It's not worth bothering them anymore:

There's a reason Conor Foley's writing was so much more substantive than most of what ends up at CT. And he managed to undermine most of Berube's arguments against Chomsky on Kosovo.  I think Berube said nothing in response.

There's a reason the NYC cop was better than all of you on Gates.

What do George Scialabba and Stephen Bainbridge have in common, besides having a fan in Henry Farrell?
The answer would have something to do with a perverse mashup of Catholic conservatism and liberalism. Scialabba is a Pauline socialist, Bainbridge is a vulgar, and vulgarian, individualist: a libertarian, high church, reactionary. How does that fit with your law of non-contradiction? Henry?

What can you say about an intellectual who refuses to analyze himself and his own relation to history? We're products before producers. And Shakespeare is so much the intellectual, moral and imaginative superior to Shaw it's not even funny. And heterodox as all get-out.

John Holbo claims the mantle of liberal intellectual while living the life of a political realist, living silently and happily in a country under authoritarian rule.
Hypocrisy is the main problem.

The post on Doormen (the book). Why was it written as if it could never occur to any of you that an actual doorman would ever read it? I say that as someone who's had to deal with doormen for years as people who were either above me or below me depending on my role for that day: guest on saturday, workman monday morning.
And yes the book made no mention of the difference in racial demographics between the upper east and upper west side. The vast majority of doormen on the east are white ethnic: Irish or eastern European. Hispanics and black are more common (mostly hispanic) on the west.

Jerry Cohen went from arch-analytical "non-bullshit" Marxist to vaguely spiritualizing melancholic sap, while being fed by the servant class at Oxbridge.
No sympathy from me.

You cannot "translate" Mallarmé. And the Trolley Problem is a problem of liberal idealism as formalism. Society deals with it in an un-ideal way and always will.

I'm a realist and so far at least I'm on the left. But who knows how far my loyalties slide? You never know. My parents risked years in jail and having their children taken away while running a safe house for non-violent dissidents on the run from the police and the feds, including Daniel Berrigan, the first greasy unctuous Jesuit I'd ever met. I recoiled from him instantly, and I was 5 years old at the time. Through all this my mother ran a legal panel on the rights of soldiers for the ACLU, while reading not Rawls who she always held in contempt but Jane Austen.

"What am I?"
Empiricism begins in the mirror, but can't end there. Rationalism can end in the mirror and you won't even know it. You're not the first assholes I've tried to teach that to and you won't be the last. But I'll give up on you.
The humanities are gone from the university. The culture of democracy is fading.

But just a a matter of cold reason: Zionism is racism.

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