Friday, May 27, 2005

The Shorter National Review Online Of 5/27/05

Jay Nordlinger:

Silly Europeans! Saying that rightwing America doesn't understand Islam. Muslim extremists must be counterbalanced by ignorant and sectarian Western reactionaries. Trust the Europeans with their "desire to understand the other" to not grasp that we need to lower ourselves to the worst of the enemy, in pretty much every way.

No, the Euros don't read MEMRI, or Jerry Falwell, or Pat Robertson, or Norman Podhoretz, or the old racial theories of Dr. Maimonides, or The NRO, for that matter, which is why most of them have a better grasp of the subject than Nerdlinger does, Oriana Fallaci excepted.

Rich Lowry:

John McCain, kissy-kissy with Ted Kennedy, he's a traitor to Party, King, Country! Closing the border to Mexico would have stopped 9-11, and nefarious Ted Kennedy wants to open it more! Damn John McCain for helping him!

Lowry's screed has more to do with payback for McCain's role in the filibuster compromise and Lowry's preternatural hatred for Ted Kennedy than anything else.

William F. Buckley:

Tut, tut! It's really a pity the culture has become so liberal that MLK is considered resolutely good and Joseph McCarthy resolutely evil. But so it is, therefore the media that mirrors such beliefs is objectively distorted, biased, liberal.

That Buckley and the National Review took a precisely opposite judgement on the two above figures, and was rightly seen by the majority as bigoted and reactionary for that judgement, still sticks in the old man's craw.

Victor Davis Hanson:

Anti-imperialists and anti-globalists, infiltrating good old American institutions! Damn you all to hell! What happened to the good old film industry, which would have blacklisted people like Lars von Trier? What happened to the good old PepsiCo I once knew which would collude with the likes of Richard Nixon to topple leftist democracies in the third world, instead of employing commie scumbags like Indra Nooyi?

For Hanson, if you've ever bought American you are then forbidden, in perpetuity, to criticise anything about America. This contract is globally binding, natch.

Rivken & Casey:

U.S.: Purely Good; Amnesty International: Partisan, Anti-American, Objectively Pro-Terrorist, Evil.

Good God, A.I. wants nations to accost suspected US war criminals as if they are common Pinochets! Sweet Jesus, A.I. compares our legal (sic) gulag with the commie gulags Solzhenitsyn wrote about! It's all because A.I. is leftist and hates America. But NRO is too fair! Look! We admit that Dear Leader's immaculate orders have not always been followed, and that's why we have a military justice system to slap peons on their wrists. The point is, Dear Leader's policies are infallible. No evil can come from them. To disagree is to hate America.

Carney & Freddoso:

Lincoln Chafee, with his Rockefeller Republican style politics, doesn't understand that our Party under Dear Leader is no longer conservative but objectively reactionary. Frist and DeLay are the proper Republican congressional templates now, and because Chafee can't be like them it's time for us to fill his seat with someone who can.

Chafee's independence and antique Republicanism is, well, chafing to panicky Repugs. This column can also be construed as a warning to softies like McCain and the Maine ladies. NRO says, dammit, we're a kleptocrat theocracy now, and even if you self-identify as Republican, you're either with us or against us.

Larry Kudlow:

Economy: No worries. Let the good times roll, baby!

Sorry, Larry, you're alone at this Kool-Aid stand.

Alan Reynolds:

Alternative energy won't work because cheaper oil and various embargoes didn't work in the past, so I'll be driving my Excursion until the cows come home and don't you silly liberals even think of raising my fuel taxes.


Ross Douthat:

I went all the way to Harvard -- Harvard! Harvard! Harvard! Look at me, I went to Harvard! -- and I still couldn't get laid.

Aside the frustrated Virgin Ben leitmotiv of the interview, I especially like how he could say with a straight face that he learned about the American "meritocracy", and then allow that Harvard is still the incubator of America's ruling class, the larvae of which made its way to Harvard (to become pupils and pupae) because of their parents' class-status and clout. Not much merit in that. But then oligarchy and plutocracy labeled as meritocracy is the American Way.

See also Aunt Jenna.

Commissar Thomas S. Madden:

Professional historians such as myself know that Ridley Scott's new movie insufficiently shows how saintly, benign and rational the Crusaders were and how congenitally dastardly, malevolent and fanatical the Saracens were.

The Kingdom of Heaven is an ahistorical film dedicated to the PC concept of tolerance. Stupid tolerance, I'm intolerant of you! Now let me refight the Crusades in this review. The Christians had all the right motives, they all were the most pious people, while the Muslims were sadistic murderers, as is typical for them. Did I mention that I'm a (sic) historian? I know what I'm talking about! Silly Ridley Scott, making his heroes out as pragmatists! Doesn't he know that anyone who'd fight with a cross on their chest had to be a True Believer Christian?! And they were exactly that, Mr. Scott, which is why they were right to conquer the Holy Land and be righteously intolerant of Muslims putting their filthy bare feet on Our Jerusalem! Saladin was evil in real life, a real bin Laden, where the Templars were infinitely just. Scott appears to think that the Holy Land was a sort of first stab at colonialism. In my sage view -- I am an expert -- this is wrong; The Crusades were a restoration. The Holy Land was never meant to not be Christian.

I know that was a long time to stay in character, but Christ what a piece of commissariat shit Madden's column is. In his version of history not only is every Crusader on the side of good, none, neither foot-soldiers nor leaders, were less than zealots, and the evidence for this is that they wore a cross on their tunics! No shit they did, and Madden might well remember what phrase the Nazis had on their belt-buckles: it didn't make them behave any better, either. Scott's movie is probably ahistorical. I'm positive there are errors. Yet Scott seems to be saying with it that it is an exception, that reason and tolerance even could prevail in such fanatical conditions. Madden doesn't like tolerance and he doesn't like Muslim fanaticism and he refuses to admit that there were fanatical butchers who were Christian. Actual history shows that there were plenty of fanatical butchers on both sides, an equivalence, but in the broad view the benefit of the doubt goes to the indigenous and against the invader. This is the position that Madden and his kind above all else hope to undermine, for obvious, current reasons.

Gregory Wolfe:

A genuine aesthetic is theologically-based. False, sub-standard, even naughty aesthetic theories like postmodernism come from the romantic tradition.

Oh boy. He had me with separating the artist from the creation (judicious citations from Wilde, Amadeus, Thomas Aquinas), then he lost me, and rather quickly. This is sophisticated wingnuttery, almost highbrow. It's one thing to say that creativity is like a religious experience; it's another to say that "proper" creativity is derived from religion. He's not advocating religious art; that would be too preposterous, too easy; he's more subtle. He's saying that "proper" art derives from a Creationist aesthetic; the product may or may not be overtly religious, but it always comes from a religious mindset.

Myrna Blyth:

Cher, in the If I Could Turn Back Time video, doesn't have shit on me.

Typical wingnut jock-sniffing. Blah.

Jim Lacey

I'm dazzled by the Pentagon brass. Watch me reflect, with lazer precision, their glory up onto their civilian leaders and the sancitity of The Cause. Less importantly, let me direct a bit of it on the grunts below them too.

Lacey's aim is the same as Blyth's, but it's far more insidious and the jock-sniffing is less heartfelt, more superficial. Also, this may pass for the wingnut "answer" to all our complaints about the hush-hush put on the press with regard to American casualties: what do you mean they don't care? Look at General Myers at the rainy funeral!

Stephen Mansfield:

G. I. Joe loves Jesus.

It's really hard with that evil church & state separation thing, but somehow we get it done, Kathryn. To the extent that Abu Ghraibs happen, it's because those naughty soldiers didn't have a good relationship with a chaplain. Evangelical fanaticism should be encouraged in all the services, not just in the Air Force academy.