Time for another omnium gatherum, because I have a lot of little items, with not much to say about them, and no single larger item with a lot to say about. At least I think that’s what I have, though sometimes I discover when I start typing that I have more to say than I thought. Isn’t that always the way. Blather blather. Just ask my colleague, who tries his best to get a little work done in the intervals between my outbursts of talkativity, or whining, or both.
One item. I commented a few days ago on that April Fool’s comment in the Guardian, along with various comments on the comments. But I forgot to mention the one on normblog, which is very good.
But let us assume, just for the sake of a standard piece of dnoc hand wringing, that the men are in fact guilty as suspected. Wouldn’t one then have to know rather a lot more than the Guardian possibly can do at this point, about the precise lines of cause and effect between their backgrounds, their experiences, their characters, ideological influences on them, their motives, and so on, before being able to draw big broad conclusions about why they were planning what they were? Unless, that is, we’re all guilty of the crimes to be committed against us until we’re actually blown to bits (and even then we may be guilty of them in some people’s eyes).
Hand-wringing. It can get to be a habit, almost a conditioned reflex. I think I used to have the habit a little myself, as no doubt a lot of us do. You know, the half-formed thought – ‘Yes but why did they -‘ which may then get deflected by the next thought, which could be ‘Never mind why, it was the wrong thing to do’ or ‘You don’t know and no one knows yet so shut up’ or ‘Oh not that again’ or ‘Because they felt like it, probably.’ Or any number of other thoughts. Hand-wringing can be a needed corrective, of course, and part of the picture, but there can be a good deal too much of it.
And one more, that I meant to link to days ago, or was it weeks. Scott McLemee read that lovely bit of parodic-nonparodic wisdom I posted in News last week, and was inspired to do a metaparody of his own, having to do with Funyums. See April 7. (I should have linked to it immediately, and then you would have seen it in parallel text. Nobody’s perfect.)