Another Miscellany

A few miscellaneous items worth a look.

At Crooked Timber, one on Christopher Hitchens. This includes Jimmy Doyle giving some quotations from the Guardian and the New Statesman from the autumn of 2001 to show sceptics that there really were people saying just the kind of thing that other people on the thread had said no one other than ol’ Ward Churchill actually said. Quite amusing, in a morbid way. And one
on literary theory and whether literary criticism that is interested in, say, formal or aesthetic aspects of literature, or uses the dread word ‘imagination,’ is automatically ‘conservative’ and if so in what sense and according to whom and why should we care and who asked you anyway. Also quite amusing, and about a less deadly subject (though perhaps a more deadly boring one).

At Michael Bérubé’s blog, we learn that David Horowitz has been silly. He did an email debate with Bérubé, then deleted much of what Bérubé said, then posted what was left – himself talking a lot and Bérubé being oddly tight-lipped – and, hilariously, Horowitz asking Bérubé why he keeps not answering the question. Seems like a foolhardy plan, since he didn’t exactly do this in secret. He kind of, you know, published it.

But when I went to the FrontPage site to check out the “debate,” I found that almost all my replies to David had been cut from the “conversation,” and that Glazov and Horowitz, after chopping all the stuff I’d written, slapped me upside the head for not replying to them…Well, holy infant Jesus with a rattlesnake, folks – what a shabby little stunt. First they refuse to publish my responses, and then they chastise me for not responding to them? What is going on over there at FrontPage – are they smoking crack, or are they just giving up altogether? Did they think maybe I wouldn’t notice that fifteen paragraphs of mine had somehow disappeared from the text of the “debate”?

What were they thinking, one wonders. That dangerous lefty professors can’t count good?

Oh darn, there’s an update (she says, having gone from the page with the post by itself to the home page and seen the explanation posted a day or two later). Apparently Horowitz made a mistake – didn’t see the interlineated replies, or something. (Note to interlineators: put them in a different colour next time. Red is quite noticeable.) Never mind, it’s still worth a look, because of all the huffing and puffing about intellectual laziness.

(The blog overall I don’t recommend. Bérubé has always struck me as quite self-infatuated, and unpleasant to people he disagrees with [he was remarkably rude to Russell Jacoby in the Letters section of The Baffler a few years ago, for no reason at all that I could figure out]. The combination of aggression and self-absorption is not all that appealing.)

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