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Rediscover the brand new Network

OK, we can all stop making fun of DiscovertheNetwork now.  And that’s a good thing, because I’m exhausted today.  (I have a post about St. Louis but I’m just too tired to write it.  And I’ve come home to a desk covered in papers and bills, of course.)

Anyway, the “individuals” page no longer links Bruce Springsteen to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or Roger Ebert to Mohammed Atta.  In response to all the positive feedback we’ve offered in the past two weeks (free of charge, I might add), the revised and reformatted page makes clear distinctions among us leftists.  And it’s about time.

So now there are five categories:  Totalitarian Radicals, Anti-American Radicals, Leftists, Moderate Leftists, and Affective Leftists.  And in what is probably a personal rebuke to Roxanne, the site no longer resembles Hollywood Squares, opting instead for more of a Jeopardy! look ("I’ll take Affective Leftists for $800, Alex.") What is an Affective Leftist, you ask? Don’t ask!  This humble blog does not know.  We’re still hard at work pondering the meaning of Neo-Bolshevism, and we can only handle one new branch of leftist theory per week.

So stop by the new Network today and say hello to Affective Leftists like Katie Couric and George Clooney, Moderate Leftists like Tom Brokaw and Chris Matthews, or more hardcore Leftists like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Talbot.  No, I am not making these up.  As I’ve said before, this blog does not make things up.  We’re not that creative.

But hey, folks, do you remember when David Talbot hired David Horowitz to write for Salon?  I do.  And now you can find out a couple of things you probably didn’t know about Talbot, like this:

Unlike his older brother Stephen Talbot, a successful child actor on “Leave It to Beaver” and other television shows, David was an exhibitionist only in private backyard circuses with family and friends, where as Wired Magazine’s Warren St. John reported, “David would emulate the authoritarian flair of directors he’d seen on the sets.”

It’s probably as a personal favor to Talbot that Horowitz’s site doesn’t say which authoritarian directors Talbot emulated.  Alfred Hitchcock?  Orson Welles?  John Ford?  Or . . . perhaps . . . Otto Preminger?

And if you have the strength of spirit, you can even venture over to visit some of the Anti-American Radicals.  Zion Councillor West is there, as he should be, though for some reason they don’t cite his Neo-Leninist motto, “comprehension is not a prerequisite of cooperation.” But I suggest you check out Anti-American Radical Jim McDermott, whose profile includes this particularly ominous sentence:

The only certified psychiatrist in Congress, and representative from a cloudy city with America’s highest incidence of winter depression, McDermott advocates Canadian-style socialized medicine.

So that’s what’s behind this so-called “universal health care” plan-- a psychiatrist’s sneaky scheme to make all Americans grungy and depressed like the almost-in-Canadia people of that cloudy city!  Glad to see someone’s on the case.

The new system still has some kinks, however.  When you read, at the end of David Talbot’s profile, that

David’s brother Stephen Talbot is now a television documentary producer who currently works as series editor of “Frontline / World” for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  One of his two sisters is Margaret Talbot, a feminist writer at The New York Times Magazine, a former editor at the liberal-left New Republic Magazine and a fellow at the progressive New America Foundation. Both have written articles for Salon.com.  The Talbot family thus bears an uncanny resemblance to the radical British Cockburn family. . . .

you begin to wonder, so why aren’t the PBS-New Republic-Salon.com-loving Talbots over in the “Totalitarian Radicals” column with Alexander Cockburn? Again, probably a personal favor.  But we Neo-Bolshevists do not believe in liberal-bourgeois “personal favors,” as they lead to petty individualism and-- ultimately-- outright deviationism.  The Neo-Supreme Neo-Soviet does no favors for anyone!

ADDENDUM:  This is a reconstructed post.  No, I don’t mean it has been to Neo-Bolshevist re-education camp-- I mean that I retrieved it from a Yahoo! cache after the Mysterious Deletion of this blog’s post-election entries.  But I haven’t been able to retrieve the fifty-odd comments originally posted on it.  Anyone who remembers his or her comments verbatim is welcome to post ‘em again.  Or you can go ahead and make up new stuff!

Posted by on 03/02 at 08:25 AM
  1. Here is what I remember:

    Your answer should be in the form of a question>David Lean>Dr.Zhviago>Billy Jack

    And maybe something about Dalton Trumbo, but I’m not 100% sure.

    Posted by Roxanne  on  03/03  at  07:23 PM
  2. My comments have seen the error of their ways. They’re walking down the white-tiled corridor, with the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at their backs. The longhoped-for bullet is entering their brains. They love Big Brother.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/03  at  07:40 PM
  3. Little-known fact: Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay for the best Ed Abbey novel ever adapted for the silver screen.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/03  at  07:43 PM
  4. I just want that snippet of the screenplay for the Leave it to Beaver episode in which the Beav learns about revolutionary socialism from Gus the Fireman (played by Claud Cockburn).

    Posted by  on  03/03  at  09:14 PM
  5. We could do it as a festschrift. Working title: “The Real Reason They Wear Red Suspenders.”

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/03  at  09:59 PM
  6. Look here, I’ll stop making fun of this Discover the Network thing when I’m good and damn well ready. I wrote a letter to the editor of Salon a good five years ago in which I made personal sport of David Horowitz for complaining about not being invited to speak on college campuses because he’s a conservative.

    I advised Himself that the problem was twofold: that he fancied himself an intellectual in a movement that had no use for them, and that he wasn’t one.

    Stupid jxckxss mxthxrfxckxr.

    Posted by pk  on  03/04  at  01:06 AM
  7. I e-mailed the guy not too long ago about his page on Oxfam stating that it was an “International relief organization that condemns Israeli defense actions, but not Palestinian terrorism”, and that it “has made many political condemnations of Israel, while remaining silent about Palestinian-perpetrated human rights abuses”.  I pointed out a couple of the more blatant examples of Oxfam condemning Palestinian terrorism (one on one of his favorite Muslim Watch-type sites); now it looks like he took down the first charge and left the second.  Couldn’t expect much more I guess, the guy is pretty fermisht.

    Posted by Ben Regenspan  on  03/04  at  01:30 AM
  8. I would just like to point out that according to June Lockhart, a number of Lassie episodes were written by commies.

    Posted by Alex  on  03/04  at  02:51 AM
  9. http://www.whatisthenetwork.com

    Posted by  on  03/04  at  05:13 AM
  10. Waaah! I’m not on the list! Anyone know how I can apply?

    Posted by tristero  on  03/04  at  12:32 PM
  11. Pooey!  I was in the middle of a blog post where I pass on the revelation that Horowitz is still conflicted because he continued to support the Weathermen long after more respectable leftists gave up on them.  If anyone has the source for that quote, I’d like to get that.  Relatedly, Horowitz’ indisciminately sweeping up everything (Katie Couric as a leftist!?!?!) fits in with the idea of his feeling guilty over supporting a group of thugs as the Weathermen had become. 
    Personally, I went over to discoverthenetwork and found an entry where he lumps in the entire Iraqi resistance with Saddamist thugs.  I wrote him an email questioning his sanity.  He hasn’t responded.  Dunno why not.

    Posted by Rich  on  03/04  at  10:15 PM
  12. Actually, I don’t believe Horowitz ever lined up with the Weathermen.  His late-in-the-day infatuation with the Panthers was, in fact, all the stranger precisely because he’d been reasonably skeptical (up to that point) of the cults of violence and of personality that defined and destroyed the furthest fringes of the New Left.

    Posted by Michael  on  03/05  at  12:14 AM
  13. So you don’t think that David has difficulty drawing distinctions between different kinds of political actors in general?  It appeared to me that lumping in all sorts of leftists with Islamic “bad guys” was of a piece with failing to distinguish between “New Left” people back in the old days.

    Posted by Rich  on  03/05  at  11:13 AM
  14. Rich:

    Not quite. The right actually believes that 60’s leftist groups and radical Islamist movements are literally one and the same. From Thomas Y M Barnett’s best-selling “The Pentaton’s New Map:”

    What really happened in the 1990s is that many of these [sixties extreme left ] terrorist groups, cut off from Soviet material and ideological support, fundamentally reinvented themselves as religiously motivated terror movements.

    Apparently, Horowitz doesn’t go this far, but he’s trying to make this association in people’s minds without being held responsible for saying it. (Needless to say, Barnett’s assertion is insane. I checked with a genuine expert on the extreme left in the 60’s and he agreed. )

    By the way, the context has not been distorted for the Barnett quote. A longer excerpt can be found here. Hard to believe this book is being taken seriously, but it is.

    Posted by tristero  on  03/05  at  11:55 AM
  15. Yeah, actually I do think he has trouble making those distinctions.  He just never signed up with the Weather Underground, that’s all.  I believe he was in England when the Weathermen split off from the SDS (which amounted to, what, 200 people out of a membership of 100,000), and according to someone who was around at the time, he never really understood the phenomenon by which the other 99,800 stayed on the left while not sliding off into sheer barking New Far Left lunacy.

    Anyway, my initial point about Horowitz and leftist distinctions was simply that he demands we make them in his case (he was never a Stalinist, never a member of the Weathermen or the SLA, etc.) while stitching together Ramsey Clark and Katie Couric.

    Posted by Michael  on  03/05  at  11:56 AM
  16. Ramsey Clark and Katie Couric?

    Who knew? I hope they’re happy.

    Posted by tristero  on  03/05  at  03:19 PM
  17. Thanks!  I finished my post at Prawnblog, our anti-war site.
    Yeah, it’s pretty amazing to see who’s “connected” to whom.

    Posted by Rich  on  03/05  at  03:39 PM
  18. my initial point about Horowitz and leftist distinctions was simply that he demands we make them in his case (he was never a Stalinist, never a member of the Weathermen or the SLA, etc.) while stitching together Ramsey Clark and Katie Couric.

    The more I think about this, the more it seems to make sense to me given Horowitz’s history.

    Michael knows this, but for those who don’t: Horowitz traces his departure from the left to the murder of his friend Betty Van Patter, who he’d recruited to do the books for a Black Panthers’ project. The guilt must have been overwhelming.

    I’ve a bit of experience with people I’m close to having Post-Traumatic Stress-Disorder, and one of the standard symptoms is hypervigilance: the kind of thing that would make the sufferer absurdly sensitive to imagined slights. The sufferer, typically if seemingly contradictorily, is also numbed to social interaction, causing a lack of sensitivity to the feelings of others.

    It’s probably going too far to pathologize all such political thought, to stretch the usual definition of the word “thought.” But postulating a Post-Traumatic Right would certainly explain some of the ways in which large sections of the US went batshit crazy after 9/11.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/06  at  03:04 AM
  19. There is little relationship between Colin Powell’s politics and Trent Lott’s. There is less between Huey Newton’s and John Kerry’s.

    Maybe I’m old fashioned in my resort to reason here, but I fail to see where the tragic murder of a friend has any logical connection to the abandonment of a reasonable set of carefully considered political beliefs. It sounds to me like either the beliefs weren’t that reasonable (true in Horowitz’s case; I for one had zero respect for him back then, let alone when he “flipped") or that his personality is of the sort to make impulsive, hysterical decisions out of anxiety and insecurity (who knows?). Or perhaps both.

    (Also, I fail to see where Horowitz was guilty of anything here, certainly he had no role in the death of a friend. By the way, Horowitz’s version of the story, which I have no doubt is roughly accurate, is here. It’s awful.)

    The truth, of course, is that very, very few liberals (as opposed to New Leftists, who hated liberals) supported the Panthers at anytime and even less after it became obvious what they were up to. By 1974, the time of van Patter’s murder, who the Panthers were was abundantly clear (the infamous Bernstein party, which was pre-1970 would never have taken place by then). I went to a lecture given by a Panther spokesman at an Ethical Culture in New Jersey in the late 60’s/early 70’s. I came away convinced they were dangerous, trigger happy phonies.

    To forcefully condemn the Panthers and their mindset, to be (justifiably) enraged that ex-supporters refused to say anything about known murders is one thing. Betty van Patter’s family, friends, and loved ones should have everyone’s support on this and anyone who knows anything should come forward.

    But it is a wide leap from that to becoming a right wing extremist. It doesn’t follow logically but it does speak to the point that Horowitz really has trouble seeing reality with anything resembling clarity.

    Posted by tristero  on  03/07  at  12:56 PM
  20. Maybe I’m old fashioned in my resort to reason here, but I fail to see where the tragic murder of a friend has any logical connection to the abandonment of a reasonable set of carefully considered political beliefs.

    It doesn’t. That’s why the PTSD symptom is callled “hyper-vigilance” rather than vigilance, and it’s why PTSD is considered a pathology rather than an alternate but valid way of thinking.

    I agree that Horowitz was in no way culpable for his friend’s death as far as I can tell. And I posted the thing above knowing that I was doing a fair bit of handwaving. But my point pretty much precisely was that, as you say,

    To forcefully condemn the Panthers and their mindset, to be (justifiably) enraged that ex-supporters refused to say anything about known murders is one thing… ut it is a wide leap from that to becoming a right wing extremist. It doesn’t follow logically but it does speak to the point that Horowitz really has trouble seeing reality with anything resembling clarity.

    My question is why did he make the leap? I’m no shrink, but the PTSD thing rings true to me based on some experience with the syndrome.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/07  at  01:20 PM
  21. What a diagnosis of PTSD does is put a label on a syndrome. It doesn’t explain how it happened. Or why. Can it tell us how best to confront, rebut, and defuse Horowitz’s mischief?

    I doubt it. I think psych-diagnosing at long distance is, at best, an armchair diversion.

    Although I do admit it can be fun to browse the DSM-IV and see how many different kinds of personality disorders fit what we know about George Bush.

    Posted by tristero  on  03/07  at  01:41 PM
  22. I don’t disagree with you entirely, Tristero. My tongue was further in cheek in my original post than I think came through.

    But I do suspect that thinking along these lines - and I’’d be the last person to claim I was qualified to REALLY diagnose someone this way, especially remotely - might help in confronting the many people who think like Horowitz.

    Horowitz himself, regardless of the source of his current mental state, is likely a lost cause. But there are a lot of people like him, like the guy I encountered recently who “hates all muslims because they tried to kill [his] daughter-in-law.”

    If there’s a parallel pathology that might offer clues for communicating with such folks, why not give it a try?

    Can it tell us how best to confront, rebut, and defuse Horowitz’s mischief?

    Defuse in the sense of “decrease the number of people who take him seriously?” I think so.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  03/07  at  01:53 PM

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