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Still more travels

In response to the overwhelming demand from one or two people in yesterday’s comments, I’m going to release the dates of my upcoming gigs (the What’s Liberal about Rhetorical Occasions? World Tour 2006).  If you’re going to be in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello!  Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets and at the box office.

The next three weeks are unusually intense; ordinarily I don’t leave town (mostly for Jamie-related reasons) more than five times in a semester, and only once have I traveled on three consecutive weekends.  Weekend travel also messes up my hockey season, from which I have taken a six-week hiatus after opening the season quite well in both the A and B leagues.  (And aren’t you glad I spared you the updates on that?)

October 27-28: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my old haunt.  I’m still working on my paper for this one, but I assure you that I have written my bit for the big Cary Nelson Roast on Friday night.  That should be fun.  On Sunday I drive down to St. Louis to visit Nick.

November 2: Colorado College, Colorado Springs, right near my old friends at Focus on Beating the Children the Family.  And despite that talk description, I won’t actually argue against “the common notion that higher education is a bastion of the left.” I just threw that bit in there to aggravate that blogger over at ACTA!  (Actually, I didn’t write that blurb at all.  And I prefer to argue that the domination of a couple of academic fields by liberals and leftists is not necessarily good either for those academic fields nor for liberals and leftists.  But to hear the thrilling details, you’ll just have to come to the talk!)

And damn, but I have a big shiny forehead.  Topped off with helmet hair!  I’ll have to fix that one of these days.

November 4: Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY.  This is a tough one; I’ll be traveling overnight and playing two back-to-back road games.  Let’s hope my preseason fitness regimen pays off!

November 9: Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, talking neither about What’s Liberal nor Rhet Ox but about the book in progress.

November 10: Midwest Modern Language Association, Chicago, keynote address, 6:30 pm (just scroll down to session number 104).  With film clips!  This one will be fun too.  I hope.

And that’s it for the rest of calendar year 2006.

Finally, in other news, this morning Marc Cooper informed me that I’m on some kind of new Ed Herman List.  The nature of this list escaped me at first; it has to do with Bruce Ackerman’s and Todd Gitlin’s response to this essay by Tony Judt, and Ol’ Ed writes:

First, A-G say that “We have all opposed the Iraq war as illegal, unwise and destructive of America’s moral standing. This war fueled, and continues to fuel, jihadis whose commitment to horrific, unjustifiable violence was amply demonstrated by the September 11 attacks…” It should be noted that the “all” who have signed on here (through October 23rd) as opposing the war does not include a large number of prominent liberals, including Paul Berman, David Corn, George Packer, Jean Beth [sic] Elshtain, Michael Walzer, Marc Cooper, Peter Beinart, Leon Wieseltier, David Remnick, Jacob Weisberg, and Michael Berube, among others.

I wasn’t sure why this “should be noted”; Corn, Walzer, Cooper and I opposed the war whereas (I believe) everyone else on this list supported it.  So at first I thought this was just more of the Why Ed Herman is a Lot Like David Horowitz phenomenon: you know, both old frauds get a little confused at times, and throw the names of their many many enemies into a big pot regardless of the issue at hand.  (Todd Gitlin!  Michael Walzer!  Katie Couric!) But then, ten or fifteen seconds later, I realized that Ol’ Ed was implying that Corn, Walzer, Cooper and I didn’t sign the Ackerman-Gitlin thing because we supported war in Iraq.  And that makes a bit more sense, because it fits with what Ol’ Ed has been saying for three or four years now.

Just for the record, I didn’t sign the Ackerman-Gitlin statement ‘til this morning, because (as you can see from the previous post) I was traveling this past weekend, and I didn’t know about it.  Sometimes people publish these things without letting me see them first.  Sad but true!

But the reason it took me ten or fifteen seconds to realize the obvious is that while Ol’ Ed notes the “prominent liberals” who didn’t sign as of October 23, he doesn’t think much of the people who did sign, either:

There is also the question of the form and intensity of opposition to the war. Quite a few liberals, including Todd Gitlin, distanced themselves from the antiwar protests that took place before the war on the grounds of their improper leadership (ANSWER). . . .

Well, if Ed Herman wants to take time out from his current “research” into How Srebrenica Was Not Really Such a Big Deal to re-fight the intraleft battles of 2002, that’s OK with me.  People like Gitlin and Corn and Cooper and me got ourselves on Ed’s Enemies List back then because we opposed the war and believed that ANSWER was precisely the kind of group Bill O’Reilly and Karl Rove would have designated to lead the antiwar movement if they were given their choice from a thousand-item menu of options.  See, we actually wanted millions and millions more of our fellow Americans to oppose the war in Iraq back before it started, long before the bodybags and busted budgets eventually turned public opinion our way; and we didn’t think it was a good idea to organize rallies around slogans like “Amerikkka is the world’s leading terrorist state” and “Palestine must be free from the river to the sea.” (Quite apart from our objections to these slogans’ propositional content, we thought they were pretty bad rhetorical devices for bringing people over to the antiwar side.) Of course, as I noted at the time, the harpies and warfloggers of the right would have demonized the antiwar movement even if it had been led by Miss Manners and Mister Rogers.  But that was no reason for progressives and liberals to keep quiet about the fact that a critical antiwar movement was hijacked from the outset by the hoary old neo-Stalinists of the Workers World Party.  Personally, I didn’t care what the harpies and warfloggers said.  I cared about what the undecideds thought.

Well, I’ll be saying more about all this at the Northwestern gig, where I’ll also be talking about Stuart Hall’s work on Thatcherism.  In the meantime, I’ll—oops!  Almost forgot!  Back in 2002, I was supposed to STFU when people like Ed Herman went after me . . . in the interest of left solidarity, of course.  And I’m not supposed to object to Ol’ Ed’s latest implication that I supported the war in Iraq, because that would be triangulating!

Very well.  I’ll be back tomorrow or Friday with something about the National Review instead.

Posted by on 10/25 at 12:47 PM
  1. The largest flaw with the manifesto, in my opinion, is that it lamely defends reason as it throws it out the window.

    Somebody, somehow, has to say that discriminating against someone based solely on their religious affiliation is wrong, but that discriminating against someone based on the beliefs of their religion is not only just, but essential. The inability to do this disables arguments about “encouraging” “jihadists”, civil rights, just war, and “reason” as “indispensable to democratic self-government”.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/25  at  03:30 PM
  2. Jeez, don’t make me say it:
    The first rule of STFU Club is, that you do no talk about STFU Club.

    But it I believe that it is elsewhere in literature that we find the true inspiration for the Ed Herman Show:

    To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twnety-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new strategem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  03:37 PM
  3. Ah, these flawed manifestos.  I didn’t sign Euston UK or Euston US or Euston TX or Euston THX 1138, but yeah, this time around I thought it was worth reminding Tony Judt that plenty of liberals did precisely the things he accuses us of not doing.  I wouldn’t have written this response quite this way myself, though.

    And so I am working on a manifesto that will denounce (and thereby supersede) all flawed manifestos once and for all.  Fortunately, I have a few copies of this book in the house to guide me in this essential task.

    Captcha:  couple.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/25  at  03:47 PM
  4. And so I am working on a manifesto that will denounce (and thereby supersede) all flawed manifestos once and for all.

    ... and don’t let Ed Herman sign it. Brilliant.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  03:58 PM
  5. Who cares? Once we are all consumed by the GNF, there won’t be any manifestos anymore. Ever.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  04:06 PM
  6. No fair!  Christian peeked at my manifesto before I was ready to publish it!

    Posted by Michael  on  10/25  at  04:31 PM
  7. No! Manifestos must be without flaw!

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/25  at  04:32 PM
  8. "Back in 2002, I was supposed to STFU when people like Ed Herman went after me . . . in the interest of left solidarity, of course.”

    Interesting coincidence, because just today I have been pondering the relationship or distinction (if any) between solidarity, particularly Rortyan solidarity, and consensus, particularly Habermasian consensus. This line of thought was suggested, as you might imagine, by a bit of chapter 6 of Wot’s Liberal.

    That’s because I don’t really agree with Rorty about the community “in which everybody thinks it is human solidarity, rather than knowledge of something not mrely human, that really matters.” I get the attraction of it, and when I’m feeling all ‘Salt of the Earth’y or ‘Eyes on the Prize’y I even feel the attraction of it, but basically I hate it. I think it’s coercive and narrowing. Hermanesque ideological policing is one example of why.

    (I’m revving myself up to jot a note about it. This is like - a little running in place first - before sitting down and relaxing.)

    Posted by Ophelia Benson  on  10/25  at  05:09 PM
  9. OK, I understand the Rorty resistance on that count, Ophelia.  One of my students said something similar, as you know, about how we’d all have to be on the same page in order for Contingency - Irony - Solidarity to work, and I think it’s a cogent objection.  But how about when you’re feeling all Salt in the Eyesy?  Does that work?

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  05:14 PM
  10. Right - the solidarity is swell while we’re all singing ‘We shall not be moved,’ and not so swell when the community is telling us to STFU - especially when it wants us to STFU for abysmal reasons, as it often does.

    Solidarity, like tolerance, like community, is only as good as it is. But they all function as hurrah-words, and people get confused.

    Nah, when I’m feeling all Salt in the Eyesy is when solidarity sounds like being trapped in a rush hour subway car for life.

    Posted by Ophelia Benson  on  10/25  at  05:44 PM
  11. northwestern?  northwestern???  you should come down to hyde park where the real scholars are.  and i have class at that time, so i can’t even come up…

    Posted by Arkadin  on  10/25  at  07:59 PM
  12. Perhaps in between easy swipes at Ed Herman you might spare a word or two for Ackerman and Gitlin’s tragic inability to actually read well. Judt’s piece may be many things, but--and this is the only substantive thing that Ackerman and Gitlin say about it--it hardly charges “that American liberals--without distinction--have ‘acquiesced in President Bush’s catastrophic foreign policy’” (my emphasis). I guess it was probably difficult for Ol’ Todd, aging SDSer that he is, to read Judt’s essay from way up there on his own nonsense stilts.

    If Gitlin were a freshman in one of your classes, Michael, what would such crude misreading merit gradewise?

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  08:17 PM
  13. Solidarity, like tolerance, like community, is only as good as it is. But they all function as hurrah-words, and people get confused.

    And that’s why we need Contingency and Irony!  Except that the GNF will render all this moot, of course.  When we fuse into one solid mass, no one will fuss any more about solidarity.

    you should come down to hyde park where the real scholars are.

    Is there a university there, Arkadin? 

    Actually, the U of C has invited me a couple of times.  But I think my talk at the 1997 Semiprivate Intellectuals conference was so lousy they crossed me off their guest list.  I know that’s what I would have done!

    Posted by Michael  on  10/25  at  08:22 PM
  14. Is this where I’m supposed to pipe up with the observation that Amitai Etzioni’s envisioned civis-utopia gives me the freaking creeps?

    captcha: “farm,” as in “Shirley Jackson wasn’t writing about PowerBall now, was she.”

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/25  at  08:26 PM
  15. If Gitlin were a freshman in one of your classes, Michael, what would such crude misreading merit gradewise?

    We must be reading different versions of Judt’s essay, Eric.  In the version I linked to, I actually don’t see a single acknowledgement on Judt’s part of any liberal who has opposed Bush on Iraq, on torture, on civil liberties, on anything.  On the contrary, I see sentences like “in today’s America, neo-conservatives generate brutish policies for which liberals provide the ethical fig-leaf. There really is no other difference between them.” Try shopping that line around the liberal blogosphere.  Let’s see what Digby and Tristero and Billmon and Greenwald have to say about it, for starters.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/25  at  08:33 PM
  16. Is this where I’m supposed to pipe up with the observation that Amitai Etzioni’s envisioned civis-utopia gives me the freaking creeps?

    And precisely what part of standing in a big circle around the town gazebo and singing “This Land is Your Land” and holding hands with William Galston and Jean Bethke Elshtain are you objecting to, Chris?

    Posted by Michael  on  10/25  at  08:38 PM
  17. <objecting to, Chris?</em>

    The part about none of them knowing the fourth verse.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/25  at  08:45 PM
  18. Well, at least the author’s intent was preserved.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/25  at  08:46 PM
  19. Scholars in Hyde Park? Huh? Michael, will you talk about the GNF at UIUC?

    captcha: “city” as in “transformed into a plasma lake by the GNF”.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  08:47 PM
  20. “some kind of new Ed Herman List”

    The seven most automatically funny words in the English language?

    Posted by Heraclitus  on  10/25  at  09:04 PM
  21. We must be reading different versions of Judt’s essay, Eric.  In the version I linked to, I actually don’t see a single acknowledgement on Judt’s part of any liberal who has opposed Bush on Iraq, on torture, on civil liberties, on anything.  On the contrary, I see sentences like “in today’s America, neo-conservatives generate brutish policies for which liberals provide the ethical fig-leaf. There really is no other difference between them.”

    Hmmmm...well for starters here are a few items that suggest that Judt’s essay is perhaps a hair more nuanced than Gitlin’s reading suggests.

    “As befits the new Gilded Age...the place of the liberal intellectual has been largely taken over by an admirable cohort of ‘muck-raking’ investigative journalists – Seymour Hersh, Michael Massing and Mark Danner, writing in the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.”

    [I’ll grant you that this sentence still contains plenty of spleen, but surely the adverbial “largely” saves this from the charge that Judt has claimed that all liberals--"without distinction"--have joined the Dark Side of the Force.]

    A bit later, amidst much admitted snark, Judt writes, “Every newspaper [i.e. all the traditionally liberal publications Judt has just criticized] I have listed and many others besides have carried editorials criticising Bush’s policy on imprisonment, his use of torture and above all the sheer ineptitude of the president’s war.”

    [Again, I’ll admit that Judt then launches into a very severe attack on these same liberal papers, but this doesn’t diminish the fact that he recognizes that liberal voices of opposition have been raised in them, albeit not with either the frequency, fervor, or unimpeachable moral foundation he might like]

    So, I agree that we must be reading different essays. I think Gitlin’s charge does not hold up to serious scrutiny, but that doesn’t mean I endorse every one of Judt’s claims.

    Ol’ Todd frankly comes off as a bit smug and secure in his own liberal righteousness ("The important truth is that most liberals, including the undersigned, have stayed our course throughout these grim five years") and clearly as he has aged he has grown a bit tone-deaf to the kind of impassioned rhetoric he once practiced. My hope is that by seeking shelter in his belief in liberalism’s moral purism “throughout these grim five years” Gitlin doesn’t cut himself adrift from important sources of critical reflection on its failures.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  09:16 PM
  22. The Ackerman-Gitlin manifesto was prompted by a Tony Judt article that appeared in the London Review of Books as a timely rejoinder to the pro-war left types associated with Euston Heavy. Since there are obvious affinities between the prowar and anti-antiwar camps represented by Heavy and Lite respectively, it is understandable that Ackerman and Gitlin would want to distinguish themselves from a group that now is in an untenable situation. With even the White House being forced to consider alternatives to the current “stay the course” agenda, this leaves unreconstructed imperialists like Christopher Hitchens in an awkward position. Who would want to be amalgamated with the ideological counterparts of those sad Japanese soldiers who were discovered defending a foxhole in some remote Pacific Isle in the 1950s?

    As opposed to warmongers like George W. Bush, the Euston Lite people are much more comfortable with the Bill Clinton way of waging war. They state that they supported the use of force in Yugoslavia, but just to show that they are good sports they also supported the war in Afghanistan. This probably defines the bankruptcy of liberalism more than anything else. These sorts of people don’t really have any principles about sending the US army and navy thousands of miles away to impose its will on the unruly native. They just work themselves into a lather when the mission is not clearly defined nor guaranteed of a successful result.

    In a blog entry that flatters his Euston Heavy co-signatory Norm Geras, Marc Cooper puts it this way: “I never supported the war precisely because I lacked any confidence that — in reality– the Bush administration would be capable of carrying out what it had promised.” Needless to say, this kind of ‘realpolitik’ is virtually indistinguishable from what Henry Kissinger built a career around.

    full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2006/10/20/euston-lite/

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/25  at  09:30 PM
  23. "On the contrary, I see sentences like “in today’s America, neo-conservatives generate brutish policies for which liberals provide the ethical fig-leaf. There really is no other difference between them.”

    I have to confess that a left-wing professor whom I like and respect very much likened Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler in the fall of 2002. This speech act was, in effect, an ethical fig-leaf for the war that was brewing. I doubt this person would make the same statements today, but it was still profoundly disappointing and somehow shocking at the time to see people citing this Bush-sponsored information.

    I don’t know; I mean, Saddam was a butcher and monster on many levels. But if any administration has successfully embraced the Third Reich’s historical strategies and excuses for invading Eastern Europe, it has certainly been our own. Hitler faked a highly theatrical attack on a German radio station on the border of Poland in order to justify the invasion that started WWII.

    captcha: defense

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  09:32 PM
  24. Mic. I can call Proyect from the vasty deep!

    Hot. Why so can I, or so can any man;
    But will he come when you do call for him?

    Mic. Without a doubt!  He answers every time.

    Eric, the two examples you adduce don’t serve your argument very well.  In the first, when Judt speaks of that “admirable cohort of ‘muck-raking’ investigative journalists,” he prefaces that remark with this one:  “Liberalism in the United States today is the politics that dares not speak its name. And those who style themselves ‘liberal intellectuals’ are otherwise engaged.” Otherwise engaged by what?  This just doesn’t make any damn sense.  In the second, he follows his acknowledgement that some newspapers opposed Bush with this:

    Like Stalin’s Western admirers who, in the wake of Khrushchev’s revelations, resented the Soviet dictator not so much for his crimes as for discrediting their Marxism, so intellectual supporters of the Iraq War – among them Michael Ignatieff, Leon Wieseltier, David Remnick and other prominent figures in the North American liberal establishment – have focused their regrets not on the catastrophic invasion itself (which they all supported) but on its incompetent execution.

    About this you write, “he recognizes that liberal voices of opposition have been raised in them, albeit not with either the frequency, fervor, or unimpeachable moral foundation he might like.” Again, you must be reading a version in which Judt follows his line about those newspapers with an acknowledgement of liberals’ opposition to the Iraq War rather than a comparison between liberal Bush worshippers and Stalin’s apologists.

    For my part, when I reread Judt’s piece I think the Ackerman-Gitlin response is flawed in only one respect:  it is far too long.  The best and most appropriate response to these aspects of Tony Judt’s article should be no more than two words long.

    And I say this as someone who endorsed Judt’s take on Israel-Hezbollah this past summer.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/25  at  09:57 PM
  25. There’s certainly an argument to be made that Judt painted with an overly broad brush.  But there’s no question that pro-war liberals played a crucial role in providing moral cover--and a sense of bipartisan support--for the war. And antiwar liberals, as Michael unfortunately reminds us, seemed much more worried about distinguishing themselves from the most impossible elements of the sectarian antiwar left than about effectively arguing against the war itself. 

    I have never had any time for ANSWER. They’re impossible to work with, and probably do the antiwar cause more harm than good. But you know what?  There was a war coming, people. And rather than focusing on loudly and clearly distinguishing themselves from the Paul Bermans, Peter Beinarts, George Packers, and assorted other liberal hawks--who actually had a bully pulpit and appeared frequently on cable tv and in the newspapers--too many liberals wasted precious time instead repeatedly distinguishing themselves from--and in the process actually calling more attention to--a tiny band of outcasts from the Workers World Party who were lucky to get a few minutes here and there on Pacifica.

    I can understand why writing an article correcting Judd that points out the accomplishments of anti-war liberals might be desirable (though those accomplishments were, it must be said, fairly limited).  But a “manifesto”?  Especially one that manages not to provide the more nuanced portrait of liberalism that the authors are apparently calling for, but instead simply ignores the existence, and much greater impact, of the pro-war liberals? At best this seems silly.

    At worst, it’s yet another example of the fact that some anti-war liberals (and it must be said, leftists as well....ironically, ANSWER themselves are past-masters of such behavior) are still more concerned about fighting credentialing side-battles against folks with whom they supposedly agree about the war than they are in confronting actual war supporters, liberal and otherwise. A couple weeks ago, liberal savior Sherrod Brown, most likely the future Senator from Ohio, distinguished himself by voting in the House in favor of torture and the denial of habeas corpus rights.  Sorry, but that’s infinitely more important than Tony Judt not being nuanced enough. And it’s appalling that Gitlin, Ackerman, et al seem to think otherwise.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  10:04 PM
  26. Totally agree with Ben Alpers.

    “Liberalism in the United States today is the politics that dares not speak its name. And those who style themselves ‘liberal intellectuals’ are otherwise engaged.” Otherwise engaged by what?  This just doesn’t make any damn sense.”

    Actually, this does make sense. While the war was brewing, liberals were occupied with many things. But one thing they weren’t doing (on any noticeable level) was publishing essays making the cases against war. After the war started, they were occupied with researching and writing books about the reasons why the war wasn’t working: no exit plan, not enough troops on the ground, the Bush Administration didn’t listen to the reports and recommendations of generals on the ground, etc… I actually helped research one of these books.

    But as for actual DISSENT, I really think that many people were too afraid. They saw the examples of Herta Daubler Gmelin and the Dixie Chicks, and they didn’t want to risk losing their own reputations and careers by saying in public something as seemingly outrageous as, “Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction? Are you out of your f-ing mind??!”

    captcha: tried.
    They didn’t try hard enough. Life went on business as usual. These profs put more effort into graduate labor strikes.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  10:27 PM
  27. Michael: For my part, when I reread Judt’s piece I think the Ackerman-Gitlin response is flawed in only one respect:  it is far too long.

    ---

    Isn’t this like Howard Stern complaining about Opie and Anthony being too dirty?

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/25  at  10:37 PM
  28. But there’s no question that pro-war liberals played a crucial role in providing moral cover—and a sense of bipartisan support—for the war.

    I agree with that much.  But that tiny band of outcasts weren’t just squawking for a few minutes here and there on Pacifica, Ben.  You know better than that.  They ran the damn demonstrations right up to February 2003 and helped to alienate who knows how many liberals and progressive Jews from the antiwar movement in the process.  Those of us who tried to shove ANSWER back into the margins did so not in order to burnish our credentials but in the desperate hope of rallying people against the war—and against the prowar liberals.

    And as I’ve said before on this blog (a couple of times, in fact), I think the liberal hawks have far more to answer for than do the “Amerikkka is the leading terrorist state” fringe left.  In fact, I’ve been saying this for over two years now, which is probably why Judt’s essay gets up my nose.

    Lastly, the Sherrod-Brown-voted-for-torture point would probably be better made at some blog where he’s considered to be a liberal savior.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  10:53 PM
  29. Isn’t this like Howard Stern complaining about Opie and Anthony being too dirty?

    And isn’t this like Kirby Olson complaining about Jacques Cousteau and Michelle Yeoh being too tall?

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  10:56 PM
  30. Michael, few here like ANSWER - me included. There is a question that needs to be asked, though: who else was stepping up to do the organising? Those who disliked ANSWER so much they refused to go to demonstrations or speak out against the war for fear of being associated with them (I do not mean to include you here, but those you say were “alineated") didn’t organise any kind of anti-war movement themselves at the time. Maybe had they done that instead of spending their energy on fighting the WWP, it would have marginalised them. The way it worked out, ANSWER wasn’t “pushed back into the margins” after all. To be honest, I do not believe liberals opposing the Iraq war could have mobilised a lot of support. After all, if you believe that in principle intervention by imperialist powers can be a force for good, then you are reduced to objections based on either expediency ("it won’t work") or procedure ("but we need UN approval").

    And: “organising the demonstrations right up to February 2003” isn’t the same as having a platform. I don’t remember much about the rallies in our drunk-on-war media at all - and you don’t want to honestly claim that’s because they looked at ANSWER and said “oh, these guys can be safely dismissed. If Gitlin was the organizer, now then we’d have to extensively report on it”?

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  11:29 PM
  31. Michael, I certainly wasn’t suggesting that this blog was in the Sherrod-Brown-as-Savior camp.

    But I just fail to see how a manifesto in response to Judt’s post makes any sense. The best I can figure is that Judt points out that such manifestos against the right were a feature of liberals as recently as the 1980s.  I suppose I feel that it kind of proves Judt’s point that what moved Gitlin and Ackerman to issue this manifesto was not the continued awful policies of this administration, or even the behavior of their remaining Democratic enablers like Brown, but rather the fact that Judt implicitly called Gitlin et al’s politics into question. 

    As for ANSWER and the anti-war demonstrations...ANSWER did not sponsor all the antiwar demonstrations, and many of those they did sponsor were also cosponsored by much more sensible groups like UFPJ.  Given ANSWER’s appalling gamesmanship over issues of sponsorship, other groups often found themselves in a damned-if-they-do/damned-if-they-don’t situation when facing whether or not accept ANSWER cosponsorship.  As I’ve said before, ignoring ANSWER as much as possible, as opposed to locking horns with them, was almost always the most sensible course of action. 

    Had the admittedly enormous antiwar demonstrations gotten the media attention that they frankly deserved, and had that attention focused on ANSWER as if they were the entire antiwar movement, then those who prioritized denouncing ANSWER might have had a point. But the demonstrations were largely ignored by the media, certainly in their political details. Most of the attention ANSWER received was not from hawks using them for propaganda purposes (they hardly had to) but from supposedly antiwar voices ringing their hands over ANSWER’s presence in the antiwar movement.  This October 2002 Michelle Goldberg piece from Salon.com is a locus classicus of the form.  Written within days of the actual Democratic leadership of the actual US Senate’s rolling over for the administration on the Iraq War Resolution, this article is a stunning example of misplaced priorities. On page 1 of this story, Todd Gitlin shows up to predict that the October 26 demonstration will be “a gigantic ruination for the antiwar movement.”

    In fact, nobody remembers the goddam October 26 demonstration.  Arguing over the right way to run this and other mass demonstrations was at best fiddling while Rome burned. 

    ANSWER’s treatment of Michael Lerner, for example, was execrable.  But does anyone know any “liberal and progressive Jews” who as a result of such behavior decided to favor the war?  I didn’t think so. ANSWER’s ridiculous behavior discredited--and cpntinue to discredit--ANSWER, not the antiwar movement as a whole.

    And here we are four years later. The war is still going on. The Democratic Party has yet to decide that they’re against either the war or even torture, though they’re clearly a little less in favor of them both than the GOP.  And we’re supposed to get bent out of shape because Tony Judt (who, incidentally, is absolutely a liberal, not a leftist, for whatever that’s worth) didn’t acknowledge Todd Gitlin’s mad antiwar skillz? 

    My problem is not that you or Gitlin think that Sherrod Brown is a liberal savior (I’m glad you don’t, and I really didn’t mean to imply that you did, but merely to point out that, e.g. The Nation presented him as such).  I am troubled that you seem to think that the Judt/Gitlin dust up is more important front in the war for the soul of American liberalism (such as it is) than, say, the presence of seven torture advocates among the Democratic Party’s Senatorial candidates.  But I also realize that this is coming pretty damn close to the old “why don’t you blog about my pet issue” demand.  So let me withdraw that thought and instead retreat to saying that the Gitlin manifesto is, charitably, much ado about nothing. And Tony Judt ought to reside far, far down the list on folks who deserve a two-word reply from antiwar liberals.

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  11:38 PM
  32. In an article on “The Liberal Quandry Over Iraq,” in the New York Times Magazine of December 8, 2002, George Packer stressed the “serious liability” of the ongoing antiwar protest “that will just about guarantee its impotence.” It is controlled by “the farthest reaches of the American Left,” people who don’t feel it necessary to explain how “to keep this mass murderer [Packer means Saddam, not Bush] and his weapons in check..”

    Even as the excerpt above, from Ed Herman’s piece, demonstrates the impact of the Bush Admin’s propaganda machine on people like Packer (his labyrinthian focus on ANSWER’s failure to ******* for the elusive WMDs that no one has ever been able to find), I ultimately have to agree with the conclusion of the article that Professor Berube linked in his last post.

    Afghanistan was a sideshow for Iraq. But the bigger issue is that 9-11 was the spectacle that put all of these other sideshows and main events into action. And scholars who question the causes of that spectacle are the ones who are now under attack, and in serious danger of being removed from their positions.

    Instead of writing manifestos, I think it might be valuable to start speaking up on behalf of the “crackpots” who propose to investigate the physics of the disaster, the manner in which the buildings came down, the lack of timely military response to the hijacked planes, the coincidental nature of the warnings that came before 9-11 about the planned attacks.

    Everyone talks about these things in small groups, but it’s still the lone individuals who get singled out and fired. If more people within academia began to question the chain of events that put the larger picture into motion, I have a feeling it would be far more effective than Gitlin’s and Ackerman’s petition. After all, you can’t fire everyone who has their doubts about whether or not Osama is really Dick Cheney…

    Posted by  on  10/25  at  11:50 PM
  33. "I am troubled that you seem to think that the Judt/Gitlin dust up is more important front in the war for the soul of American liberalism (such as it is) than, say, the presence of seven torture advocates among the Democratic Party’s Senatorial candidates.”

    I know that this thought was withdrawn, but since you wrote it, where did this “seem to think” occur?  This discussion started with “Finally, in other news, this morning Marc Cooper informed me that I’m on some kind of new Ed Herman List”, not “I was going to denounce the seven pro-torture Dem Senatorial candidates, but thought that Judt was just more important.”

    “But I just fail to see how a manifesto in response to Judt’s post makes any sense.”

    When Judt said something like “neener neener, I haven’t seen any liberal antiwar manifestoes lately”, he made it inevitable that a liberal antiwar manifesto would appear.  Pretty pointless, yes, but human nature.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  12:03 AM
  34. I know that this thought was withdrawn, but since you wrote it, where did this “seem to think” occur?
    When Judt said something like “neener neener, I haven’t seen any liberal antiwar manifestoes lately”, he made it inevitable that a liberal antiwar manifesto would appear.  Pretty pointless, yes, but human nature.

    Rich,

    Noting, again, my withdrawal of the comment as a serious argument (it really isn’t) and addressing more why I was moved to write that before withdrawing it…

    I agree that it was more or less inevitable that an antiwar manifesto would appear as a result of Judt’s article. But what’s particular pathetic about the antiwar manifesto that did appear is that the only specific circumstance that motivates it is the Judt article itself. Given all the actual problems that might continue to motivate an antiwar manifesto (the Torture Democrats being but one of many...though they’re a particular pet peeve of mine), the anti-Judt manifesto almost reinforces Judt’s point.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  12:17 AM
  35. Thanks for reminding everyone of the context, Rich.  Look, I can’t tell you all how much I wish liberals had spoken with one clear antiwar voice on Iraq.  I can’t tell you what kind of anger and anguish the Beinarts and Bermans produce in me, but I can say it’s related to the anger and anguish that gets refreshed every single goddamn day this hideous and unnecessary war drags on.  A couple thousand of my fellow Americans are dead, along with some 655,000 Iraqis.  I now live in a country that practices torture and jettisons habeas corpus.  And in the larger scheme of things, I did jack shit to prevent any of this.  But I certainly didn’t follow the liberal hawks off the fucking cliff, and I argued with them as best I knew how.  Now along comes Ed Herman to use the Judt essay as an excuse to lump me and Cooper and Corn and Gitlin back in with the people we opposed, and I’ve got people advising me not to take “easy swipes” at Ed Herman?

    Whatever.  You can all parse the Judt essay as you like.  I will agree that liberal hawks did great damage to the US, to the world, and to liberalism, and though I will continue to believe that many liberals and progressives opposed the liberal hawks, I will not let this discussion fracture the spirit of solidarity and community we have established in the We Are All Giant Nuclear Fireball Now party.

    The next meeting of which, by the way, will be held at the town gazebo tomorrow at 3 pm.  I suggest you all memorize the fourth verse of “This Land Used to be Your Land Until It Was Melted By the Giant Nuclear Fireball.”

    Posted by Michael  on  10/26  at  12:31 AM
  36. FWIW, Michael, I entirely agree with your take on Herman’s behavior in all this.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  12:47 AM
  37. So....how about a discussion of whether US liberals should be calling for “regime change” and “humanitarian intervention” in Darfur?  Perhaps a future-oriented discussion might help clarify matters further?

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/26  at  02:49 AM
  38. I think US liberals need to focus on regime change in the United States first.

    Just a thought.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/26  at  05:03 AM
  39. The GNF cult is spreading:

    gnf

    And, you know, that altar piece is within a mile of the “Stop Bush” sign I linked to yesterday.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  10/26  at  05:15 AM
  40. Weekend travel also messes up my hockey season, from which I have taken a six-week hiatus after opening the season quite well in both the A and B leagues.  (And aren’t you glad I spared you the updates on that?)

    Hell no! I’d love to hear your hockey stories, esp. if that will free us from 99% of future golf blogging. (I won’t say 100% because I’m realistic).

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/26  at  05:41 AM
  41. O-Girl, what golf?  It’s like 30 degrees here.  Great hockey weather!  Too bad I’m traveling and can’t play.

    Darfur, Darfur . . . hey, did everyone forget that humanitarian intervention needn’t rely on a military overthrow of a regime?  Ken Roth at Human Rights Watch will tell you this in more detail, I think.

    Bill:  now that’s the spirit!  But remember, every photo that bleeds into the right sidebar costs me $.07 per download divided by joules per hour.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/26  at  06:56 AM
  42. O-Girl, what golf?

    How dare you “what golf?” me! Selective memory, much? It’s shameful the way you sneak golf blogging into your posts that conveniently have non-golfing titles. And it’s shameful how you tend to start these little stories phrases like, “I’m not golf blogging, but...”

    And yes, I was serious about being interested in hearing your hockey stories. I like hockey, and I wish it was accessible to more kids. My only regret is that you are less than 5 years older than me, thus preventing me from comfortably making “Geezer League” jokes.* And have you or will you soon be updating your hockey photos?

    *I still may make Geezer League jokes, but just not as comfortably as I’d like.

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/26  at  07:47 AM
  43. Michael—Alien guy 24 has arranged to have John Bolton pick up your internet charges. Another exclusive benefit of the GNF Party.

    alien guy

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  10/26  at  08:26 AM
  44. Bill - it looks like you’re lobbying pretty hard for Michael appoint you Minister of Visual Propaganda for the WAAGNFN Party. That’s cool, but as one of Our Leader’s High Advisors, I must say I’m a little disappointed that you have not tried to bribe me to buy some of my considerable influence.  What gives? Insiders gotta eat, too, ya know!

    coincidental captcha: feed

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/26  at  08:52 AM
  45. Bill Benzon, it appears from the site’s CSS that you have about 400 pixels worth of width to play with, subtracting the margin and padding from the blog column’s 440 (okay, okay, so maybe a little more than 400) before your images elbow into the unclaimed territory of the right column. I’m all about the busting loose myself, but if you care to resize, that looks like the outer bound.

    Do you use a place like this image hosting service? If there’s really no additional burden on Michael’s bandwidth, maybe we could petition for an Arbitrarily Graphic Friday sometime, where every picture tells a story about the preceding one.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  09:17 AM
  46. Oaktown Girl, Just tell me what you want Alien Guy 24 to do for you and I’ll pass the request on to him. He’s pretty cool about such things and his powers are beyond description and comprehension.

    Peter Ramus, No, I don’t use an image hosting service. I post the pictures to (quasi-private) online community and then link to there. I love the idea of an AGF, especially the linking idea. I’ve just read a very cool and fascinating book by one Eiko Ikegami entitled Bonds of Civility. It’s about how Japanese civil society arose during the Tokugawa era through informal aesthetic networks. One thing people did was form poetry circles. Anyone who knew the conventions could join, and, once you joined, you got a poet’s name that you used while in circle. So samurai and merchants and farmers and anyone else would meet and compose poetry rings. One person would start out and compose a verse. Then someone else had to compose a verse, linking it to the first. And so on around the circle. The 17 syllable haiku is the initial verse in such a cycle.

    The intertube nets are an obvious place to engage in such things. AGF would be a nice way to get going.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  10/26  at  09:38 AM
  47. <i>Oaktown Girl, Just tell me what you want Alien Guy 24 to do for you and I’ll pass the request on to him. He’s pretty cool about such things and his powers are beyond description and comprehension.</i>

    Mmmmmm...Alien Guy!

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/26  at  10:04 AM
  48. Looking at your new styling as a “blogue"(sic), I am surprised that you have no appearances at the University of Michigan. Or is it really an encoded retroactive display of your lack of solidarity with the PSU football team?

    Probably the latter, just like a liberal - you couch your dissent in some after-the-fact, cleverly ambiguous speech act, clearly afraid to test your so-called “academic freedom” by openly speaking against the interests represented in the name of the position you hold. What’s your ANSWER to that?

    Blow Goo!

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  11:34 AM
  49. CCP #38, yup.  But a little engagement with folks like David Rieff and Samantha Powers who have some experience studying crimes against humanity and advocating what to do about them might help good-guy liberals actually do something productive about places like Darfur, if and when they ever are in a position to influence, much less guide, U.S. foreign policy again.

    OG #42, what MB needs is more LPGA blogging, I tells ya.  This week and next the tour is in Korea and Japan, where many of the world’s best women pro golfers, but it’s always “Tiger this” and “my handicap once was an 8” from Floating Professor Head with Serious Sashimi Cravings.  What gives?  Annika got beat by Lorena recently and we’ll see if Mi Hyun or Ai-chan can do the same soon....

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/26  at  11:39 AM
  50. I just took the trouble to read Michael’s post and am astonished to see this: “And I’m not supposed to object to Ol’ Ed’s latest implication that I supported the war in Iraq, because that would be triangulating!”

    First of all, this continuous reference to Ed Herman’s age is pretty disgusting coming from somebody who should know better about stigmatizing people. That’s all I will say about that.

    Second of all, Ed is quite clear that Gitlin and his co-thinkers were not like Hitchens or Berman, who did in fact support the war. They were distinguished--so to speak--by their frequent attacks on demonstrations led by ANSWER that were printed in what we stodgy Marxists call the bourgeois press. Anybody with a lick of sense understood that the goal was not to build a better movement but to reduce the number of people who would come to ANSWER led protests. This is what we stodgy Marxists call red-baiting. Gitlin is a red-baiter. Period.

    I have to laugh about Berube’s empty chatter about the need to build an alternative movement to ANSWER’s. This is the tip-off: “Well, I’ll be saying more about all this at the Northwestern gig, where I’ll also be talking about Stuart Hall’s work on Thatcherism.” I would suggest that anybody who is up to things like this has about of a clue to organizing street protests as I do about the relationship between Lacan and Emily Bronte.

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/26  at  01:24 PM
  51. Michael,

    This is already getting old, so I won’t drag this argument out more than either of us want to at this point. However, I feel compelled to respond to a few things.

    You write in response to my second point:

    In the second, he follows his acknowledgement that some newspapers opposed Bush with this:

    Like Stalin’s Western admirers who, in the wake of Khrushchev’s revelations, resented the Soviet dictator not so much for his crimes as for discrediting their Marxism, so intellectual supporters of the Iraq War – among them Michael Ignatieff, Leon Wieseltier, David Remnick and other prominent figures in the North American liberal establishment – have focused their regrets not on the catastrophic invasion itself (which they all supported) but on its incompetent execution.

    [my quote snipped]
    Again, you must be reading a version in which Judt follows his line about those newspapers with an acknowledgement of liberals’ opposition to the Iraq War rather than a comparison between liberal Bush worshippers and Stalin’s apologists.

    As you know, I acknowledged that Judt’s statement was preceded and followed by considerable snark. We can certainly agree that the Stalinist comparison is unfair; however, notice the people named here (Ignatieff, Remnick and so forth). If you are suggesting that Gitlin should read himself into this company...well, you go and tell him that! I don’t see an indictment of all liberal intellectuals here, merely an indictment of the ones named (and some others who go unnamed by Judt). Where in this statement is the idea expressed that all liberals, and liberals of Gitlin’s stripe in particular, are, “without distinction,” just so many Stalinist apologists?

    Second, you appear to agree with my point that Judt recognizes that some liberal papers have expressed opposition to Bush. You say so in the first line of the quote. Sure, he then goes on to suggest that they have done so on despicable grounds, but that doesn’t alter the fact that he recognizes that some liberal papers have shown a measure of opposition, does it? He might be assailing their motives but he isn’t denying the fact of their opposition.

    Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the fact that Judt has written a very nasty diatribe against liberalism as it, by and large, expresses itself at the present time. I’ve never denied that, only that Judt has shown a bit more capacity for nuance than Gitlin claims.

    This brings me to my last point: Gitlin has shown himself to be a bit of a hysteric at times, and more than capable of displaying a lack of moderation of his own. A fine example is his Mother Jones piece from October 14, 2002, where he writes about his attendance at an anti-war demonstration outside the UN. Gitlin writes (I’ll bold the truly laughable rhetorical excesses):

    I spoke at an antiwar rally outside the UN on September 12, the same day that President Bush, inside, addressed the General Assembly. The turnout was ragged, 300 or so. But the numbers weren’t the most dismaying aspect of that gathering. The signs were.

    Most of the printed placards held by the protesters said ‘NO SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING.’ The international sanctions against Iraq have been a humanitarian disaster for the country’s civilians. But doesn’t Saddam Hussein bear some responsibility for that disaster? Must that not be noted? The bombing—US and UK attacks in the no-fly zones of northern and southern Iraq—are taking place under the auspices of a mission to protect Iraqi Kurds in the north and Iraqi Shiites in the south. Again, the Iraqi leader bears responsibility; Washington and London have made a credible case for the no-fly-zone sorties because and only because Saddam Hussein has trampled these long-suffering people in more ways than there is room to describe in this space.

    Those picket signs are emblematic of a refusal to face a grotesque world. They express a near-total unwillingness to rebuke Saddam Hussein, and a rejection of any conceivable rationale for using force. The left-wing sectarians who promote ‘NO SANCTIONS, NO BOMBING’ don’t want the US, or anyone, to lift a finger on behalf of the Kurds—to whom you might think we have a special responsibility, since our government invited them to rise up in 1991.

    Now, those same cynics of the hard left have moved to the front of the current anti-war movement. The sponsors of what’s being billed as a national anti-war demonstration in Washington on October 26, and their eminence grise, Ramsey Clark, express no displeasure with Saddam Hussein. Their world is two-toned and, as with the Old Left at its worst, it’s always clear who’s wearing the black hats. (Ramsey Clark belongs to the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, after all.)

    This will not play in Peoria. It does not deserve to play in Washington.

    (to be continued...)

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  01:32 PM
  52. Aside from Gitlin’s obvious sidestepping of the issue of the legality of the no-fly zones (something Gitlin appears to refuse to consider despite there being serious legal questions about them) there is the more obvious issue of his complete lack of all proportionality.

    The signs that provoked Todd Gitlin were not the ones that you (Michael) favor whenever you need to produce a handy example of just how fringe a certain element of the anti-war left is ("Amerikka is the world’s leading terrorist state.") Nope, what got Todd’s knickers in a twist way back in 2002 were the signs saying “No Sanctions; No Bombing”!

    What can one say about such a person? I could say quite a bit but I fear I’ve already reached my quota for this post.

    While the nuttiness of some of the lunatic fringe might be more fun to blog about, perhaps every now and then it would be worth it for liberals to look after their own house. That was all I was trying to suggest. Gitlin’s response to the Judt essay reveals that liberalism is in a bad way. Only relatively recently (as body counts continue to mount and the insurgency shows no real signs of capitulating) have we seen some liberal Democrats in Congress really finding their voice in opposing the war. That alone ought to give some credit to Judt’s admittedly intemperate and merciless dissection of contemporary liberalism’s immediate prospects.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  01:35 PM
  53. I just took the trouble to read Michael’s post and am astonished to see this: “And I’m not supposed to object to Ol’ Ed’s latest implication that I supported the war in Iraq, because that would be triangulating!”

    First of all, this continuous reference to Ed Herman’s age is pretty disgusting coming from somebody who should know better about stigmatizing people. That’s all I will say about that.

    1. You just now (#50) read the post? What were you doing up in #22?

    2. You don’t have to know the relation of Lacan and Emily Bronte to know that the apostrophe in </i>Ol’</i> means the unabbreviated word is not “Old” as in “old,” but “Ole” as in “good ole boy,” and thus a jocular familiarity. Though in Michael’s case, a <a href="http://bau2.uibk.ac.at/sg/python/scripts/ThePiranhaBrothersStory">Pirahanian</a> use of irony, as he’s not really friends with Ol’ Ed.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/26  at  02:27 PM
  54. OT: For people in the Seattle area-

    Halloween Socialist Slap Dance Party

    (BENEFIT) A communist costume contest ("everybody wins")! Pictures with Fidel Castro! Songs by someone named Chi-Chi Guevara! Slap dancing! In case you’ve been living under a socialist rock: A slap dance involves people dancing around and slapping the shit out of each other. It is obviously the best thing in the world.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  02:30 PM
  55. I’d just like to point out that the elusive and mysterious Janet Lyon is also speaking at the MMLA on Nov. 10.  I only skimmed the comments, but I don’t think anyone else has pointed this out—not even her own husband.  Hmph.  And Janet’s talk is followed by a cash bar, while Michael’s is preceded by a free wine hour.  Hmmmm...does that mean people have to be enticed to Michael’s talk with booze?  I tease, I tease!

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  10/26  at  02:34 PM
  56. Let’s try that again.

    I just took the trouble to read Michael’s post and am astonished to see this: “And I’m not supposed to object to Ol’ Ed’s latest implication that I supported the war in Iraq, because that would be triangulating!”

    First of all, this continuous reference to Ed Herman’s age is pretty disgusting coming from somebody who should know better about stigmatizing people. That’s all I will say about that.

    1. You just now (#50) read the post? What were you doing up in #22?

    2. You don’t have to know the relation of Lacan and Emily Bronte to know that the apostrophe in “ Ol’ “ means the unabbreviated word is not “Old” as in “old,” but “Ole” as in “good ole boy,” and thus a jocular familiarity. Though in Michael’s case, this is a Piranhian use of irony, as he’s not really friends with Ol’ Ed.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/26  at  02:35 PM
  57. I’d just like to point out that the elusive and mysterious Janet Lyon is also speaking at the MMLA on Nov. 10.  I only skimmed the comments, but I don’t think anyone else has pointed this out—not even her own husband.

    First I’ve heard of it!

    And hey, would anyone mind if I coined the term “L. Pro.”?  It’s offensive, sure, but we can’t be PC all the time. . . .

    Posted by Michael  on  10/26  at  02:37 PM
  58. Constructionist #49: Noted! However, when Samantha Powers talks about using American power for good in the world, my mind fills with images of the dark lord and the one ring. Step back Samantha! It can only be used for evil!

    I think this is a huge schism in American Liberalism. On an intuitive level, Liberal ideals seem to conflict with the idea of being a lone world power. Even benign dictators aren’t particularly liberal. But I can’t even imagine a Democratic platform based on American disempowerment. I sometimes dream of America handing over its military industrial complexion to the UN, and I get shivers.

    My official prediction is civil war, and eventually, a GNF. Thus spoke CCP!

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/26  at  02:40 PM
  59. Hmmmm...does that mean people have to be enticed to Michael’s talk with booze?

    I think the word you’re looking for is “sedated.”

    Meanwhile, I remain amused at Mr. Proyect’s apparent continued assumption that Cadre-based Marxist Leninism is the same as the Authentic Left, and even more by his coflation of ANSWER with “reds.”

    I’ve been bashing ANSWER — and its dam, Workers’ World — since the mid-1970s, and anyone who accuses me of Red-baiting to my face will be asked to step outside and say that. And I will then lock the door on them so that the rest of us can continue eating and drinking while they sulk outside in the slush with their cigarettes and bile. Which will show them but good.

    ANSWER, true to their long history, attempted to commandeer anti-war sentiment. The left, some of it long accustumed to Trotskyavellian machinations, sidestepped the arguably useless, possibly destructive mass street demonstrations* in favor of building a global progressive network, now still in its infancy, but an increasingly formidable tool in a way that demos may never be again.

    * “When we come up with the RIGHT SLOGAN and the CORRECT SANS FONT for our BANNERS, the world will be OURS! BWA HA HA HA HA!”

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/26  at  02:54 PM
  60. Gah, the typos. I should not write comments while on the phone. And editing a manuscript. And reading a magazine.

    In fact, I really should just pull over right now.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/26  at  02:56 PM
  61. And hey, would anyone mind if I coined the term “L. Pro.”?

    My sister Leslie might. Best to go with “L. Proy.”

    Say, does L. Proy have a mustache? The “mustache of Marxism” has a certain ring to it.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/26  at  02:57 PM
  62. We’d have to keep L Pro filed near J Pro, with only a Kaypro separating them. I foresee trouble.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/26  at  03:00 PM
  63. According to this Kaypro History site the first release, in late 1982, was the Kaypro II, followed by the “Original Kaypro 10.” The “Kaypro 1” didn’t come out until 1986.

    There can be only one conclusion: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the We Are All Giant Nuclear Simulacra Now Party.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/26  at  03:24 PM
  64. Hey, when did Global Nuclear Fireball become Giant Nuclear Fireball? Global was a very concrete measure. I don’t know about this whole giant business.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/26  at  03:27 PM
  65. CC: “The left, some of it long accustumed to Trotskyavellian machinations”

    Sometimes I think that the true generation gap in the U.S. left is between those who really remember what Trots were like and those who don’t.  The ones who honestly question why liberals ever attack the left usually seem to be too young to remember.

    BTW, I just started reading “What’s Liberal”, and already I see that I am John.  Not politically—pretty much complete opposites there—but in terms of the politically opinionated sci-fi buff who will never shut up.  Can’t wait to find out what happens to this Gary Stu character.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  03:40 PM
  66. well.. there must be a-pro STFU consortium.  This just in (okay 30 minutes ago):

    Rumsfeld tells war critics to ‘back off’
    AP - 30 minutes ago
    WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday that critics should “just back off” on demands for deadlines in Iraq and that it is difficult to predict when Iraqis will resume control of their country.

    \

    CCP wrote:However, when Samantha Powers talks about using American power for good in the world, my mind fills with images of the dark lord and the one ring.
    I am unclear whether you are channeling Santorum or merely reiterating his fear of the Dark Lord using his Eye of Mordor to look at the US.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  05:21 PM
  67. Hmmmm...does that mean people have to be enticed to Michael’s talk with booze? (Quod she, Dr. V)

    I think the word you’re looking for is “sedated.” (Quod he, Chris Clarke)

    And musically appropriate, too!

    First I’ve heard of it! (Sez Michael of his wife’s being at the very same conference.)

    Wow, she *is* elusive and mysterious, isn’t she?

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  10/26  at  05:24 PM
  68. Mmmmmm...Alien Guy!

    Not just Alien Guy, Alien Guy 24. Don’t know whether the “24” is a name, an ordinal (like Louis XXIV), or a dimension or something else all together, but he does insist upon it.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  10/26  at  05:34 PM
  69. Sometimes I think that the true generation gap in the U.S. left is between those who really remember what Trots were like and those who don’t.

    Well, luckily the ex-Trots littering PNAC and the Pentagon can provide a crash course for the younguns in the mode of political conduct, if not exactly the ideology.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  05:38 PM
  70. John Protevi believes that Berube was speaking in terms of a good old boy. I really doubt that. My guess is that he was simply echoing what his pal Marc Cooper wrote on his own blog in reference to Herman occasioned by a nod to Berube’s last attack on Herman:

    “If you believe I am too harsh in calling him a fourth rate hack then maybe I will consider calling him merely a stupid old man in future references — if u feel that is more appropriate. And for the record — no— I dont think he ever had much game to lose, frankly.”

    I simply assume that this ugly bit of spittle must have been in the back of Berube’s mind when he began to refer to “ol’ Herman” on this occasion.

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/26  at  06:31 PM
  71. spyder #66: Neither. In this particularly tragic use of a popular metaphor, the role of Mordor will be played by the United States, and the role of the one ring will be played by American power. Of course, Borimor will be played by Samantha Powers, and the role of Frodo will be played by the American people. Rick Santorum was originally cast as a tree, but was later released from the production after accusing Gandolf the Grey of being Kim Jong-Il, and condemning the use of the word “fellowship” as an attempt at homoerotic brain-washing.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/26  at  06:40 PM
  72. Louis Proyect doubts that John Protevi was correct in claiming that Michael Berube was speaking of Ed Herman “in terms of a good old boy,” even in Piranhian irony. There’s only one way to resolve this. In good Goldsteinian fashion, we have to consult the author’s intention. So, author, what were you intending, Piranhian irony, or gerontophobic spittle?

    Captcha, and I am not making this up, is “boy,” as in, “that Ed Herman Louis Proyect John Protevi is a good ole.”

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/26  at  07:25 PM
  73. CCP and spyder, yeah, yeah, the whole “American power as a force for good” thing is not only corny-sounding and easily mockable in otakuese (don’t get me started on what Grant Morrison or Alan Moore would do with it, but see Gaiman’s 1602 for an attempt at imagining a liberal America, or check out Rob McDougall’s recent comics posts), and in practice it always turns out to be “well, uh, actually, just not as bad as that bad guy over there (oops, maybe almost as bad) (uh, worse--sorry ‘bout that),” BUT it would be good, I think, to figure out what non-military interventions in Darfur “we” should be advocating for (do the human-rights NGOs go far or think creatively enough?) and under what circumstances and with what conditions “we” would (if ever) send US troops to Darfur.

    As a founding member of the WAAGNFN splinter cell WAGNFN, my criteria are obviously biased toward whatever brings the Giantest (Ol’wink NF, but, then, I’ve never been all that good a liberal.  I am, however a good enough one to spot (or cry) historical revisionism, CCP.  You have to admit Globalest NF has neither the swing nor the ring of the Giant thing....

    captcha:  show, as in, we have to stop putting off CC’s show trial!  A future arbitrary but fun Friday idea?  Only FHPwCfS knows.

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/26  at  08:04 PM
  74. We’re way ahead of you, TC. The <href="http://www.ghostroses.com/blog/?p=92">first charges have already been made</a> for my show trial.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/26  at  08:09 PM
  75. gah.

    Here.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/26  at  08:10 PM
  76. I think “L.Pro” is nice.

    And to prevent confusion between L.Pro and J.Pro, maybe J.Pro could be nick-named “Bo,” after one of them good-ole-boys from Dukes of Hazard?

    L.Pro and J.Bo: divided brothers of the GNF.

    The only question is who will be Boss Hogg?

    captcha: staff. That’s what I am to my cats.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  08:22 PM
  77. Sometimes I think that the true generation gap in the U.S. left is between those who really remember what Trots were like and those who don’t.

    Yes, them Trots. You know, they had the whole left totally under control in the seventies. Like the PLP (oops, Maoist) or the RYM II (all right, also Maoist) and the Weathermen (ok, anarchist). Anyway, them Trots just made all those liberals in Congress vote for more funding for the war in Indochina. And more nukes. and then funding for the Contras. And all that support for Mr. Montt in Guatemala (the one Michael fantasizes would have made a good target of US power used for good). And money for Mr. Hekmatyar and his friends in Afghanistan. And more money for even more weapons. And the Patriot Act. And the Iraq war resolution. Goodness, those poor liberals just had to do it - the Trots made them.

    Wait - maybe it’s just that the Trots annoyed the heck out of many on the left. Understandable. But good reason to fall into Gitlin-like hysteria? I doubt it.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  08:30 PM
  78. All those strawmen in that small a space!

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/26  at  08:37 PM
  79. All those strawmen in that small a space!

    All the more convenient when the GNF hits.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  08:46 PM
  80. It’s really just one Giant Nuclear Strawman. In a small space.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  09:05 PM
  81. Of course, my hat is perpetually off to Samantha Powers and the fine work she does, and doubly so for her very fine intentions.

    Still, when America talks about “we”, I start getting nervous.

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/26  at  09:12 PM
  82. Since christian h has conjured the specter of Gitlin’s hysteria in his recent post, I feel an urge to share one more example of Gitlin’s penchant for bombast.

    In this article from April 9, 2006 Gitlin shows himself able to spout nonsense with the best of them. “Sects,” he begins, “are always in need of heretics to blame....This is nowhere more true than on the left.”

    And then in good, temperate, nuanced fashion, Gitlin goes on to discuss the criticism his recent book received in precisely these terms:

    “I’ve been rediscovering this cardinal principle since publishing a book a couple of months ago in which I argued what seemed to me to be the not-so terribly-controversial point that it was possible to be liberal and patriotic at the same time. A slightly iconoclastic idea, maybe, but for many of my longtime colleagues on the left, that was all it took. The night of the long knives had begun.”

    The night of the frickin’ long knives, indeed!

    Well, perhaps because Todd was anticipating an impending immoderate attack from the likes of Tony Judt in roughly 6 months time, Gitlin felt he had to get revved up and go after that homogeneous bloc “the left,” because you know unlike liberals it really is possible to talk about “the left” without distinction. wink

    Well, you all should read it. It really is quite a read. If I had to pick a favorite moment (but how can you limit yourself to just one?), it would be the speed with which Gitlin’s description of the unfair treatment his book received morphs, in grand Industrial Light and Magic fashion, into an occasion to remind us that this is all just a small step from the madness of the guillotine, the gulag, and Stalinist show trials. I like a writer who can set things like a nasty book review in an appropriate historical context.

    Seriously though, Gitlin is rapidly coming to resemble nothing so much as Shylock’s brilliant description of the “humoural man” in Merchant of Venice:

    Some men there are love not a gaping pig,
    Some that are mad if they behold a cat,
    And others when the bagpipe sings i’th’ nose,
    Cannot contain their urine

    Like the last man here described, Gitlin has only to hear a harsh word spoken of liberalism and he incontinently releases a stream of mind-piss into the blogosphere.

    Reading Gitlin’s effusions against his enemies occasionally reminds me of what Adam Gopnik once famously wrote about Ken Starr’s report on the crimes of Bill Clinton. Here’s how it would read if it were about Gitlin’s fulminations against “the left”:

    “A supposedly dispassionate account of a group’s sins becomes so overwrought that the reader gradually realizes that the point of the story is not that the enemy is wicked but that the narrator is mad.”

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  09:48 PM
  83. Proyect as a troll. What did you ever do in a previous life to deserve such bad karma?

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  09:58 PM
  84. I thought of the Gitlin / Clinton connection too, but in a different sense—it appears that some people think that this random ex-New-Left prof has been elected as the representative and incarnation of everything they dislike about liberalism.  Maybe you could come up with a good name for him a la “Hitlery”.  Gitler?  Hitlin?

    I mean, going after the Seven Traitorous Dems may be a bit misguided, as opposed to the However Many Republicans, but at least they have power.  Going after Chomsky—well, he’s still influential.  Horowitz is attempting a nation-wide political program, so he’s fair game for political dudgeon.  Going after Herman—well, MB gets a pass via the “he hit me first” rule.  But Gitlin?  Perhaps he has been chosen to symbolize “hysteria”—that sounds like a propaganda tactic suitable to the period under discussion.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  10:18 PM
  85. Well, he does sound a bit hysterical in that article about the night of the long knives! I am very wary of people who invoke World War II traumas to lament the Nation’s attacks on their books. A little self-aggrandizing, aren’t we?

    Is Gitlin trying to say that people are persecuting him because he’s Jewish? If he’s saying that, then cut to the chase and spit it out. I can respect that, and if he makes a case for why this is so, then I’ll believe it.

    But honestly, part of what seems to be “wrong” with the Left these days is that by the time you get through reading their tangled metaphors and historical allusions, you have no idea of what they are on about.

    It’s all about: read my book, I am a cultural pariah and all because I made some vanilla pudding argument that no one actually care about. I am not surprised his book was panned if the big idea was that it’s hip to be square.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  10:58 PM
  86. Gitlin is one author of the “manifesto” under discussion. A manifesto inspired by a slightly over-the-top essay by Tony Judt. So going after him for his own considerable propensity for hysterical reactions seems to be on topic. He is also a particularly egregious example of the former radical now denouncing his former friends.

    captcha: “British”, as in Tony Judt.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  11:01 PM
  87. Sounds like Valerie Solanis.

    I look forward to reading Gitlin’s revised and annotated SCUM Manifesto for the 21st Century.

    Maybe that’s a book the Nation will like?

    captcha: “income,” as in “God damn royalties, I’ll have to put my book on my own course reading list now.”

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  11:07 PM
  88. I read “good ol’ Ed Herman” as a reference to “good ol’ Charlie Brown.” The Gitler-Ackerman manifesto is then the kite-eating tree, and Michael has set up a sidewalk psychiatry stand, 5¢.

    Posted by  on  10/26  at  11:30 PM
  89. Hey, if you can’t denounce your friends, who can you denounce?

    Posted by Central Content Publisher  on  10/26  at  11:30 PM
  90. wingnuts

    (Click to enlarge)

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/27  at  12:17 AM
  91. Chris, that’s so funny, and not only because it’s so funny.  Who do you suppose I’m having lunch with on November 10 in Chicago?  Lucy herself!  Do you think I should try to kick the ball?

    Proyect as a troll. What did you ever do in a previous life to deserve such bad karma?

    Well, Leo, I think the day I started calling him “Sweet Lou”—that was the day he started following me around wearing that ratty I Heart Milosevic t-shirt.  He thought “Sweet Lou” was a slur of some kind, when of course I was merely likening him to Lou Piniella.  Hence my suggestion that we switch to L. Pro. instead.

    Louis Proyect doubts that John Protevi was correct in claiming that Michael Berube was speaking of Ed Herman “in terms of a good old boy,” even in Piranhian irony. There’s only one way to resolve this. In good Goldsteinian fashion, we have to consult the author’s intention. So, author, what were you intending, Piranhian irony, or gerontophobic spittle?

    What do you mean by “intention,” J. Pro.?  Are you sure you don’t want to pose that question to J. Go.?  Aw, never mind, fellers.  Let’s just sing!

    Just a good ol’ Ed,
    Never meanin’ no harm,
    Now alone and bereft,
    Been policin’ the Left
    Since the day he was born. . . .

    Posted by  on  10/27  at  01:48 AM
  92. Chris, read the first few lines of the blog you linked to and I thought, here’s someone who is clearly not WAAGNFN material, so I stopped.  Like ANSWER’s rallies, all WAAGNFN show trials must run through Party- (or cult-, we never really tried to resolve that one) approved authorities.  Also, trying to distract me from my Army of One-like effort to get more LPGA blogging from FHPwSC with your hilarious tribute to Charles Schulz will not work.  (It turns out Annika is ducking the Korean LPGA tournament, knowing she has a chance to make history in Japan by winning that one yet again [probably also knowing she has to get through Ai-chan on her home turf, who could be as formidable as Lorena was in her earlier come-from-behind win that denied Annika an earlier chance to make yet more history], so I won’t hold it against Michael for waiting to further annoy OG just a little bit longer.) Which leads me to think that we can get OG to call off your show trial and put Our Own Dear Ol’ Leader in the docks instead if you join my crusade for the LPGA....

    Oh, and I wish people would stop invoking norbizness’s name in vain on the intertubes.  Dude is trying to stop doing that feature and we all keep feeding him more material every single day!

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/27  at  03:25 AM
  93. Party- (or cult-, we never really tried to resolve that one)

    How about we’re a cult before the glorious GNF manifests, but afterward we’re a party. Why? because then we’ll be able to partay like it was 1999, or whenever.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  10/27  at  05:18 AM
  94. Berube, before you make your next lame attempt at a joke, you might want to consider that brevity is the soul of wit.

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/27  at  11:28 AM
  95. Clearly, however, brevity does not guarantee wit.

    Yes, this is a self-referential comment.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/27  at  11:41 AM
  96. Brevity might not guarantee wit, but prolixity does induce boredom. That’s one thing that Kamm and Berube have in common besides their identification with their respective ruling classes.

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/27  at  11:46 AM
  97. Brevity might not guarantee wit, but prolixity does induce boredom.

    Wellbutrin will help you with that, if my experience is anything to go by. Attention Deficit Disorder is a bitch, as I know full well.

    Of course, this comes from someone who was laughing aloud on BART yesterday reading Rhetorical Floating Heads. (Nick, if you’re reading this, you nailed that Winnie the Pooh thing.)

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/27  at  11:54 AM
  98. Casey: “Proyect as a troll. What did you ever do in a previous life to deserve such bad karma?”

    Actually, both Herman and I have written for the swans.com and he has said nice things about my articles there. Berube understands that I have very little interest in his blog, especially the endless tales about what he ate or saw on his latest trip to some academic conference, but I like to keep up with it in the same way that I keep up with Crooked Timber, Cooper’s blog, Norm Geras or any other pro-imperialist outlet. Fortunately, Berube’s strolls along Kipling Avenue are kept to a minimum here so I generally don’t post anything at all. But I do promise that I will defend Edward Herman whenever he is attacked, especially when the attack is couched in the same boneheaded, agist terms as Cooper’s.

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/27  at  12:52 PM
  99. TC (may I call you TC?) -

    1. I refuse to fall into your artless trap of trying to pit my loathing of golf blogging against my support of women’s “sports”.  (And yes, the quotes around the word “sports” as it relates to golf is jab. So there.)

    2. Which leads me to think that we can get OG to call off your show trial and put Our Own Dear Ol’ Leader in the docks instead if you join my crusade for the LPGA....

    No, absolutely not! The CCST (Chris Clarke Show Trial) update and progress report will be posted soon, (like, after lunch, and after I get a bunch of errands done… and after I get Alien Guy 24 out of my apartment.)

    3. Oaktown Girl does not like to be referred to as “OG”. And now you’ve gone and made me start talking about myself in the third person, which really makes me mad!

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/27  at  03:22 PM
  100. Well i am old, and trots were once a description for the effects of amoebic dysentery, which, when experienced were certainly totalitarian in their imperialist intentions to take control over bodily functions.  But i was unaware that Ed was so old that he needed L-Pro-phylactic protection; amazing what you can learn here from those who show up to defend another’s honors.  Must be yet another “function” of this blog space.

    Posted by  on  10/27  at  03:57 PM
  101. Berube is hereby put on notice that I will defend myself whenever David Brooks is attacked.

    Posted by  on  10/27  at  04:30 PM
  102. Berube is hereby put on notice that I will defend myself whenever David Brooks is attacked.

    Dear God, please don’t tell me that We Are All David Brooks Now.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  10/28  at  10:38 AM
  103. Berube, before you make your next lame attempt at a joke, you might want to consider that brevity is the soul of wit.

    Is not.

    I do promise that I will defend Edward Herman whenever he is attacked, especially when the attack is couched in the same boneheaded, agist terms as Cooper’s.

    But Lou, you just said “lame.” I think that’s mean.  And I think you’re really really stupid.

    Nick, if you’re reading this, you nailed that Winnie the Pooh thing.

    Didn’t he, though?  Heh.  Heh heh.  Heh.

    Posted by Michael  on  10/28  at  02:58 PM
  104. But Lou, you just said “lame.”

    Interesting how deeply rooted in our culture that fear of disability is, innit?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/28  at  03:15 PM
  105. When you call a joke lame, I doubt that the joke will take offense. But when Marc Cooper called Ed Herman a stupid old man, we know where it was coming from. He never would have said this to his face. Well, considering what a crank he has become lately, maybe he would. Anyhow, I can understand why you like making a joke about these sorts of things. It is a defense mechanism I’ve seen at work in other middle aged men who like to play the smirking frat boy.

    Posted by Louis Proyect  on  10/28  at  05:06 PM
  106. Oaktown Girl, apologies on the OG thang. Just liked the ring.  CCST is not bad.  Looking forward to it.  “Sports” just hurt, though.  If I call it a “low blow,” can we get into a really fun exchange of ritualized accusations, too?  This is just the kind of cult-building activity the WAAGNFN Party needs.  Proposed ground rule (oops, Habermasianism there, sorry):  let’s do it really fast, so we cover boxing, phallocentrism, sexual harassment, feminist critiques of Freud, the limits of poststructuralist critiques of phallogocentrism, anti-LPGA vs. pro-LPGA feminism, and whether guys can be in either camp or should just stick to PGA blogging.)

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/28  at  07:26 PM
  107. . But when Marc Cooper called Ed Herman a stupid old man, we know where it was coming from.

    Because Cooper knew full well that those of us in the Irrelevantly Purist Left Doctrinaire Community would protest if he called Herman a, well, you know.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  10/28  at  07:36 PM
  108. TC (may I call you TC?)

    Oaktown Girl, since our cult leader, FHPwSC, has chosen to baptize me after T.C. Chen (he of the famous double-hit chip that cost him a major decades ago), I must not complain, even though I long to accuse him of a subtle mix of anti-Semitism (I’m Jewish, we don’t do that baptism thing), China-bashing (hasn’t Chen suffered enough for his name to be invoked on a blog that has served well over 500,000 readers?), and Japan-bashing (couldn’t he find an allusion to a Japanese golfer to make).  But I can thank you for the courtesy of asking, something I failed to do earlier in linking you to gangsta rap.

    Such pleasantries aside, it’s time for me to begin our duel.  World-series champion Ray Knight will forever be known as Nancy Lopez’s husband, once the test of time has passed.  Hah, take that baseball fan!

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/29  at  03:26 AM
  109. Oaktown Girl, apologies on the OG thang. Just liked the ring.

    Thanks, TC. The letters “OG” together just don’t suit me at all. (Has nothing to do with gansta rap). I’m sure they are the perfect initials for lots of other people, though.

    “Sports” just hurt, though.

    Heh, heh!

    can we get into a really fun exchange of ritualized accusations, too?

    Sure. But please be advised that most of my “ritualized accusation” energy is currently focused on organizing the myriad of charges against Chris Clarke in preparation for his show trial.

    let’s do it really fast, so we cover boxing, phallocentrism, sexual harassment, feminist critiques of Freud, the limits of poststructuralist critiques of phallogocentrism, anti-LPGA vs. pro-LPGA feminism, and whether guys can be in either camp or should just stick to PGA blogging.

    Ha! Typical male. You just want to quickly breeze through all these very, very important women’s issues sans having to explore any of them in depth, which might risk you revealing yourself as the knuckle-dragging sexist pig that you clearly are.

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/29  at  04:40 AM
  110. Oaktown Girl, I have the deepest respect for someone like yourself who’s burning the candle at both ends, what with the CCST and all, but you simply have to sharpen your knives, Ol’ Girl (heh, did I guess the reason you hate “OG”?).

    The state-of-the-art denunciation is ”knuckle-dragging male chauvinist pig who’s so convinced his shit don’t stink that all he does is alternate between throwing and eating/wallowing in it,” which of course is either intensely speciesist (I mean, please, what’s next, you implying bad things about the other species on this planet more intelligent than humanity, like dolphins and lab rats? Have you no shame, madam?!) or really really unfair to the apes, monkeys, and pigs that you demean through your comparison of them to homo sexismus

    What’s more, due to a steady diet of Hostess products during my adolescence, my arms and legs are actually far shorter than they otherwise would have been.  But seeing as how I ain’t boxing with God (I leave that to my co-bloggers during my own leave), I think I’ll be all right.

    As to the charge of premature evaluation, you got me there.  We need to drag this out for at least a few dozen comments to establish the equality of debates within/over feminism with those within/over The Left in America.  Unless, of course, you prefer “difference” feminism to “equality” feminism, in which case we should be shooting for hundreds of comments.  (Can we do it?  Yes, we can!)

    To either end, let me simply say that baseball people are stooopid.  How stupid, you ask?  (Thanks.) So stupid they think Sabermetrics is a really cool new thing, yet the world golfing community mastered the art of parsing ever-more-obscure statistical analyses decades ago (although in this the LPGA was sadly behind the PGA, only just having created its own world ranking system despite having been way more global than the PGA for much longer).

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/29  at  02:39 PM
  111. TC - sorry so late responding to you here. You’re right, I am burning the candle at both ends, and lack the energy to hurl anymore invective at you on this thread than I already have.

    Please accept the following generous offer in lieu of extended witty reparte on feminism, phallocentrism, and the evils of golf blogging:

    1. During the CCST, your WAAGNFN splinter cell, the the WAGNFN (G=Global) will be extended all the rights and priviledges that are enjoyed by the WAAGNFN.

    2. Hmmm. I can’t think of a second thing to offer. You may propose something (which I may reject, but it’s worth a try).

    Yours,
    Oaktown Girl, Minister of Justice, WAAGNFN

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/30  at  02:30 PM
  112. Oaktown Girl, I’ll take your offer.  Sure is good to be on the side of the Minister of Justice.  (BTW, I believe it was Comrade Clarke who tried to introduce the historical revisionism that the G in the GNF referred to Global, not Giant.  I was firmly on the side of the Party in that dispute.  And the WAGNFN Party dropped the “Are” in an effort to appeal to Captain Caveman fans, an effort mocked by Comrade Clarke, who presumed to speak for, and indeed as, the GNF.  Yet more charges to be added to the ever-growing list!)

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  10/31  at  03:11 AM
  113. TC -

    Now that I’ve had a few hours of sleep I remember what the second thing I was going to offer you was and it is this: When The Purge finally comes, I’ll make sure your death is quick and painless.

    I’m of a mind to nominate you for the Glorious post of Official WAAGNFN Party Historian.  It’s a lot of work and carries a heavy burden of responsibility, but you seem perfectly suited for the task.

    captcha: seem

    Posted by Oaktown Girl  on  10/31  at  05:00 AM
  114. TC and OG, I’ve heard through the grape vine that He Who Must Not Be Named has created a new group: Devotees of Holy Post-Apocalyptic Pond Scum (DOHPAPS). Please advise the Minister of Defense. Here’s a picture of their worship object:

    ps

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  10/31  at  06:02 AM

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