Friday, September 03, 2010
Culture and anarchy
Hey folks! You remember The New Criterion, the very serious intellectual journal founded by Hilton Kramer and Samuel Lipman in 1982 as an antidote to the low moral and aesthetic standards associated with liberalism. It is very serious:
A monthly review of the arts and intellectual life, The New Criterion began as an experiment in critical audacity—a publication devoted to engaging, in Matthew Arnold’s famous phrase, with “the best that has been thought and said.” This also meant engaging with those forces dedicated to traducing genuine cultural and intellectual achievement, whether through obfuscation, politicization, or a commitment to nihilistic absurdity. We are proud that The New Criterion has been in the forefront both of championing what is best and most humanely vital in our cultural inheritance and in exposing what is mendacious, corrosive, and spurious.
So I’m especially pleased to see that The New Criterion is engaging with those forces dedicated to traducing genuine cultural and intellectual achievement by smacking down the obscene wingnuttery and demagoguery surrounding the Park51 project in lower Manhattan. Finally, a voice of sanity and reason on the right!
One of our summertime avocations has been watching the controversy unfold over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” the $100 million, thirteen-story Islamic “community center” avec “prayer space” planned for a spot just around the corner from the crater that once supported the Twin Towers. When we first heard about the plan, early in May, our reaction oscillated between incredulity and outrage: “A mosque? At Ground Zero? The spot where nearly three thousand people were incinerated by Muslim terrorists on 9/11? Surely it’s an unfounded rumor.”
No, it was a report, an accurate report, not a rumor.
Well, no, it was not actually an “accurate” “report,” in the sense that the Ground Zero Mosque is not technically a mosque and is not planned for Ground Zero, or for a spot just around the corner. But to be fair, I do believe that the first half of the second sentence above is entirely true.
Then there’s some eloquent fulminating about how Obama double-stirred the turbid waters, and a bit about how white male Protestants are discriminated against at Yale, and oh yes, what about a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor and what about Muslimic countries are intolerant and what about putting a gay bar next to the mosque, huh? Huh? Also what about the name “Cordoba”? Did you ever think about what that might mean? Did you?
But we digress. Let’s get to the bottom line. Pray tell, what is the bottom line?
The bottom line is this: Islam is a proselytizing, intolerant religion. Its aim is to institute Sharia as the “sole reference point for ... ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community . . . and state.” That is the end. The means are multifarious. Steering commercial aircraft into American skyscrapers is only one tactic. Using and abusing liberal democratic freedoms in order to promulgate an ideology that is neither liberal nor democratic is less ostentatious but may in the end be more effective precisely because it is less dramatic. This is the lasting significance of the case of the Ground Zero Mosque. It represents another step on the march to Islamize the West.
Ladies and gentlemen, The New Criterion, the leading intellectual journal of the American right. Its motto: We Are All Pam Geller Now.
And for extra extra intellectual seriousness, the journal is proud to announce that it is now featuring the work of Andrew C. McCarthy, who champions what is best and most humanely vital in our cultural inheritance and exposes what is mendacious, corrosive, and spurious by revealing how the machinations of Saul Alinsky inform the life and work of You Know Who: “As a young Alinsky acolyte, Barack Obama worked closely with acorn, schooling operatives of an organization now infamous for its Marxist platform, ‘direct action’ tactics, and rampant election fraud.”
Forthcoming in the October issue of The New Criterion: how Malcolm X wrote Dreams From My Father and plotted the FEMA death camps with his illegitimate son Barack.