Friday, November 11, 2005

Call Me Ishmael (While I Burn Your Car)

Is Ilana Mercer an absolute genius or what? What does it say about the conservative movement in America to have this level of passion and talent?

Her article today eclipsed my understanding of the media France coverage, left me feeling like a rank amateur in understanding the depth of the kulturkampf. I had contented myself with the lazy observation that the media was disposed to "excuse" criminality when it wore a liberal-political fig leaf.

Ilana digs much deeper. She explains that the miscreancy is itself cited as "proof of virtue".

Her brilliant insight hit me like an epiphany. I felt like I could actually hear Isaiah (5:20): Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who assert that darkness is light and light is darkness; who assert that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. (My translation.)

12 comments:

James Elliott said...

Wow. Talk about painting with a broad brush. No room for nuance or complexity in her little reactionary corner of the world.

Jay D. Homnick said...

I was invited to a nuanced and complex car burning the other day, but in the end the authorities denied me access because I had no proof of PHD.

James Elliott said...

I was invited to a nuanced and complex car burning the other day, but in the end the authorities denied me access because I had no proof of PHD.

Thanks, Jay, but hyperbole still doesn't help the situation. That's a problem with many on the Right. They think wanting to understand the reasons for an action are the same as condoning or excusing it. It beggars belief.

Of course, there are an increasing number on the Left who somehow think that's exactly what should occur, and they're not helping either.

Bubba said...

Oh that a French "Rooster Cogburn-like" character would arise and simply plug these scum with some lead from his six-shooter. Let's see some True Grit.

I heard that the French military was in quite an upheaval last week, nearly crippled in fact. There was a fire in the White Flag factory.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, sympathizing with the "victim" carries an indispensibly comforting moral certainty. ;-)

Jay D. Homnick said...

I heard that in an effort to relieve the poverty the French government brought a carful of potatoes and a carful of bread to each affected neighborhood.

Now there are French fries and French toast galore for all to enjoy.

connie deady said...

I'm sorry, but I found her column to be really offensive and ill-reasoned.

As to the offensive part - she really implies that the riots show something lacking in the Arab race and/or Muslim religion. She says that because her (??) Jewish ancestors rose above conditions there is no reason the rioters shouldn't be able to as well. I can't draw any conclusion from that other than a suggestion of racial inferiority.

As to ill-reasoned, you can't go from the particular to the general. Certainly the acts are criminal and I don't condone them, but when you have mass looting and rioting I think you need to look at systemic solutions. We're not talking one criminal actor, we're talking mass criminal actors.

FWIW I think wanting to understand why the problem occurred in order to seek solutions requires much more intellect than simply pointing the finger and yelling "bad boys".

Simply pointing at the people and saying they are evil-doers isn't going to solve the problem. Looking at the root causes isn't absolving the criminals of their acts, it's a search for a solution to the problem, because I would suggest that rounding up this miscreants and putting them in jail won't stop future ones if the reasons still exist.

Tom Van Dyke said...

As to the offensive part - she really implies that the riots show something lacking in the Arab race and/or Muslim religion. She says that because her (??) Jewish ancestors rose above conditions there is no reason the rioters shouldn't be able to as well. I can't draw any conclusion from that other than a suggestion of racial inferiority.

Oooo, Connie, charging the author with racism as in "something lacking in the Arab race?" The Jews are the same "race," which I think was her point. And everybody everywhere hates the Jews.

That the Beurs tend to hold their own "racial" or religious identity above their Frenchness might be the reason they remain on the outside looking in.

Offensive? Truth often offends. Socrates would see it as a sign he was doing his job. (As we both know, he ended up dead, much like Theo van Gogh.)

connie deady said...

It is offensive to me to suggest that something is lacking in a race of people. Just because Jews at a different time and place were able to rise above doesn't mean another race in another time should be able.

Or maybe I misunderstand her point. I suspect that being hated might make one work harder. I don't know that everyone hates Jewish people. Maybe they are jealous? I tend to think that Jewish people as a race are smarter than the rest of us.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, I think you misunderstood her point. Jews and Arabs are the same "race," Semitic, therefore the author could hardly be suggesting that Arabs are somehow deficient.

It might be best to quit now before getting into any more racialist theories about who is smarter than whom.

connie deady said...

Probably best to quit indeed Tom. Though I'm really fascinated with trying to define the difference between discussing race and racism. I think people conflate the two and they are different.

Men get upset with me constantly pointing out their sexism and then making jokes about men. White men get upset that black men can make jokes about race or insult themselves.

I don't want to hijack the thread with my theories. It's an old doctoral thesis I never wrote, alas.

On the subject of Arabs and Jews being the same race, the other day I wrote a civil rights complaint for two Iranian-American men and referred to them as Arabs. They politely pointed out to me that Iranians actually considered themselves the first white race as opposed to Arabs.

I confess a lot of ignorance on the history of the middle east, history, religion and culture.

Tom Van Dyke said...

"Iranian" and "Aryan" are related words, but I didn't know the Iranians were into the "white" thing as much as Hitler was.