Yeah, Buddy, I Got Your Walter Bagehot Right Here

Over at the New Criterion's blog, Roger Kimball is once again putting his reference books to use:

The English essayist Walter Bagehot (1826-1877) is not much read these days, I think, and more's the pity. Bagehot (his name, by the way, is pronounced "badge-it") was a delicious writer, commanding a manly, outdoor style, a quiet but infectious sense of humor, and a sensibility that was at once large and admonitory. Of course, those very qualities help explain why he is out of favor today: a manly style? That unpleasant squealing you hear is from nearby feminists powering up their whine-machines. Bagehot would not have been at home in early 21st-century America. Today we prefer our writers soft, exculpatory, self-righteous but nevertheless wrapped in the rhetoric of non-judgmentalism.

To which the only suitable response (warning to the irony impaired: look away!) would be: Hey Kimabll, how come you gotta be such a little bitch about it?

I do hope that was manly enough for everyone.

September 24, 2007 11:10 AM | | Comments (5)

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5 Comments

Love the bitch slap.

Gee, could ol' Rog get any more smug and whiny? It's an attractive combo with the laay-dies, I'm sure.

Thanks. In the words of the poet:

I rock the mic like a vandal,
light up the stage and wax the chumps like a candle....

That's either Keats or Vanilla Ice. I'm always getting the two confused.

You know, I do feel obliged to look for substantial conservative cultural analysis. To that end, I bought a couple of volumes of essays by Kimball, on the assumption (judging from their tables of contents) that he must be one of the heavy-hitting intellectuals of the American right.

Which turned out to be a terrible mistake. His stuff is lazy and feeble and trite on a good day. I thought he would be in the same league as the young Gary Wills, but he's actually more like George Will.

This is all pretty frustrating and disappointing. Somebody like Wilmoore Kendall was a worthy adversary, but all Roger Kimball does is make leftist academics feels completely justified in ignoring him, and rightly so.

I was a little taken aback by that quotation from the blog, to tell you the truth, because in what I'd read of his, he certainly struck the right honoring-the-tradition-while-in-my-clubchair poses and conducted a somber, self-congratulatory fanfare/funeral march for culture, literacy and civilized values -- more than enough to put me to sleep. But he was never, you know, just an utter asshole. That passage, though, that snickering male vindictiveness toward those nasty feminsts who won't let us strut around in manly fashions anymore -- God, how I miss those jodphurs and the sting of the riding crop! --he does sound like Will.

So ... have you taken a look at Roger Scruton?

Ok, delurking to say that was funny. Especially the do hope niceness afterwards. Carry on, carry on.

Thanks, Sis....

And yes, daddy-o, I've read Scruton. He and Theodore Dalrymple are what I have in mind -- smart reactionaries who write well. Both are British. I was expecting Kimball to be an American equivalent. He is, except for intellect and eloquence.

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This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on September 24, 2007 11:10 AM.

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