Middle Age Crazy

May 12, 2010 4:17 PM | | Comments (4)


Speaking of recollections of a lost past, I have been ruminating on an observation by Brad DeLong. He posted his memory of the chattering class of twenty-seven years ago, which was the last time official unemployment was around 10%. Everyone "whose policies wouldn't have much of an effect on jobs was nevertheless claiming that their projects were the magic unemployment-reducing bullet." Today, nada. (Mostly. Dean Baker, Michael Lind, and the folks at the Economic Policy Institute are some exceptions.)

Ahem. It's been so long since I've read anything (or cared to read anything) by Mr. Siegel, I'd forgotten what a repellent, incoherent little mind he has, and as Scott notes, a complete lack of self-awareness: It doesn't matter whether you're for or against Ayan Hirsi Ali (the death threats and attempts on her life are debating points "made in good faith"), the only political analysis worth making in the '30s was how to stop Hitler and the Holocaust (doubtless, Mr. Siegel would have known this at the time and not been confused by, oh, the Hitler-Stalin Pact), "accurate definition [of political terms] is beside the point" though he certainly wields some nasty ones as clubs, in supporting the Iraq War, Mr. Berman bears the blame for "the deaths of thousands of Americans and the crippling of many thousands more Americans, and the death and maiming of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians" -- a point Mr. Siegel makes only after declaring that, as one grows older and wiser like him, the "conviction that ideas have consequences loses its power."

I'm hardly a fan of Berman -- he deserves some of this bile-spewing, I suppose -- but geez, Lee, take a breath, look in the mirror, why dontcha and mop up all the spittle.


following your work for years. Met Kurt H. in Austin, saw your IHE essays on Don Belton, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, all with Telluride ties, and wanted to say hi. Still searching for your e-mail address. Meantime, thanks for your wonderful work.

Thanks, Sharon -- and good timing. This summer marks the anniversary of TASP '80, which I may celebrate by rereading Flaubert and Marx (not that I'm ever not rereading Marx, but Class Struggles in France, 1848-1850 in particular this time).

Actually next month I am going to see a fellow seminar member for the first time in thirty years. That you happen to have gotten in touch via a posting with the title "Middle Age Crazy" seems oddly appropriate.

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This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on May 12, 2010 4:17 PM.

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