Middle Age Crazy

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

4 Comments

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.

Scott,

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.

Leave a comment

Recent Work

Fidel Castro: My Life 
A review from Newsday
40 Years of "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" 
Marking the anniversary of Harold Cruse's great book
Style and Grace 
A review of a book by the late, great Grace Paley from ... sheesh, almost ten years ago.
Oh, Canada 
National identity -- going south?
The LaRouche Tabernacle Choir 
An interview with me about the LaRouche movement, on Pacifica radio in Los Angeles
Open Library 
An interview with Aaron Swartz, one of the developers....
Sailing From Ithaka 
The new report calling for a digital platform for scholarly publishing deserves a wide audience
more

Readings

Battle of the Titans 
Dinesh D'Souza and Alan Wolfe debating? Imagine a slime mold in conflict with a patch of mildew. It's just that inspiring.
To the Tehran Station 
Not about Edmund Wilson
more picks

Blogroll

About this Entry

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

Makes You Think, Don't It? was the previous entry in this blog.

Political Correctness Strikes Again is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.