July 24, 2007

For Ric Caric

Yesterday, as most of us were focused on the terrible news of Christiana Hendrix’ death, and saddened by Jeff’s grandmother’s passing, Ric detailed his complaints against PW in particular and conservatives in general in a longish comment to Jeff’s post about Maha’s rhetoric and what it reveals about her. None of us likes especially to be mischaracterized, unless it is to be taken for greater than in fact we are, so I’d like to apologize up front for any unwarrantedly dismissive or hurtful comments that I’ve made, weenie that I am.

Ric’s recent post on his family of Potter-maniacs I found charming, Ace’s imputations notwithstanding, and I salute Ric (with my hand) for his obvious love for and dedication towards his immediate household, particularly given his understandable animus toward his father and brother, both deadbeat dads, it seems. I find his anger justifiable, so I wouldn’t count him as a hater on that basis.

Having said these things, though, I wonder why Ric feels that every topic we treat of here must somehow pertain to him and to his beliefs. If Maha chooses deliberately (I would guess) to mischaracterize my argument urging that we defend our principles of expression against Islamists and their apologists in the Western press–or to insist that we continue to have the right to enunciate the fact that certain varieties of Islamic ideology, deriving their impetus from scripture, call for the subjugation of non-believers and the universal spread, by the sword or its modern equivalents if necessary, of Islamic empiry, or merely defend the right of American citizens to be able to report perceived threats against their lives without fear of lawsuits–then I don’t personally feel the need to defend myself against the calumny, because it doesn’t address what I have said or who I am. It is possible, certainly, to employ psychology to determine that, in fact, one or one’s beliefs are the intended target of virtually any utterance, as absurd as that is. So, detached from any context apart from gender theory, it is certainly acceptable to state categorically that conservatives have repressed closeted yearnings to ingratiate themselves to the paternal authority figure who allows them access to the world of true manliness, for example, when deep down, they are nought but weenies. It is also possible to take part in academic disputation that seeks to demonstrate, predictably and dully, that Jesus’ crucifixion was the responsibility of a masculinist ethos, thus by implication excluding “the feminine” from any blame, in the ongoing and extraordinarily tedious project of raking all virtues towards femininity whilst simultaneously turning masculinity into a cosmic dumping ground for all ills. Whilst helping oneself to an enormous krater of undiluted smug, one can then grill, if that is one’s choice, a tofu dog, contemplating with satisfaction the heroic self-abnegation that one has practiced against the slings and arrows of outrageous slander one has suffered in one’s academic department by speaking truth to power. “Indeed,” one wonders, “why cannot everyone be more like I?”

Or really, for that matter, like Albus Dumbledore? For it is manifest that had George Bush bothered to read Harry Potter (rather than that dreadful Bernard Lewis), he would have understood from the example of the Headmaster of Hogwarts that he really wasn’t cut out for this presidential thing. In the glorious tradition of such immortal titles as, “Jesus, CEO,” Professor Caric now intends to give us a treatise demonstrating that we need a Dumbledore in the Whitehouse, rather than a . . . Whomping Bush. And the lofty perspective afforded him by the view from the Owlery (even higher than an ivory tower) will reinvigorate his academic cogitations even as it fills his coffers at Gringot’s with gold. Well, Godspeed, Ric, but don’t you think that some of what Harry Potter seems to say supports our views here?

For example, this Dolores Umbrage: is she not a caricature of the small-minded, officious bureaucrat who attempts to control by fiat the thoughts and actions of her “charges”? Does she not attempt, like the administrations of many colleges and universities, I might add, to determine which forms of assembly are acceptable and which are not? Are those who recognize the manifest danger they are in encouraged to leave it to the authorities to take care of it? Do not those authorities, with the connivance of the press, attempt to pooh-pooh legitimate concerns? Or who is to say what is a valid or invalid application of the fiction to “real life”?

And as I engage your concerns, Ric, I would like to ask why you think Maha found it necessary to mischaracterize my argument in order to make her point.

Posted by Dan Collins @ 6:14am

Comments (18)

  1. And as I engage your concerns, Ric, I would like to ask why you think Maha found it necessary to mischaracterize my argument in order to make her point.

    Dan, it’s for the very same reason that Perfessor Caricature finds it necessary to mischaracterize the positions found here. The truth doesn’t fit the narrative, and they can’t use it to hate you, so they need a substitute and they use what they have at hand: lies.

  2. Dan, it just may be that Ric, like most contemporary liberals, cannot see the evil consequences of contemporary liberal politics. John Kerry, when confronted by the monumental misery that resulted from Democrat abandonment of South Vietnam, simply denies that anything bad happened. It amounts to holocaust denial. It’s what Kerry advanced way back then, and what’s the big deal? The millions killed as a result of that abandonment suffered and died for a good reason: they gave contempary liberals power. This the morality of contemporary liberalism and explains a lot. Even physical events that contradict liberal assertions of righteousness and justification are denied. Mere moral hypocrisy is a breeeze by comparison.

  3. Whilst helping oneself to an enormous krater of undiluted smug, one can then grill, if that is one’s choice, a tofu dog, contemplating with satisfaction the heroic self-abnegation that one has practiced against the slings and arrows of outrageous slander one has suffered in one’s academic department by speaking truth to power. “Indeed,” one wonders, “why cannot everyone be more like I?”

    Why Dan, almost Goldsteinian in it’s cultural reference puffery. (heh)

    The most distrubing thing about Caric’s rant and maha’s dismissal is the clear application of the Mona principle; right wingers/rethuglicans/conservatives et al are unworthy of debate. Indeed they are only worthy of being marginalized, removed from power and shuffled off to religious charities or some such (as long as there is no government money involved.) As I wrote in response to carics rantings:

    It is the measure of Caric’s supremely insular arrogance that he sees his writings as righteous and enlightened rather than the utterly illiberal, intolerant bigotry of ideas that it represents. Once he has, through the glorious insight of his education and blinkered academic experience, determined real “truth” he must not brook any interference in its proclamation. Any libel, any slander, is perfectly tolerant to protect the “truths.”

    Somewhere, Josef Goebbels is sighing with deep satisfaction.

    The fact that none of the above purveyors of truth recognise the totalitarian underpinnings of their attitude is deeply distrubing.

    This is one your best, Dan. Bravo!

  4. On the bright side, his transparent mendaciousness has been duly noted by those whose minds he aspires to fill with his claptrap.

  5. As they say, it’s obvious.

    What is?

    First off, the rightness of maha and Professor Caric’s perspective. That anyone might differ from their views is, by definition, ludicrous. One does not question the rightness of 2+2=4, one does not argue the Copernican theory of the planets, and one does not question the rightness of their views.

    So, what if one does have the temerity to differ? If you’re a gap-toothed moron, maha and the professor pat you on the head, try to educate you, and shake their heads at the amount of ignorance in the world. “Truly, the non-existent ‘God’ must love fools, for She has made so many!”

    Ah, but what if you’re not an ignorant moron? Then you must be deliberate in your wrong-headedness. In which case, you are to be treated with contempt, since one cannot explain your subscribing to patently wrong views, in light of the professor’s and maha’s explanations, in terms of not knowing any better.

    Hence, the oft-heard refrain from the likes of the professor (cf. alphie): I come here, not in order to debate, but to point out your right-winged wrongheadedness. Contempt to follow.

    Note: This means that there is no possibility of coming to different conclusions from the observed conditions. As night follows day, the professor’s view follows from any correct observation of the facts.

    One can only marvel at the scholarship that undoubtedly ensues from this perspective.

  6. If there is a scholarship, its definitely sinking. Or,

    tw: Beyond curative…

  7. Pingback: Will the real "liberal" please stand up?

  8. I don’t qualify as a Potter-maniac, but I did just see the most recent movie, which features Dumbledore in the role of warning people of an evil threat and the government trying to preted it doesn’t exist — a narrative that could easily feature conservatives in the role of Dumbledore. As for Umbridge, I don’t see how conservatives were all that trilled about W & Teddy the Swimmer interfering with education. And they would be less so regarding a fine private school like Hogwarts.

  9. Hey, as the bumper sticker says…Voldemort votes Republican! Bumper stickers don’t lie, so obviously you’re all evil!

  10. Dan, you are so much nicer than I. Restraint is not one of my virtues.

  11. Um, the main reason I voted for George Bush was that he, like Dumbledore, can recognize evil when he sees it, knows that Voldemort (fascism) is back, and doesn’t apologize or engage in hand-wringing about whether he has the moral standing to fight back. I mean, doesn’t Dumbledore have similar aspirations in his past?

    So, you see, he’s just as bad. Let he who is without sin and all that.

  12. I was kind of thinking about Prof. Caric’s Harry Potter references as well. What stuck me the most was that Harry and Dumbledore recognized evil for what it was, and knew that it must be fought in all of its different incantations. They knew that evil was relentless, and left unopposed, it would continue to gain strength, as it had previously. Even to a vagina-fearing racist rube such as myself, that seemed plainly evident.

  13. I guess the left can admit the truth – when the context is fictional and the consequences are trivial.

    It is more interesting to me why someone would equate Hiz’b’allah and the US Army (or the IDF for that matter) than any debate with someone suffering from that delusion would me.

    The concept is actually, and wholly, indefensible, and yet I hear it again and again. And it’s the same with the “fear the vagina” claptrap and the “closet bigotry” claptrap.

    I think once in my life I’ve faced a liberal who admitted that most Americans are well-intentioned and the right-left schism on race was based on differences in approach. They believed their solution of intense community focus, group identity and government intervention was correct, and were willing to defend it.

    Mind you, that was a long time ago.

  14. The American Left long ago lost the ability to debate coherently. Without the (perceived) need to debate, the skill atrophied.

    Perhaps one day they’ll shelve Relativism as a self-defeating idea and pick up something that will give them a better foundation for debate. Until then, though, I think it is always going to look like an exercise in wild hand-waving… when they bother to try at all.

  15. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Hats off to you!


  16. I think the gentleman at anticaric does not care much for the Prof. Given the drivel that comes pouring from Caric’s fingertips, that comes as no surprise.

  17. It took five years for this stupid childish bullshit to find its way to this thread.

  18. I have no idea what you’re talking about, palaeo.