Ian Buruma & Norman Podhoretz
The most articulate analysis of the obsession with power and violence was actually written by Podhoretz himself, in 1963, in his famous essay “My Negro Problem—and Ours.” Despite what the title might suggest, it is actually an argument against racism and in favor of miscegenation. When Podhoretz grew up in Brooklyn, the common assumption was that Jews were rich and Negroes were persecuted. This was not how things looked to Podhoretz on the playground of his local public school, where poor Jewish boys like him were regularly being beaten up by Negroes: “There is a fight, they win, and we retreat, half whimpering, half with bravado. My first experience of cowardice.” Negroes, he goes on, “made one feel inadequate. But most important of all, they were tough, beautifully, enviably tough, not giving a damn for anyone or anything…. This is what I envied and feared in the Negro….” And then there were the effete snobs, “the writers and intellectuals and artists who romanticize the Negroes, and pander to them,” and “all the white liberals who permit the Negroes to blackmail them into adopting a double standard of moral judgment….”
The key to Podhoretz’s politics seems to me to lie right there: the longing for power, for toughness, for the Shtarker who doesn’t give a damn about anyone or anything, and hatred of the contemptible, cowardly liberals with their pandering ways and their double standards.
Nicely put, I guess. I more enjoyed when he called Mark Steyn a “right-wing comic writer.” That’s pretty funny.
The New Yorker’s blog of the U.S. Open was probably the most joyless thing ever:
Wow. Federer’s defeat of Davydenko was a lot closer than the score would suggest: 7-5, 6-1, 7-5.
Pop art meets denim.
A post wouldn’t pop into his head. (Song, By Toad)
Kevin turned 23. His blog is must-read. You’re a year behind me big guy. I’m sure by next year you’ll catch up.
Farm Aid on Randall’s Island.
School is tiring! This is the first September of my life I have not gone to school, come to think of it. Thank God for small favors.
Sean Penn will play Harvey Milk.
Milk looks like Penn. Matt Damon plays his assassin.
Facebook deems all photos of breastfeeding obscene and removes them.
Arthur C. Danto on Richard Rorty.
Robot Ate Me breaks up.
Classic James Fallows article on Throwing Like a Girl.
Smart couples are on the same page of the balance sheet.
Music is Art on Animal Collective.
Michael Scherer on Fred Thompson:
After Thompson finished up in Mason City, I fell into conversation with Dean Davidson, a Republican business consultant from Minneapolis, who had stopped by during a visit to Iowa to see some family. “I get so tired of the people who say they know the answers to everything,” he told me, explaining the Thompson appeal. “When he talks about working on the factory floor, dirt under your fingernails, and how his parents taught him to achieve something, that’s me.” After an event in Des Moines, a third voter, Jim Deeds, explained the magic this way. “He’s the real deal,” he said. “He’s not Ronald Reagan, but he’s a close second.”
Thompson’s ‘I don’t have all the answers’ schtick is downright hilarious.
This onion article has been everywhere, if you did not read it, now’s not your last chance.
This bird lived until 31, then died.
Charles Lindbergh’s crazy desires.
More on Britney at the VMAs.
We love this album cover!
We also love the blog we poached it from, Sound Bites.
Apple’s 160GB iPod.
Taylor Antrim’s new book looks really good. I love boarding school novels. Fuck it, I love everything.
INTERNETS WE ARE INSIDE OF RIGHT NOW
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING
We filled your heart with gladness took away all your sadness.
We reviewed Pasolini’s Teorama.
We wouldn’t want you to be drowned within our sea.
Thomas Dodd with a shrunken head.