I’ve been sitting here over the last week basically tearing my hair out and having a cold. I’ll admit, if this is my traditional start of term catch something from students, it’s very mild, and I’ll take it.
My book still isn’t finished, although it’s preceding better than it was, and I’ve got a stack of papers to correct–the first real ones this semester–waiting for me when I give in and go to get lunch.
On the whole, I find this a not very cheerful day, but there are some things of note, some of them even positive.
First, it seems like Anthony Wiener will not be the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York, and therefore will not be the actual mayor of New York, which is something of a win for the dignity of the American political process.
Assuming it has any.
I’ll admit that after years and years of Michael Bloomberg’s prissy soft totalitarianism, the idea of a mayor with a looser style had its advantages.
But the bottom line is that whoever told Wiener he could pull this off, or even that he should try, was an idiot.
Second, we’re not going into Syria as far as I can tell.
My hesitation derives from the fact that I’m not really sure what is going on, and I’m not sure anybody else is either.
A friend of mine described all this to me as Obama practicing the multilateralism everybody wanted out of Bush on Iraq, but if it is, I don’t think we should do it any more.
I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it just looks bad, less like measured reason and more like bumbling around without a clue.
And I’m not sure what it is all supposed to be in aid of.
The explanations I heard Obama give–okay, I didn’t listen to yesterday’s speech–didn’t make much sense, and to the extent they would have made any sense at all would have served as a justification for the Iraq war at least as much as it would have served as a justification of this one.
A lot of the people who post here don’t much like Obama, but I don’t care who it was who had made this particular pitch, it just didn’t–cohere, somehow.
And if you’re going to justify a war, you do have to put together a narrative that coheres. Somewhere.
Third, it’s the anniversary of 9/11, and as with all the other anniversaries of 9/11 so far, that doesn’t cohere all that well, either.
I sometimes think we haven’t really figured out what we think about all that yet.
This anniversary is eerily like the day itself, at least as far as weather goes out here.
But I think 9/11 is hard for most Americans to read.
And it gets harder for me to read the more I know about the world at large.
On that note, I’d like to suggest a book. It’s called Reading Lolita in Teheran, by Azan Nafisi, and Irani woman trained as a professor of literature in the US (Oklahoma/Norman) who went back to Iran to participate in the revolution against the Shah and ended up–
Well, eventually she ended up back here as a professor at Johns Hopkins, but what got to me was her realization that even if her Leftist allies had won that revolution, they would still have imposed not only a repressive state, but the same kind of repressive state.
She is, as far as I can tell, a more enthusiastic American than a lot of born Americans these days.
As for the successful revolutionaries, all I can say is that these people are obsessed with sex.
They’re more obsessed with sex than any Western porn addict could be if he worked on it for decades.
And, along with the bizarre mania for “purity” in men as well as women, the age of marriage for a girl in Iran is now 9, and the routine sexual abuse practiced by the authorized “morality police” is just stunning.
Dr. Nafisi is much more concerned with the fact that such ideological rigidness, of the left as well as of the right, renders the ideologue incapable of understanding fiction.
I think she may actually have a point.
I, however, have a stack of papers to correct.
9 Responses to 'Dipsydoodle'
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.