Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the February 2009 issue

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Congratulations To Paul Krugman

For, as a Longtime Contributor to This Page, Winning

The 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics

We Look Forward with Relish to Publishing Years More of His Delightful Garbagespiel

Meet the Press

Ted Turner, a historical illiterate in action:

We have an FBI, and we’re not prejudiced against somebody who’s worked at the FBI. It’s an honorable place to work. And the KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work. It gave people in the former Soviet Union, a communist country, an opportunity to do something important and worthwhile.
(November 30, 2008)

Columbia Spectator
(online edition)

 One of the Republic’s great universities is again the victim of an apparent prankster online. Cut the comedy, fellows:

This week, the QuAm will celebrate the end of its annual Queer Awareness Month. The month-long series of events is devoted to raising awareness of sexual diversity on campus and has become a symbol of the University’s openness towards differences in sexual preference. Still, QuAm’s organizers would better cater to students of all comfort levels by advertising the month’s educational programming as much as it does the more explicit revelry of Queer Awareness Month.

Over the past several years, QuAM has grown more visible and active on campus and its Queer Awareness Month has grown in popularity. Indeed, many of the lectures and workshops that they hosted this month were great successes. Academics and scientists addressed students about the details of gay history, more worldly students chose to attend sex-toy workshops, and the rainbow-colored arch of balloons over Low Library was a palpable indicator of the University’s commitment to tolerance. That said, the organization largely focused on promoting events that emphasized sex over awareness. The Genderfuck party--where attendees donned only underwear--bore more of a resemblance to a raucous First Friday Dance than a laid-back affair where people could casually discuss sexuality.
(October 29, 2008)

New York Observer

Jason Horowitz, an obvious patriot, retails some asseverations confided by Dr. Erica Jong, the celebrated Master Baiter, to an Italian daily during the last weeks of the late presidential campaign. Miss Jong did not agree to a urine test: 

The record shows that voting machines in America are rigged….My friends Ken Follett and Susan Cheever are extremely worried. Naomi Wolf calls me every day. Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can’t cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduced her to a bundle of nerves…. My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium….After having stolen the last two elections, the Republican Mafia…. If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it’s not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets…. Bush has transformed America into a police state, from torture to the imprisonment of reporters, to the Patriot Act.
(October 30, 2008)

The Progressive

Glad tidings as reported in the journal of the professional malcontents:

To be sure, Obama’s victory spells neither the end of racism nor the realization of full equality. Prepare for a backlash. Prepare for a generalized sentiment in the white population that there no longer is a need for affirmative action or other civil rights protections once a black man sits in the Oval Office. Prepare for blaming the victims of lingering and institutional racism for not being able to get ahead.
(December 2008)

New York Times

Another episode in the ongoing soap opera that is the National Football League, wherein middle linebackers can still be “victimized” without apparent embarrassment:

The Giants’ first home defeat ended a seven-game winning streak and followed a tumultuous week in which their star receiver, Plaxico Burress, was suspended, arrested, handcuffed, briefly jailed and charged with two firearms offenses after accidentally shooting himself in the leg in a Manhattan nightclub with an unregistered handgun.

Burress will not play for the rest of the season or the playoffs, but middle linebacker Antonio Pierce will. Pierce was with Burress during the November 29 mishap and was questioned by authorities on Friday about his role in the events.

It is impossible to know if the pressure affected Pierce’s play Sunday, but he took two unfortunate penalties during the second quarter and was victimized on Philadelphia’s pivotal touchdown, a short pass behind him to Brian Westbrook.
(December 8, 2008)

Washington Post

Columnist Harold Meyerson, a louse in louse clothing, espies the economic consequences of his ideological allies’ sub-prime social engineering, shoddy banking practices, and apolitical greed; and what is his response? He compares “unregulated capital” to an ideology that in the 20th century killed 100 million people and impoverished still more.

In 1949, a number of famous writers, among them Arthur Koestler, Andre Gide, Richard Wright, Stephen Spender and Ignazio Silone, wrote essays explaining why they were no longer communists. The essays were collected in a volume entitled “The God That Failed.”

Today, conservative intellectuals might want to consider writing a tome on the failure of their own beloved deity, unregulated capitalism. The fall of the financial system has been so fast and far-reaching that there’s been no time to fully consider its implications for the reigning economic theology of the past 30 years.
(October 15, 2008)

Boston Globe

And from the prestigious Boston Globe comes word of the demise of one of young Harold Meyerson’s early inspirations:

Marilyn Ferguson, whose best-selling book The Aquarian Conspiracy helped establish the New Age movement by tying together its disparate threads, has died. She was 70…. The Aquarian Conspiracy, published in 1980, was the first comprehensive analysis of the various unconnected efforts--such as scientists investigating biofeedback, midwives running alternative birthing centers and a Christian evangelist promoting meditation--that would coalesce into the New Age movement…. ”After a dark, violent age, the Piscean, we are entering a millennium of love and light--in the words of the popular song the ‘Age of Aquarius,’ the time of ‘the mind’s true liberation,’” Ms. Ferguson wrote in the book.
(October 3, 2008)

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From the Archives

Timeless Tosh From Current Wisdoms Past (February 1989)

 

Gainesville Sun

The sad somniloquy of James A. Michener the same night some cad put garlic in his tapioca pudding: 

This year’s election scared me. It was conducted with a brutality and lack of attention to basic issues that appalled, and the success of its ugly strategies flashed signals that this was the kind of electioneering we should expect during the next three national campaigns of this century.

What frightened me? The tactics that proved so effective were those which Joseph Goebbels found useful in destroying the German Republic in the 1930s.

Michael Dukakis was not defeated, he was destroyed, and that kind of victory does not serve the republic well. If persisted in, it could lead to American-style fascism.
(December 11, 1988)

Washington Post

Rockets go off when Mary McGrory meets the fellow with the map of Florida on his forehead:

Mikhail Gorbachev, somebody said, sounded as if he were running for president of the world. His speech before the United Nations was an experience in political oratory that our recent campaign in no way prepared us for. The Soviet leader unfurled a blueprint for saving the planet and democratizing the world. No “thousand points of light,” no “I’m on your side,” no one-liners, no sound bites. This was cosmic stuff, an announcement of a new order, one in which the Soviet Union will march side by side with, although a step ahead of, other nations toward peace and reason on Earth.

Never mind that back home his grand plans for efficiency and honesty are making snail’s progress. This is one of the reasons he was here. The folks in Moscow had to see that Comrade Mikhail can set the world on its ear, outclass any Western orator and boldly proclaim that the erstwhile number one police state is going to show the world the way to the rule of law and decency.
(December 8, 1988)

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