New York Review of Books
More bilge from the global warmists:
There is the scientific and ideological language for what is happening to the weather, but there are hardly any intimate words. Is that surprising? People in mourning tend to use euphemisms; likewise the guilty and ashamed. The most melancholy of all the euphemisms: “The new normal.” “It’s the new normal,” I think, as a beloved pear tree, half-drowned, loses its grip on the earth and falls over. The train line to Cornwall washes away—the new normal. We can’t even say the word “abnormal” to each other out loud: it reminds us of what came before. Better to forget what once was normal, the way season followed season, with a temperate charm only the poets appreciated.
(April 3, 2014)
In a brave attempt to review Governor Scott Walker’s latest treatise, one Ian Murphy, “a blogging blogger,” makes a reckless attempt at harebrained humor and comes off as merely harebrained:
To summarize this book in a word: sublimely-triumphant-funkalicious, masterpiece….
I’ve read this book five times—twice forward, twice backwards, and once in a diagonal fashion while driving—and I don’t think it hyperbole to suggest this transcendent work is the dutifully transcribed voicemail of God.
Distressing portent of a spreading bourgeois tendency at a famous old Molotov Cocktail, brought to our attention by the FBI:
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Miss Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, who has graced President Barack Obama’s Arts Policy Committee (possibly in the nude), Oprah’s “Power List” (fully dressed), and even the faculty at Yale University in progressive New Haven, Connecticut, describes her latest gig on BlogTalkRadio.com, and makes a series of self-revelations that lead one to wonder: Why has this insufferable airhead not been locked up?
On The AYG List, I talk with fascinating people, some at the top of their game, others still climbing—all possessing an uncommon commitment to owning their stories and achieving their visions. I’m not a journalist. I’m a deep thinker. A conversationalist. I won’t be engaging my guests as a passive, neutral moderator. I have a perspective. An opinion on just about everything. I also navigate sometimes complex conversations that unpack and contextualize current events with thoughtful individuals who represent a diverse array of well-informed and passionately articulated perspectives.”
(March 5, 2014)
The New Republic
Another inscrutable passage from the chaotic pages of a venerable progressive organ of opinion long past its prime:
During Margaret Talbot’s stint at The New Republic in the late ’90s, she established herself as a top-shelf cultural critic, capable of spinning expansive sociological theories from seemingly narrow assignments. An analysis of Martha Stewart’s “cult of expertise” became a study of middle-class, domestic dissatisfaction, “the bourgeois home as lost paradise, retrievable through careful instruction.” Here, a review of Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-Up Legend becomes the occasion for an acute anthropology of the youthful New York City striver—more Dawn Powell than Lena Dunham, but possessing shades of both. (“Girls who went out with married men and took themselves to the Automat for Boston cream pie and black coffee.”) The essay is also an analysis of fetishistic nostalgia—the kind of longing that turned Bettie Page-esque cheesecake postcards into cultural artifacts—foreseeing a whole economy of eBay-fueled consumption. With the help of technology, the “ironic preservationist,” Talbot writes, has “accelerated the redemption of kitsch.”
(March 3, 2014)
In the correspondence section of a great journal of opinion the eminent Matthew Boudway takes on Ms. Helen Rittelmeyer by using the magic word, “Krugman.” Simply “Krugman,” that irrefragable game changer:
Rittelmeyer writes, “I will listen to econometricians as soon as you show me one that can write with more fluency than a high-school sophomore.” That sentence would be silly even if it were true that all “econometricians” write badly. As it happens, it isn’t. Paul Krugman—to name just one obvious Nobel Prize-winning example—is a very good writer: He expresses himself clearly and forcefully, if not beautifully. Are there many high-school sophomores or college sophomores or freelance social critics or other New York Times columnists who write better than he does?
New York, New York
Break out the brown shirts, dust off the swastikas: Over at TheConversation.com/uk Lawrence Torcello, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, is ready to rumble:
We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.
Criminal negligence is normally understood to result from failures to avoid reasonably foreseeable harms, or the threat of harms to public safety, consequent of certain activities. Those funding climate denial campaigns can reasonably predict the public’s diminished ability to respond to climate change as a result of their behaviour. Indeed, public uncertainty regarding climate science, and the resulting failure to respond to climate change, is the intentional aim of politically and financially motivated denialists.
My argument probably raises an understandable, if misguided, concern regarding free speech. We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organised campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions. Protecting the latter as a form of free speech stretches the definition of free speech to a degree that undermines the very concept.
What are we to make of those behind the well documented corporate funding of global warming denial? Those who purposefully strive to make sure “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” is given to the public? I believe we understand them correctly when we know them to be not only corrupt and deceitful, but criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life. It is time for modern societies to interpret and update their legal systems accordingly.
(March 13, 2014)
Heroics on the correspondence page of the fabled Post:
I belong to perhaps the smallest club in America: I’m a baby boomer who can’t stand the Beatles, the most overrated band in history. I remember my two older sisters, both caught up in Beatlemania, gushing in 1964 about how great this music was. Then I heard “She Loves You,” and even though I was only 6, I thought, “This is just dumb.” I’ve thought the same about the Beatles’ music ever since.
(March 15, 2014)