<= 2001.10.16

2001.10.18 =>

blood and milk, water and wine

Email from mother, which I'm not sure how to take:

Paul, I had the funniest dream about you last night. I dreamt that Tom and I came to an English lecture you were giving. You were really animated and entertaining. You had bright white hair and monkey ears, and by the end of the lecture you had turned into a really fat, really happy Eskimo boy. It was weird.

Here's an article that gets all snippy about that David Foster Wallace grammar essay from Harper's and that Roget's Thesaurus article from The Atlantic. I find it mainly interesting as an example of how Wallace reads to someone who just completely misses the point and refuses to enter the joke:

Then, Wallace's piece is badly written in a way that only an academic intellectual could manage: it is the most self-indulgent, narcissistic piece I can recall seeing in any mainstream publication. His manner is nauseatingly cute and condescending; he uses words imprecisely, offers bad analogies (whose point he then explains at length—the sure sign of a bad analogy), says everything several times, and intrudes much purely personal and otherwise irrelevant matter. A particularly objectionable feature of his piece is his alternation between parading erudition (often irrelevant) and cosying up to us as just another Regular Guy. One minute he's overawing us with an epigraph in Latin (untranslated) from St Augustine, the next he's speaking of a statement's "biting Gove's whole argument in the ass"—he's Mr All-Things-to-All-Men.

Well, either you dig it or you don't, I guess.

Edward Said sez: "clash of civilizations" is a grossly misleading term.

...the personification of enormous entities called "the West" and "Islam" is recklessly affirmed, as if hugely complicated matters like identity and culture existed in a cartoonlike world where Popeye and Bluto bash each other mercilessly, with one always more virtuous pugilist getting the upper hand over his adversary. Certainly neither Huntington nor Lewis has much time to spare for the internal dynamics and plurality of every civilization, or for the fact that the major contest in most modern cultures concerns the definition or interpretation of each culture, or for the unattractive possibility that a great deal of demagogy and downright ignorance is involved in presuming to speak for a whole religion or civilization.


<= 2001.10.16

2001.10.18 =>

up (2001.10)

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