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10 September 2007

Democracy Now! Interviews America's Two Leading Antisemites

That sarcastic statement should pull in some "pro-"Israeli googlers. Maybe you no-doubt intellectually honest folks will actually listen to and try to understand what Carter and Finkelstein have to say...

Naaaah, it'll be easier to call me "anti-Semitic" and "self-hating" -- and so much more satisfying than actually thinking and self-questioning. I know, I know: thinking hurt brain; brain no like; baahing with other sheep doubleplusgood.

Having grown up in an upper-middle-class Jewish home in West Hartford, CT, I have had my share of "pro-"Israeli thinking, Leon Uris novels, Fiddler on the Roof viewings, destructive and perverse Holocaust-worship (my mother having lost some extended family in the Nazi holocaust), and all the rest of it -- including the spectacle of watching my parents celebrate (yes, that's the right word) the US invasion of Iraq in 1991, literally making drinks to go with all the bright and shiny explosions on CNN* -- I know a bit about what it's like to overcome one's earlier, mistaken beliefs.

It's OK: you will still be able to love your parents even if you reject some of their beliefs. It's called "being an adult human being" as opposed to "being a moral and intellectual coward who must value the warmth of the family and flock over an honest appraisal of reality." Try thinking it through like a rational human being rather than jumping up and down and hooting on your side of the rapidly disappearing water-hole with your fellow simians: "Jew-legs-good; Moor-legs-bad. Jew-legs-good; Moor-legs-bad...."

Just in case any of my no-doubt intellectually honest opponents don't get it -- the above is Kubrick-plus-Orwell. Please do try to keep up. Also, I am using recently invented rhetorical devices called "irony," "sarcasm," and "satire." I will paste in some definitions of these understandably unfamiliar concepts from the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in order to forestall any confusion in my no-doubt intellectually honest opponents. Print these out and keep them by your keyboards for easy reference:

/"VIrni/ n.

E16. [L ironia, Gk eironeia simulated ignorance, f. eiron dissembler: see -Y3.]

1 Dissimulation, pretence; esp. the pretence of ignorance practised by Socrates as a step towards confuting an adversary. E16.

> Socratic irony: see SOCRATIC a.

2 The expression of meaning using language that normally expresses the opposite; esp. the humorous or sarcastic use of praise to imply condemnation or contempt. E16.

b An instance of this; an ironical utterance or expression. M16.

3 fig. Discrepancy between the expected and the actual state of affairs; a contradictory or ill- timed outcome of events as if in mockery of the fitness of things. M17.

4 The use of language with one meaning for a privileged audience and another for those addressed or concerned. E20.

> tragic irony: see TRAGIC a.

sarcasm /"sA:kaz()m/ n. Also (earlier) in L form *sarcasmus.

M16. [Fr. sarcasme or late L sarcasmus f. late Gk sarkasmos, f. sarkazein tear flesh, gnash the teeth, speak bitterly, f. sark-, sarx flesh.]

1 A bitter or wounding expression or remark, a taunt, esp. one ironically worded. M16.

> GEO. ELIOT Blows are sarcasms turned stupid.

2 The use of or the faculty of using such remarks; language consisting of such remarks. M16.

> P. P. READ 'I can imagine that you are kept very busy'. The sarcasm was unconcealed.

C. HARMAN Ruth..and Valentine..became prime targets for Nora’s scorn and sarcasm.

*sarcasmous a. sarcastic M17–M18.

satire /"satVI/ n. Also (earlier) *satyr.

E16. [(O)Fr., or L satira later form of satura verse composition dealing with a variety of subjects, medley, mixture. Formerly assoc. w. SATYR n.[1] and so spelt.]

1 A work or composition in prose or (orig.) verse which (usu. humorously) exposes prevailing vices or follies or ridicules an (esp. prominent) individual; a lampoon; a performance or broadcast of a similar nature; Rom. Antiq. a poetic medley, esp. of a satirical nature. E16.

>M. ELPHINSTONE Introducing satires on manners and domestic life into Asia.

HARPER LEE Cather published..a snide satire on Louise’s brother.

b fig. An object, fact, or circumstance that brings ridicule on some person or thing. L17.

>B. TAYLOR An..ungainly person, whose clothes were a..satire on his professional skill.

*2 A satirical person, a satirist. E16–E18.

3 a The branch of literature etc. constituted by satires; satirical composition. L16.

b The use of sarcasm, irony, ridicule, etc., to expose vice or folly or to lampoon an individual. L17.

M. O. W. OLIPHANT A tone of satire in her voice when she noted the late marriage.

*Even though, and I blush to admit it, I was for that invasion (at the time; not now), I was repulsed by the celebration of death, which I thought one should take grimly. Yes, even though mommy and daddy looked upon it and said it was good, and, yes, even though it was only Arabs, not actual people, who were being blown to bits by oh-so-nifty smart-bombs.

(If any of my no-doubt intellectually honest opponents are still confused, see definitions above.)

1 comment:

  1. By the way, Amy Goodman went ridiculously easy on Carter, especially on East Timor, which is a bit shocking, considering her history. One can support Carter's present position on I/P without rewriting the history of his presidency -- or rather allowing giant holes we all know Goodman knows as well as anyone. Not a pretty performance, even though I am generally a fan of hers.