Logomachon






Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words

 

   
  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.

   
   
   
 

2004-07-03
 

Bloody-minded Democrats



Just in case you thought that you were living in the same moral universe as the Democrats--you know, like that nice lady on TV, Maud somebody, wrong-headed but at least you didn't have to call the children into the house when she was out in her yard--here's the latest poster offered on PleaseVote.com.

Little Green Footballs traces the source through an anti-Sharon cartoon to Goya's Saturn Devouring One of His Children. The Democrats were outraged when a Bush campaign ad about Kerry included clips from an anti-Bush ad that likened Bush to the Nazis, but I haven't heard any outrage or rejection of this.

Just think what these people would be like if they had power. Actually, we know: Vietnam, Cambodia, Mogadishu, Rwanda, Sandanista Nicaragua, FMLF, Bosnia and Kosovo, Ruby Ridge, and Waco; not to mention Elian Gozalez. "With an Iron Fist, We Will Lead Humanity to Happiness", is their motto, just as it was the motto of the Soviet gulag. All they could talk about during Reagan's memorial week was "Well, don't feel so good. Reagan withdrew the Marines from Lebanon", as though it was a mistake they had decried at the time and had learned from. That was also the week of the Grenada invasion (22 Oct 1983), which was the first of Reagan's moves against the USSR. It was the first time the Free World had taken back territory that had been absorbed into the Soviet bloc. They didn't want to talk about that.

In the Greek myth, there was a prophecy that Saturn would be killed by his children, so he devoured each as he was born. (His wife hid Zeus from him, and the prophecy was fulfilled after a ten-year war.) The Democrats--like al-Qa'ida--are terrified of the consequences to them of Bush's succeeding in Iraq, so--also like al-Qa'ida--they will are willing to do anything to cause him to fail, even if it means sacrificing the Iraqi people and the US' and other soldiers. That is what they are up to, so they picture Bush doing it. (3 July 04)

My brother points out the obvious. The poster gets it exactly backwards. Bush is the one trying to keep children from being ripped apart, while Kerry has never wavered in his oppositon to any restriction on abortions.

At least Dick Cheney gets it.
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2004-06-30
 

WFB retires; liberal unhappy

WFB retires; liberal unhappy

William F. Buckley has given his shares in National Review magazine to a group of trustees.

The NYT article included this: "Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, called Mr. Buckley's sometimes baroque style 'genially ridiculous. . . . His thinking and his writing have all the disadvantages of a happy man. The troubling thing about Bill Buckley's work is how singularly untroubled it is by things.'"

Doesn't that capture the liberal pose of being virtuous because one is "concerned", the (especially NY Jewish liberal) mode of authenticity through agita? And what are we to make of Wieseltier's declaration that Buckley "is in fact a completely modern man"? Does that mean that the tsuris-embracing Wieseltier is not modern? Are there no advantages to being a happy man? Is it any accident that the man who gave modern, self-anointed liberalism some of its biggest shocks in the realm of debate shares this quality with Ronald Reagan, who gave them its biggest shocks in the realm of practical politics.

Wieseltier finds himself where liberals usually have been vis-à-vis WFB in particular and conservatives in general: the state of complete flummox. Note the jangling attempt to produce an epigrammatic thesis/antithesis ("the troubling thing...untroubled by things") in lieu of analysis. They so little understand conservatives--so far alienated are they from the people and founders of this country and indeed of Western civilization--that they have no categories by which to analyze conservative ideas and no language with which to discuss them. So they misappropriate words and infuse them with their own meanings, some deep intellectual import on the order of "I don't like this", e.g., "baroque" style. That's for when they feel tactically constrained by civility. When they are speaking in their own voice or playing the role of speaking truth to power, they say things like "medieval" or "primitive".

Whatever Buckley's style is, it is not baroque. When he is thinking seriously about something, he is straightforward and exceptional only in his insight and clarity (and for liberals, sheer novelty). Those qualities, in combination with a capability for pithiness, give rise to the epigrammatic passages that people like to extract. But his style is neither epigrammatic nor ornamented. When he is noodling, he is most likely to indulge himself with periods and sesquipedalia; then he is allusive and oblique, spiraling into his point, if he approaches it at all rather than simply circling about it and then declaring "QED--by inspection". Not for him what Boswell reported of Samuel Johnson: "Sir Joshua [Reynolds] observed to me the extraordinary promptitude with which Johnson flew upon an argument. 'Yes, (said I,) he has no formal preparation, no flourishing with his sword; he is through your body in an instant.'"

Ah. Living well is the best revenge.
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