Friday, May 08, 2009

"Sick of smug prosperous safe comfortable pale men, urinating all over progress. . ."

Ophelia Benson, on the likes of Terry Eagleton and Stanley Fish:

"On and on it goes - sneers at progress, liberalism and enlightenment, sneers at cures for diseases, sneers at technology, much use of the word 'Ditchkins,' and finishing up with a triumphant blast at 'the shallow arguments of school-yard atheists like Hitchens and Dawkins.'

"It is so hard not to wish both of them suddenly transported to a place bereft of progress, liberalism and enlightenment - the Swat valley would be just the ticket - and see how they like it.

"That's not a nice thing to say, it's even a bit schoolyardy, but I am so sick of smug prosperous safe comfortable pale men urinating all over progress, liberalism and enlightenment while desperate threatened terrified women would weep scalding tears of joy and deliverance to get just a taste of some. I am so sick of safe prosperous men who are never, ever going to be grabbed on the street and whipped, or shot in the back, or locked up in their houses, or married off to some abusive bully, going on and on and on and on about how much they hate progress, liberalism and enlightenment."

I noticed that via the Aussie writer Russell Blackford, who is a bit mean about Bill McKibben but nevermind:

"Here's the deal: among our friends on the political Left - which is where I have my roots - there are people, not just a few but many, who despise everything I hold dear. These are supposed to be my allies, but they despise liberalism, reason, science, progress, and the Enlightenment. They hate the so-called "New Atheism", not so much because they think the doctrines of Christianity or some other religion are actually true, but because they see people like Richard Dawkins as providing a rallying point for. . . yes, liberalism, reason, science, progress, and the Enlightenment."

Or maybe I noticed it via Max Dunbar:

"It’s at this point that I share Blackford’s disquiet, like a man looking around a crowded room to find that everyone he knows has vanished. What kind of person stands on the cusp of the twenty-first century at a time of economic and social change, a time when freemarket capitalism has taken a massive dent, when all that is solid is melting into air, and says: ‘No thanks – there is no potential for good here’?

"And why on earth would a Marxist think that?"

I cite these three approvingly, but I'm liking Ophelia's wee essay the best. When she's on about Fish and Eagleton and that crowd it's just like Noreen from the Emerald Bile giving out about Freegans.

In favour.

8 Comments:

Blogger Christopher W said...

Not entirely off topic...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/opinion/08sherjan.html

2:06 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Exactly on-topic, Christopher.

Thanks.

tg

2:42 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

That link's not working for me.
:(
Wanna put it through tinyurl?

4:04 PM  
Blogger Christopher W said...

http://tinyurl.com/of7zxw

6:13 PM  
Blogger IceClass said...

Thanks Christopher.
Good piece.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Alec said...

As Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Arundhati Roy show, such face-smacking conceitedness is neither gender nor pigmentation specific.

But, yes, it never fails to un-amaze me how the well-fed and well-educated children of Europe's middle-classes call for an end to capitalism.

1:58 PM  
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1:04 AM  

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