Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

 
Is Tom Wolfe the American Martin Amis?

I've hated Wolfe for a long time. Basically, starting half way through Bonfire of the Vanities, when I noticed that a) every single time a female character is introduced, we have to sit through a frankly creepy half-page description of her breasts[1], and b) that Wolfe seemed to believe that the ethnic nickname of the Irish in New York was "Harps", and that he kept on breaking off his story for some really silly jock-sniffing eulogies to the character, strength and downright manliness of anyone with Irish ancestry[2]. I thought it was a really bad book (the film was much better[4]). But anyway, every other fucker apparently liked it (though I have to say, very few actual traders, who usually love anything set in their milieu, even the appalling Ben Affleck vehicle "Boiler Room". And on the basis of that plus the "New Journalism", Wolfe has been taken seriously for a long time.

No more, I think. He's written the following blurb for a book which pupports to prove that modern American liberals are actually fascists (in other words, for a complete waste of time and paper - I have no more interest in how the author tries to make his case than in discussing the ins and outs of geocentrism. Since modern American liberals visibly aren't fascists, "engaging with the arguments" in this book is purely for the sort of people who like playing "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" type games).

"In the greatest hoax of modern history, Russia's ruling "socialist workers party," the Communists, established themselves as the polar opposites of their two socialist clones, the National Socialist German Workers Party (quicknamed "the Nazis") and Italy's Marxist-inspired Fascisti, by branding both as "the fascists." Jonah Goldberg is the first historian to detail the havoc this spin of all spins has played upon Western thought for the past 75 years, very much including the present moment. Love it or loathe it, "Liberal Fascism" is a book of intellectual history you won't be able to put down—-in either sense of the term."

Hahahaha. Credibility gone.

I wish the greatest of commercial success on "Liberal Fascism". If it really takes off it will be like an infestation of herpes in the credibility of all sorts of leading right-wing commentators. The short term displeasure at seeing its author enriched is surely as nothing to the lip-smacking prospect, in four or five years' time, of being able to dismiss half the commentariat with an airy wave of the hand and a cheerful "yes, but didn't he write that embarrassing praise for 'Liberal Fascism'".

Napoleon said that when you saw your enemy making a mistake, you must never interrupt him. I wouldn't want to deprive my mates at Sadly No! of their fun, but I would really caution against being too hard on this book.

[1] I am told that this dirty-old-man tendency reached apotheosis in I am Charlotte Simmons, which I did not read because it did not get good reviews.

[2] An irritating Wolfe trope foreshadowed in "The Tangerine-Flake Baby" and the New journalism, most particularly the stock-car racing pieces, which in retrospect are chock full of bizarre racial biology theories about the "Scots Irish[3]" heritage of people in the Appalachians, and therefore of "Southern Culture" more generally.

[3] The "Scots Irish", beloved of Wolfe, PJ O'Rourke, etc, are the same people as the Ulster Protestants btw. Not a bad bunch intrinsically and all that, but I mean really, me neither.

[4] Although I have to say that when a cinematographer of the calibre of Brian de Palma casts a black actor with a wide nose, then takes a wide-angle lens and films that actor in a close-up from a position just below his face, he knows exactly what he's fucking doing and I regard it as the visual equivalent of the worst racial epithets.
28 comments this item posted by the management 12/20/2007 04:12:00 AM


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?




Links:

Bitch : Lab
Aaronovitch Watch
Balkanalysis
Perfect.co.uk
Maxspeak
Brad Delong
The Robert Vienneau blog

Political and philosophical heroes

Subcomandante Marcos
Will Rogers
Boris Vian
The English Svejk

RSS Feed:
This seems to matter to a lot of people

If you liked this "Daniel Davies" website, you might be interested in

"Danux", the web developer
The martial artist (and fan of extremely annoying Flash intros) from Blackburn
The Welsh political journalist
A Scouse computer programmer who collects Soviet cameras
"Danimal", the heavy metal drummer
Canada's finest recorder of radio jingles
More of the same, at the Guardian
A tailor's in Lampeter where Jimmy Carter once bought a hat
An advertising man who has written a novel about dogging (I think we sometimes get each other's email)
An award-winning facilities manager in Dubai
The son of the guitarist from the Kinks Update: he is apparently "balls-out motherfucking shit-dicked exxxstatic" to be included on a Kerrang magazine giveaway CD of Iron Maiden covers, which is nice.
"Fritz Gretel" from the Ramones film "Rock 'n' Roll High School"
The former presenter of the leading politics talk radio show on the Isle of Man, now a business change manager in the Manx government secretary's office
An aquarium curator in Sussex who keeps on scoring home runs like this (this is the first stable link I've found, but he is constantly kicking ass in acquarial terms)

If you didn't like this "Daniel Davies" website, then don't give up on the Daniel Davies industry completely!

An American "Christian Political Analyst" who has the same name as me
A student at Patrick Henry College
these two might be the same guy ...
"Scatter", the deceased Liberian gangster
A naked man stuck in a chimney in Wigan
A thug in Barrow



This blog has been going downhill since ...

August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
November 2003
December 2003
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
February 2013
April 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
March 2014
April 2014
August 2014