Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Apologies. A spike in the workload will keep me from offering any large updates this week, and keep me from explaining the mysterious post from the end of last week. No more secrets, fair readers, in the next week or so I will be writing a long photo essay describing what can only be called "The Summer of Love." We went to forty-seven weddings, bachelor parties, and cancelled reunions this summer, and engaged in all sorts of crazy hijinks.

The result of all that will be a series of posts here at tombruscino that will no doubt become an interminable slideshow for people who love to be bored. So hold onto your seats. It's coming.

In the meantime. I have the distinct pleasure of sharing a few links, and one, especially, gives me much joy. Here they are:

Someone talking about Clausewitz and the war and his usefulness to the war, again. Long, boring, but I guess I'm obligated to point it out anyway.

Victor Davis Hanson saying "fascist" is a perfect way to describe our Islamist enemies. I don't know that I agree, but at least he makes an argument with evidence.

You ever skim through an article and pick up a wayward phrase that catches your attention? Check out this one: "As further evidence of my fecal ice-cream thesis..." For some reason I felt compelled to read that Mark Steyn column a little closer.

A reminder to read the Bleat every day, but especially this one, if you are interested in seeing the entrails of the evicerated Keith Olberman spread around like so much raw umber in a Jackson Pollack studio.

In the 'I might have mentioned this once or twice or three times (thrice!) category', John Miller has an excellent article on the decline of military history in the academy.

Finally, my source of joy: Larry Miller wrote another column for the Weekly Standard's Daily Standard, which is nice enough news, but the links at the bottom of the article reveal that dear Mr. Miller is now keeping his own webpage, complete with his very own blog. Grand. Just grand.

Alright, to work. I have to write a 20-30 page article by the end of the week. It's called "Clearing the Jihad Superbowl."

And now you have seen all I have written so far.

I gotta go.

If I don't check in, or even if I do, have a nice week.


dcat said...

I can't agre with you that Lileks is especially powerful in what you call his "evisceration" of Keith Olberman. As a general rule, some one who writes for only the second biggest newspaper in his mid-market metropolitan area probably ought not to have as a central argument a snarky reference to the cable network on which someone much more well known than he plies his trade. Yes, yes, Lileks also has a well regarded blog, but I'd place a bet that more people have seen You-Tubes of Olberman in the last month than have read everything Lileks has written in the past year.

Hansen brings evidence. It is still wrongly used evidence. We face bad guys. We don't face Fascists. I have used the term in the past, but I was wrong, and no matter how he parses it, it is still ultimately an analogy, and if calling someone we don't like a fascist because they (kind of, sort of) bear some resemblance to whatever we think makes a Fascist (not many of the most well regarded scholars on fascism seem to agree that we face fascism now) then we cannot suddenly dismiss out of hands those utterly stupid lists of the "14 major characteristics of Fascism and how the President fits seven of them," a parlor game as dumb as those who looked at Marx's list for a communist state, saw public schooling, and drew inane conclusions. Hansen's argument is a more sophisticated version of the "Fascists = people I do not like" argument.

Looking forward to the pic essay.


Tom said...

Lileks' snarky reference was hardly central to his pointing out Olberman's runaway silliness. But even if it was, I'm not sure how James Lileks' readership has anything to do with the fact that Olberman and MSNBC (or CNBC or whatever it is) get bad ratings, especially among like formats, which may indicate that a) people do not like Keith Olberman, and/or/but b) Olberman is trying to raise his profile by making silly comments to get away from MSNBC.

Your point about stupid lists of fascist characteristics is well-taken. That said, I know you've brought this up before, but what should we call them? I'm not being snide. The problem with the criticism of the president saying "Islamic fascists" is that it started from people who don't want us to name the enemy at all.

The argument over this issue is the definition of counterproductive, which is exactly what the bad guys and their fellow travelers want.

dcat said...

We are goiing to have to agree to disagree on Lileks. I think he's wrong on the facts, wrong on the interpretation, and wrong in dismissing MSNBC, which is still relatively more visible than the Pioneer Press or the Bleat. You say that wasn't a central argument -- I maintain that he devoted more verbiage to dismissing Olbermann than to any other individual point, none of which struck me as all that clever, well presented or even interesting. James Lileks doesn't like keith Olbermann. Bully for him.

The argument about what to call Islamists (and what's wrong with that term) is not counterproductive inasmuch as it does no harm for people who write about these things to be forced to be precise in their terms. Or at least it is no more counterproductive than pointing out any other bad fascist analogy. And I've seen no evidence that the people (like, um, me) who have a problem with "Islamic Fascists"/"Islamofascists" don't want to name the enemy. Two of the most prominent platforms for this debate have been at the national review and the New Republic, hardly bastions of trying to deny the enemy. And just because there are those who might not want to name the enemy does not make them wrong on this point. Right is right, no matter who makes the case, you Commie pinko.


Tom said...

Just so you know, Lileks writes for the Star Tribune. Keith Olberman comes off as a pretentious know it all who doesn't seem to have the substance to act that way.

It is simply a fact that the enemy we are at war with are Muslim fundamentalists or Muslim radicals of some sort or another. They are united by their Muslim fundamentalism. I don't mind at all taking "fascist" off the table to describe them, but I have a huge problem with not using Muslim/Islamic/Islamist/Jihad/ or something like that because CAIR or whoever claims that it offends them. That is the counterproductive debate that stemmed from the fascism thing (sorry I wasn't clear about that in the first place).