Wednesday, August 09, 2017


I'm late to this, but my truism that anything Jonah Goldberg writes is the stupidest thing ever written until Goldberg writes something else may have been shattered by the synapse-freezing stupidity of his column last weekend. Written in the form of a Q&A, for a while's it's just normally Goldberg-dumb: He mentions he's writing "sort of a prequel to Liberal Fascism" (like The Phantom Menace, only performed as a monologue by Jar Jar Binks) and meanders through some politics:
Q: What do you think of the White House’s new immigration proposal?
M: I haven’t studied it.
Q: Is that a dodge?
M: Sort of. I will say that the reaction has been ridiculous. The idea that it’s racist to control your borders or copy Canada is bonkers. It’s also funny. Liberals love to insist that Europe or Canada or Scandinavia does things in a more enlightened way. But say, “Okay, let’s have Canada’s immigration policy or France’s national-security policies or Switzerland’s health-insurance system” and the same people freak out.
Durr hurr you liberals love Canada but you don't love stampedes but Calgary has a Stampede every year WHICH IS IT LIBS.

But later, McRib intoxication or something sets in:
Q: Will you ever write a novel?
M: I hope so. I never planned on being a pundit. I wanted to write comic books and sci-fi. I kind of stumbled into this life. I have several ideas, but I need time and/or f-you money.
Faulkner said, "The writer doesn't need economic freedom. All he needs is a pencil and some paper." Goldberg says well, if I save up enough money from writing about how liberals are Hitler maybe I'll write a novel. And I bet he'd be great at it -- listen to his aesthetics:
Q: What do you mean fiction is about human nature?
M: I’m glad you asked. I think there’s a profound conservatism to all great fiction.
[Almost imperceptibly -- with the merest shiver of leaves and panic among the animals -- the fart-rumble commences]
If I had to define the essence of leftism in a single phrase, it’d be “the perfectibility of man.” This is the idea that stretches back past Rousseau and probably the Gnostics to Plato’s Republic. Before public policy or any ideological agenda, conservatism recognizes the bedrock fact that man is flawed. He can be good, but only by being civilized. That’s why science fiction is so conservative.
[Now all can feel it, like the first stirrings of Sensurround; all can hear it, like the ripping of a distant, gigantic sail; and some poor, sensitive creatures can even smell it]
It can be set in some far-flung galaxy or some technological wonderland. But what makes it accessible to us is that humans — or even aliens — are still driven by timeless motivations. Human nature is the rock in the river of time. Acknowledging the fact that human nature has no history is the first principle of realism, and realism is conservative.
[A FARTING COMES ACROSS THE SKY -- like the jagged bellow of a cassowary caught in a paint-mixer, amplified a hundred-fold. Nostril hairs singe; lungs convulse. "The fools," gasp those who have not been immediately knocked unconscious, "they let Trump near the button."]

I've already asked the TLS for dibs.

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