Tuesday, June 02, 2009

RACE, TO THE BOTTOM. From the latest edition of Jay Nordlinger's pensèes:
Was on the subway two days ago (New York), and there was this woman across from me reading this little blue book. It had a silhouette on the cover -- Obama. And it was -- well, one of those “little” books. A little secular holy book -- Obamite devotions. You can overplay the creepiness of the response to Obama. But you can underplay it, too.
Translation: Nordlinger saw someone reading a book with a silhouette of a black person on the cover (Kara Walker?) and naturally assumed it was Obama, as Chauncey Gardiner in Being There assumed all the black people he met served the same function as his maid Louise. This Nordlinger found disturbing, but could not say why without using those words that make people mad these days, so he just got mysterious -- more mysterious than he meant, as his handlers did not explain to him that the people on the other side of the telescreen can't see him, so when he pushed in his nose, shoved out his lower lip, and stuck his tongue out, his readers missed the significance.

On the other hand, when he describes how he would like black people to talk -- "“Enough. Not for our sake; not in our name. Commit injustices if you must — but not for our benefit, thank you very much. Look to the individual, of whatever color. The time for 'compensatory discrimination' has passed" -- they sound very much like Jay Nordlinger. So we may assume that he would consider them equals if they turned into him, which while pathetic is better than I had heretofore expected of him.

He also tells one of those "Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet with the liberals and I saw one of the liberals and the liberal looked at me" stories and follows it up with "I have never been employed as a just-the-facts-ma’am reporter. But I have done such reporting -- and, you know, it’s not very hard." Eventually I realized he was referring to the preposterous story he had just told, which includes several sentences of imagined internal monologue ("What’s the point of getting the appointment and donning the black robe if you’re not going to strike blows for justice?"). If this is "just-the-facts-ma’am" journalism, I deserve a Pulitzer Prize for Spot Reporting. For this post.

I am grateful to Nordlinger, though, for explaining that "The People United Will Never Be Divided" is "an old Allende-ist slogan and song." I thought it was by Sham 69.

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