Thursday, September 29, 2011

DORKUS MALORKUS SPEAKETH. Attend Maximus Super Victor Davis Hanson as he sayeth the sooth! Well, it's soothing if you know how to take it. As is his custom, VDH bids us ware the Ides of March, then Delphically describes an America recognizable only to old cranks who spend their evenings with a glass of port and a volume of Heroditus open (in a place where visitors can easily see it), wailing that we are just like old Rome in her decline, except for our endless wars, which are great (though we really should be spending less money on them, and more plebes' lives).

VDH is full of stories, but sometimes he wanders:
Somewhere around 1985 in California I noticed that my students were hoping for a state job first, a federal job second, a municipal job third — and a private one last.
And this at the height of the Reagan era! We were told in those days that the kids had all become little Alex P. Keatons, high on trickledown and entrepreneurial as fuck. So either Maximus Super speaketh bullshit, or in '85 his young charges, having grown up under Governor Reagan, got an early whiff of the fraud and were opting out. (Or maybe they thought, "Jesus, if he can teach at a state school, I could be a fucking Dean!")

VDH also Sphinxes out some riddles:
Why is it more moral for a federal bureaucrat in a state-supplied SUV to shut down an offshore oil rig on grounds that it is too dangerous for the environment than for a private individual to risk his own capital to find some sort of new fuel to power his government’s SUV fleet?
Answer "what's morality got to do with it, cloth-ears?" (rather than the correct "You got me there, Senex Gloriosus!") and VDH will not let you pass, but will block the hallway and forcibly regale you, no matter how badly you say you need the bathroom, with his proposed solution to our nation's low, mean state: Tax the Poor ("Their noncompliance bothers the foundations of our society far more than that of the stingy, but minuscule, number of grasping rich") and restore "a different popular culture that honors character rather than excess," presumably by throwing non-Christians to the lions.

On and on it goes, with awkward modern correlations ("the elite have responsibility to use their largess wisely and not turn into the Kardashians") and stretches of senile dementia ("In our strange culture, that someone drives an overpriced BMW apparently means that our own Toyotas don’t have air conditioners or stereos" -- what?). You may wonder how he gets published. Well, they can't all be bellowing goons like Chris Christie or Mr. Reasonables like David Brooks -- sometimes the avatars of the New Feudalism must have a schoolly look, so that the half-educated may look upon them and think, aha, the rage I feel when I see impertinent minorities and nubiles on TV is not just a gut reaction, but the judgement of history!

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