Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Longtime readers will understand that my real beef with Jonah Goldberg is not so much ideological as aesthetic. I mock him not mainly because his ideas are terrible (though they are -- I propose the Liberal Fascism monument show Goldberg tumbling bucket-footed down Spongebob's Stairs of Learning as he tries to draw a Hitler mustache on FDR) but because he writes shit like this:

But let us be fair: Deks, as these are called in the biz, are sometimes composed by editors rather than authors and, though I can't imagine Goldberg's ego would abide an editor, it's possible they convinced him to let an intern write his deks, and that intern, perhaps tired of doing hourly Cheetos runs and getting nothing in return from Goldberg but bon mots like "Wanna big tip? Then rub it!" decided to fuck with him. So let us examine Goldberg's lede:
Dystopia is in the air these days. George Orwell’s 1984 is selling like hotcakes — if hotcakes still sold well in this low-carb world.
Come back! I know that gag makes Erma Bombeck look like Noel Coward, but let's give the man a chance.
Is the president to blame?

I think historians, no doubt working from their subterranean monasteries, bunkered from the radioactive wasteland above, will note that dystopianism, apocalypticism, and other forms of existential paranoia actually predate the Trump presidency.
Okay, I think he got the crap poeticism out of his system; I promise if he does Latinate alliteration we'll skip down.
It’s a fever that passes from one subset of the population to another and occasionally blows up into a full-scale pandemic. We all carry the infection in us, sometimes slow-simmering, sometimes in remission, and sometimes in extremis.
[vomits] OK, let's skip down.
...Apathy is the practical opposite of fear.
Uh --
Given that tyranny, going by the historical and evolutionary record, is the natural state of humankind, the greatest bulwark against it is a highly cultivated, deeply informed but nonetheless instinctive fear.
Edmund Burke never actually uttered the most famous quote attributed to him — “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” — though that is a useful summation of his views. And it’s certainly true. 
 Guh --
Apathy is the grease that makes slippery slopes so treacherous.
The old saw still cuts: This is the stupidest thing ever written until Goldberg writes something else.

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