The Palestinians as a people are exceptionally unlucky. Not just for the fact that they have experienced for generations the ills of occupation, dispossession and exile. But the fact of enduring the historical misfortune of having their occupiers and dispossessors be Jews. Sadly, through no fault of their own, their cause has become a magnet for every diehard antisemite and guttural racist out there obsessed with the ‘Jewish Question’. Not just obsessed, but always seeking an ‘answer’ to it.
So whenever there is bloodshed in the Holy Land and the Israeli state engages in its usual hooliganism, as we recently…
It may be, among other things, extremely banal and trivial to observe— or in the case of the Palestinians mourn — the supposed ‘immaculate conception’ of Der Judenstaat on its 73rd year. Nonetheless, there is enough perspective to contemplate on some questions that may be worn out, but are still pressing for us in our present. Is Zionism a national liberation movement for Jews or a settler colonial project (or both)? Has it made Jews more or less safe? Has the ancient scourge of anti-Semitism been cured by it? Have Jews been ‘normalised’ in the world by it? …
“You’ve got an awfully kissable mouth.”
— Warren to Bernice in The Great Gatsby
A woman’s body is a poem,
Composed by God, and proven
In Nature’s mighty registry,
Because the spirit moved Him…
A woman’s body is indeed
The Song of Songs in splendor;
The lovely, wondrous strophes are
Her limbs, so white and slender.
O what a heavenly idea
Must this bare neck be, surely,
Upon which sways the little head,
The keystone, pert and curly!
The rosebuds of her breasts, they are
Unspeakably charming, the ceasura
That parts them, so dramatic.
And the creator makes…
We have seen this similar pattern unfold numerous times before, whether it was the Satanic Verses ‘affair’ where the odious Ayatollah Khomeini issued a hit (or a ‘fatwa’) on Salman Rushdie’s head for the ‘crime’ of the use of holy writ for literary purposes; whether it was Denmark enduring an international boycott and a campaign of defamation, because the Prime Minister refused to to censor a small right wing magazine for publishing cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad; And when a Jihadist hit squad assassinated cartoonists for the ‘crime’ of again publishing cartoons mocking Muhammad.
First, the ‘offensive’ material is created…
The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. — Thomas Paine, from Common Sense (1775)
The Americans have taught us how to conquer liberty; it is from them that we must learn the secret of how to conserve it — Marquis de Condorcet
CLIME of the unforgotten brave!
Whose land, from plain to mountain-cave,
Was Freedom’s home or Glory’s grave!
Shrine of the mighty! can it be
That this is all remains of thee?
Approach, thou craven, crouching slave;
Say, is not this Thermopylæ?
These waters blue that round you lave,
O servile offspring of the free, —
Pronounce what sea, what…
‘Woke capitalism’ is a phrase that has been on our lips for quite some time. To me it is the same old exploitative capitalism, just with a different aesthetic. For the past decade at least, the upper echelons of society and culture, pop culture, academia, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and the corporate sector have been eager to demonstrate — or ‘virtue signal’ as some will prefer to say — just how committed they are in fighting racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination and promoting equality, diversity and multicultural values.
There are some words people wince at with an acute sense of revulsion and exasperation. ‘Moist’ seems to be a popular candidate for this visceral tic. Others are averse to ‘panties’ and ‘crotch’, since they sound rather harsh and inelegant in referring to intimate zones. Most people, even those who are unabashed logophiles, will have a few words that are disliked, scorned and contemptuous of, even if irrationally; words that never cease to leave an acrid taste in one’s mouth. Other words just plain irritate us.
Pour moi, ‘inappropriate’ is one of these irksome words. This quintosyllabic word consistently grates…
All of us have probably seen the two videos that have spread rapidly across social media and further accentuated the ‘race wars’. First, the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, where an officer crushed his windpipe by kneeling on his neck as he lay on the ground, his face firmly kissing the concrete, despite his desperate cries: “I cannot breathe…don’t kill me”. Second, Amy Cooper, acting like a ‘Karen’, a term denoting an uptight, bossypants white woman who is a stickler for enforcing every petty rule and regulation upon everybody else, attempting to call the police on Christian Cooper…
The rise and metastasis of the so called ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ (IDW), a neologism invented by one of its head honchos, Eric Weinstein, has been a curious development in public life. An affiliation of supposed ‘free thinking’ insurgents in the battlefields of the culture wars resisting the cultural hegemony of their bête noires: identity politics, political correctness, post-modernism, post-structuralism, wokeness and biology denialism. Bari Weiss in her rather laborious ballyhooing longueur in the New York Times on the IDW declared the hard ‘dangerous’ truths no one wants to hear, but the “renegades” of the IDW will certainly proclaim without restraint…
Current times aren’t exactly favourable to revolutionary politics, whatever banner it may be. Revolution is a term of reproach, a supposedly ‘discredited’ idea that always leads to more disastrous results than before. Among stolid liberal wiseacres, it is convention to excommunicate Thomas Paine and embrace the grandiloquent Edmund Burke. After all, drastic, large scale social and political change inevitably fail, with misery, bloodshed and needless chaos being its only result.
At best, as per Burke, a society is permitted a maximum of one revolution in its history (the example he gave was the 1688 ‘Glorious Revolution’ in England). Any change…