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Archive for December, 2002

Card-Carrying Members?

Via a friend of mine in the program, Professors Eric Foner (with whom I’ve taken two classes) and Glenda Gilmore offer a rebuttal to Daniel Pipes’ recent list of academics who hate America. An article like this really doesn’t deserve a response but, simply put, Pipes is a moron. Reading any chapter of Foner’s recent Story of American Freedom — or any of his other books for that matter — belies Pipes’ ridiculous and dangerous charge of anti-Americanism. And finding fault with Dubya’s wag-the-dog Freudian fiasco in Iraq, a soon-to-be-military excursion that has already run roughshod over our Constitution, hardly speaks ill of anyone’s patriotism.

If anything, it’s egregiously anti-American for Pipes to earmark academics who should be constrained from the “outside.” A quote the Daniel Pipes of this world ought to consider: In the words of Cornel West, “To understand your country, you must love it. To love it, you must, in a sense, accept it. To accept it as how it is, however is to betray it. To accept your country without betraying it, you must love it for that in it which shows what it might become. America � this monument to the genius of ordinary men and women, this place where hope becomes capacity, this long, halting turn of the no into the yes, needs citizens who love it enough to reimagine and remake it.

Gangs of Helms Deep.

Also from Follow Me Here, Salman Rushdie compares gang violence in Two Towers and Gangs of New York to developments in Iraq. Interesting points, but did we see the same Scorsese film? In both the initial and final gangland scenes, there’s hardly any sense of moral ambiguity. To the contrary, as I noted in this post, the Irish (Neeson/DeCaprio) forces are portrayed exclusively as maligned, freedom-loving immigrants, while the Nativist (Day Lewis) gang are portrayed as racist brutes. You’d never get the sense in Scorsese’s film that it was the former group that actually unleashed virulent hatred upon the city’s African-American population in July of 1863. I suspect this reading of Gangs has more to do with the close friendship between Rushdie and “The Band that Built America.” Or perhaps Rushdie saw the longer Scorsese cut of the film, which is rumored to be more nuanced.


Anthropologists create a new face of Jesus, and, no, he doesn’t look like Ted Nugent. (Via Follow Me Here.)

About A Graphic Novel.

Nick Hornby delves into a spate of recent graphic novels for the NYT Book Review. (Via Random Walks.)

New Strategies.

Eager to pick up more seats in 2004, the Dems try appealing more to Hispanics and the burgeoning ranks of the terror-fearful. Perhaps they should take a look at New York.

The Tao of Yao.

Usually wrong about most things basketball, the Sports Guy gets one right with his apology for underestimating Yao Ming, the Chinese Tower of Power.

Paging Judge Gonzales.

The Dubya administration weighs Supreme Court contenders, with White House counsel Alberto Gonzales consistently leading the list.

Hell Freezes Over,

pigs are flying, and the Big Dig in Boston is almost done. Hope it was worth it.

Down the Rabbit Hole.

Newsweek gets spoilerific with the two Matrix sequels. More plot information than you really want to know.

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