Saturday, February 04, 2006

Oh, No, Not Chomsky!

Yes, Chomsky.

He's roundly dismissed by nearly everyone in the US media and culture: He's old. He's an "egghead." He's out of touch with mainstream thought. He says things that are darned unpopular and just not said in polite company.

Perhaps that's the biggest argument against him -- he's impolite. He says things that good, upstanding citizens just don't say. How dare he use unfair things like logic and reason! And above all, facts, facts, facts culled from newpapers of record all over the world, things that polite people don't read, or, if by some mistake they encounter them, they are surely too polite to bring up, facts are at his fingertips, and they burn, they burn us! We hates them! Gollum, gollum!

But if you're daring, if you feel like having a bucket of cold water poured over your safe preconceptions of US reality, and, mainly, if you have a couple of hours, because this sucker is long (!), by all means read Chomski's the Terrorist in the Mirror at Counterpunch's site.

(Now that I think of it, the most common argument against Chomsky is that his writing is dry. This automatically disqualifies it from consideration, since we demand entertainment above all else. It's only when someone gets past this that they get to the unpleasant impolite facts Chomsky always manages to have on hand...William F. Buckley famously countered one of Chomsky's cogent and incisive arguments by saying,"I'd like to punch you in your goddamned face!")


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