Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quite a fellow, actually ...

...Famous Amis.

In a deeper deconstruction of the president's soul, however, Mr. Amis gives him credit for exceptional social courage. "In one veteran's hospital alone . . . Bush has made 35 visits to severely injured troops, and that's a lot. If I were president I'd try to keep it down to three, or perhaps two, or maybe one. Or maybe not visit at all. I mean, it's so impossibly painful. Some people have said to me that they think . . . it's very emotional and that he's addicted to that. But I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and say, that's brave to do that, to go and confront the results of your policies."


  1. This passage:

    Sometimes in sympathy with the left, Mr. Amis doesn't hew to any ideological orthodoxy, but is disturbed by the moral mushiness of some Britons on the subject of Islamist extremism. He has been called Islamophobic, but says "Islamismophobic" would be a better (though still imperfect) term. "It's Islamismophobia. The situation in Britain is ridiculous and contemptible. Some left-wing people--it's a bit insulting to the left to call them that . . . see someone with a grievance who hasn't got white skin and they think, Well, we must have done something really horrible to them. There's this masochistic view that we can't be right about anything. The woozy left has made itself an apologist for a creedal wave that is racist, misogynist, homophobic, totalitarian, imperialist and genocidal. But at least they're not white!

    reminded me of another of Amis's writings from the Guardian—The age of,,1868839,00.html

    The theme of the 'tempter' can be taken a little further, in the case of Qutb. When the tempter is a temptress, and really wants you to sin, she needs to be both available and willing. And it is almost inconceivable that poor Sayyid, the frail, humourless civil servant, and turgid anti-semite (salting his talk with quotes from that long-exploded fabrication, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion), ever encountered anything that resembled an offer. It is more pitiful than that. Seduction did not come his way, but it was coming the way of others, he sensed, and a part of him wanted it too. That desire made him very afraid, and also shamed him and dishonoured him, and turned his thoughts to murder. Then the thinkers of Islam took his books and did what they did to them; and Sayyid Qutb is now a part of our daily reality. We should understand that the Islamists' hatred of America is as much abstract as historical, and irrationally abstract, too; none of the usual things can be expected to appease it. The hatred contains much historical emotion, but it is their history, and not ours, that haunts them.

    Qutb has perhaps a single parallel in world history. Another shambling invert, another sexual truant (not a virgin but a career cuckold), another marginal quack and dabbler (talentless but not philistine), he too wrote a book, in prison, that fell into the worst possible hands. His name was Nikolai Chernyshevsky; and his novel (What Is To Be Done?) was read five times by Vladimir Lenin in the course of a single summer. It was Chernyshevsky who determined, not the content, but the emotional dynamic of the Soviet experiment. The centennial of his birth was celebrated with much pomp in the USSR. That was in 1928. But Russia was too sad, and too busy, to do much about the centennial of his death, which passed quietly in 1989.

    I hate to bring this into the discussion but a lot of commentators have spoken about Cho's need to assert his 'masculinity' by going on the killing spree. This has a parallel with what Amis is saying. Amis may not come across as your usual icon of the right, but his verbal jugglery certainly helps the cause.

  2. Anonymous4:31 PM

    What embarrassing drivel by Amis. "If I were President I'd keep it down to one." Like a ten year old's school essay with suitably peurile insight and commentary. How brave to visit the dismembered heroes of your war-mongering rapacious policies. Brings a tear to my eye.
    Amis, take a bow. Lackey of the week.

  3. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Did you know Hitler was actually a war-hero. George W was ...emmmmm.......

  4. I realize, Patrick, that your ex cathedra pronouncements are not open to any shadow of a doubt. Still, if you could bring yourself to read the War of the Bumper Stickers section of this post, it's just possible your mind might open a sliver. I do know that my brother, a retired flyboy, appreciates the point being made therein.