Sunday, June 21, 2015

More haughty Douthat

Does anyone know when American
poseurs to Conservatism first
laid down the pompous preten-
sions of contempt popularised
by William F. Buckley, Jr in
the 1960s, infused into train-
ees such as David Brooks, and
embraced anew by the likes of
Ross Douthat? Let's enjoy de-
lectation of that genealogy,
some other Sabbath; for now,
our task is to adore its sig-
nature in the propagation of
non-existent dichotomies, to
change the subject from human
obligation. We see it in Dou-
that's present column at the

The ruse would be farcical
if it weren't compulsively
malicious, and on its face,
scared. It boils down to ar-
guing that there exists an
intellectually adroit race,
and a sub-class of unimagin-
ative dullards, such as men
who cannot see the virtues
of being robbed in broad
daylight. Today's witty sob-
riquets for the Manichaean
Heresy of the argument are
(you will admire this), dy-
namists and catastrophists.
It takes a sophist to know
one. Essentially, Douthat's
dynamist is a man who can't
think of responsibility with-
out crying, rape, and the
catastrophist, it follows
ineluctably, is his deluded
nemesis. And we thought Sca-
lia was a wit.

I've been there, you've been
there, we've been there but
separately, as Benjamin Frank-
lin put it, as false prophets
of our patrimony have hung it
out to dry. But this grisly
misadventure of the mind has
had a monumentally bad week,
across the world of plain-
seeing men and women of our

                My song, I ask that you
              speak out your message diplomatically
              because you go among a haughty people
              whose wills are full, I fear,
              of ancient and uncivilising customs,
              always the enemies of truth.
              But you must try your luck
              among the few who cherish magnanimity;
              say to them: "Who'll protect me?
              I wander, crying out, Oh, peace, peace,

Francesco Petrarca
1304 - 1374
David Young
The Canzoniere
The Poetry of Petrarch
  1 - 366
  128 final stanza
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004©

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