I agree with Gene Healy's agreement with Julian Sanchez's take on John Derbyshire. "his views are, often as not, absolutely vile. But he's exceptionally sharp and learned, and expresses his thuggish views without cant or sugar coating, which I suppose is a virtue. It's almost as if a team of genetic scientists took a mouth-breathing, beer-swilling, Pak-bashing specimen of pure Cockney trash and raised his IQ by 100 points. How can he fail to be interesting?"
Mr. D is in trouble with some people for giving up religion. An ability to argue Episcopal theology is absent here so others can have a go at him for that. I did read his un conversion story and it seemed reasonable enough. I get the feeling he stayed as long as he did out of filial piety or he was no longer in his comfort zone. Anyway, now that he has left his up scale (in American eyes) denomination, it may be easier to think of him as that lager lout.
No, I found something else to to discuss. Actually, he makes a pretty good case for his having that genteel thuggish side in his review of Mark Steyn's America Alone,
"I am, in fact, willing to confess myself a collateral-damage armchair warrior, who would be happy to see us trade in our inventory of smart laser-guided precision munitions for lots and lots and lots of old-style iron bombs, and fleets of great big iron planes to deliver them. Remember those photographs of mid-1945 Berlin, fragments of broken wall sticking up out of vast drifts and dunes of pulverized masonry? Now that’s rubble.
Oh, and we won that war."
That is certainly refreshing. He just loved the Hun suffering. Ooh, forgot to mention that arm sticking up through that rubble.
Of course, that his point is ridiculous goes without saying. No expert has ever suggested that conventional bombing won the war in Europe. I hate to jog anyone's memory as I know of my own early onset, but it was the Big One that ended the Pacific War.
Now, we brushed aside Saddam's army to get to Baghdad. Does Derb suggest that we should have just bombed for forty five days and then proceeded to the same results? Is he suggesting that we withdraw and start a course of heavy bombing and then go back in and then we will get the march to Jeffersonian democracy?
Oh well, usually he makes much better sense. Anyway, as he kinda turned his back on the war, he has to keep up some hard guy cred. Once a chickenhawk......
It's too bad, because I do like consistency. I want my jerks to be jerks all the time. Not John. His War Against White Trash a few week before was dead on and he is usually interesting.
Anyway, I don't believe in sanity. I've never known anyone who was not afflicted with doublethink (i.e. act of holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously, fervently believing both, and being unaware of their incompatibility). Heck, I'm sure I practice it myself, but of course, I'm more humble about it.
So, I'll continue to read him as he is often quotable and I'm often lazy.
And if he wants to argue that we start a five year carpet bombing campaign against the whole Middle East, it would be no stupider than our current policy.
John Derbyshire, my favorite hooligan.