Featured Blog, I: Sin Tax
James Wolcott/April 20, 2004
Methinks the Anchoress hath been cooped up too long. A drear case of the vapors doth addled her brain and given birth to a vision of judgment of wide condemnation. It's difficult to summarize her latest emission but the gist of it seems to be that those on the liberal left are guilty of a betrayal worse than Judas's. Because he was misguided whereas they, we, are mendacious. He knew not the grievous depths of what he did; we do, and wear a satanic grin as the emblem of our wickedness.
Something like that.
Oh, it makes me long for the quaint old days of 2003 and '04, when antiwar bloggers and Kossacks were compared to Neville Chamberlain and decried as appeasers, traitors, etc. We're still guilty of treason in their obsidian eyes, mind you, but now we're traitors on a metaphysical scale of perfidy that makes Iago look like a two-bit punk.
"Betrayal? That has a componant [sic] of humanity to it, of shame, of honor lost. This other - this mendacity - it quivers and shimmers in a shadowy light, all impression and stealth and slither. It lacks humanity because its DNA is other-encoded, tied to the Father of Lies [Satan presumably, not Cheney], who must be inordinantly pleased with himself to find that truth has become such a changable thing, such a commodity of convenience for the mediating intelligences. Truth is a thing to be constantly revised."
Truth isn't a thing to be constantly revised? Are discoveries in physics, medicine, psychology, astronomy--advances in understanding of law, race, sexual difference, man's relation to animals--to be chucked overboard because they don't conform to the Anchoress's first catechism? Perhaps by truth with a capital T, she's referring to the "eternal verities" of which Faulkner intoned, though I imagine Count No-Count himself couldn't tell you what those eternal verities were no matter how much coffee you poured down his gullet. The truth has always subject to flux and flex, the Bible itself a hotbed of ambiguities and errors of translation.
Like so many of her fellow insufferables on the right, the Anchoress has to grip and wield her nun's ruler of rectitude ever more fiercely now that the war in Iraq has gone so disastrously and Bush's poll numbers are eating through the floorboards. The rhetoric will escalate into the higher rafters of hysteria as they find themselves more and more in the minority, finding it harder and harder to scrape up a lynch mob to go after such dastardly varmints as the Dixie Chicks. Or it will delve deeper into the mire, as the Anchoress leads them into noble battle against the Cult of Mendacity with a crucifix in one hand, a toilet plunger in the other:
"The Cult is execrable - it sleeps in its own feces and calls it a bed of fragrant moss and clover - and too many have become too willing to believe that the squish and stench in which they slog is a pristine pasture rather than an overflowing latrine."
Clearly the Anchoress's attic needs airing out. She's mistaking her own lack of mental hygiene for the sins of others, quite an un-Christian thing to do.
Featured Blog, II: Slipstick Humor
Slide Rule Passion
Classical Values/ April 24, 2006
But that's about it. No one else seems to hate slide rules.