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Candide Recommends: Tuesday, July 18, 2006
“The Israeli division of the 101st Fighting Wankers”

  • James Wolcott opts out of the “We’re all Israelis now” sermon by CNBC’s Larry Kudlow: “You know what, I don't want to be an Israeli. Include me out. Pardon me for not wanting to be conscripted into the Israeli division of the 101st Fighting Wankers. I'm an American, a New Yorker, and a world citizen, and I don't see why empathy is supposed to reside exclusively on the Israeli side when Lebanese civilians are suffering so. Why I should identity with the humanity of those fleeing Haifa and not with those fleeing Beirut? Is this supposed to make me want to become an honorary Israeli?” But how else to jingo for a wider war if not to build a lot more than sympathy for Israel? Wolcott’s full entry here…
  • Michael Kinsley, battling Parkinson’s, goes in for brain surgery, his humor still intact: “Brain surgery is a license for self-indulgence. Cancel that dentist's appointment; you've suffered enough. (Though technically, before you go under, you haven't actually suffered at all.) Take out the trash? "C'mon, honey, I've got BRAIN SURGERY next week." Writers devote a lot of creative energy to dreaming up reasons not to write. One of the all-time best came recently from Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, who told her readers that she was going to stop writing the column for a while because her husband had become Defense Minister of Poland, and she was moving to Warsaw. Sure, Anne, and I'm taking the summer off because I'm having brain surgery. In Cleveland. But it's true.” The Time column…
  • The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik asks of Zidane’s head-butt: Can we forgive him?The most interesting theory about the head-butt was a bit Camusian: Zidane, one writer said, was lashing out not just at the Italian who had insulted him but at the unlivable role that he had been slotted into by the French. Forced to play the part of an ideal national hero, and knowing that he could never live up to the role, Zidane (who is still an Algerian kid from the projects at heart, and one who has played most of his career outside France), consciously or not, butted his way right out of it. This view suggests a human explanation for the inexplicable act.” Maybe. But what would Sartre have said?

 

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