September 30, 2005

Introducing “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Book

Introducing “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Book Club

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have long been irked by the fact that the most important force in American literary and cultural life is most assuredly Oprah Winfrey, the half-wit talk show host. Whereas previously such men of letters as Dwight Macdonald, Lionel Trilling, and Hannah Arendt loomed large in the minds of every American intellectual, nowadays the world of book publishing is run by a feverishly low- to middlebrow television personality. It doesn’t speak well of us, does it?

As everyone knows, Oprah runs a wildly successful Book Club. And this club is wildly successful despite the fact that—to misquote Pauline Kael—we don’t know anyone who’s ever read any of these books. (Well, with the exception of William Faulkner, Leo Tolstoy, and John Steinbeck, of course.) In addition, The New York Times recently reported that Oprah is lending her name and her pocketbook to a Broadway musical version of The Color Purple. If that doesn’t make you The Color Red with anger or The Color Green with nausea, we don’t know what will.

Naturally, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” want to do our part to revive American intellectual culture, and perforce to de-Oprahfy it, if we may coin a reasonable neologism. As such, we figured we’d use today’s humble “post” as a humble step in that direction.

Although, of course, we don’t have access to big-network television, and thus are at a distinct disadvantage vis-à-vis Oprah, we reasoned that our small readership makes us far, far more powerful than the folks at MSNBC. Accordingly, we aimed to do our part.

To this end, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased as petulant, peevish pigs to present: The Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Book Club—a cornucopia of books with no shot of making it to Oprah’s feculent—yet surprisingly more popular—Book Club.

No saccharine love stories will make it on our list. No preachy, sentimental palaver will make the cut. No: Our Book Club only features books we absolutely, thoroughly detest. They’ll be a tad more substantial than you would expect from Oprah’s And-Still-I-Rise tastes. (Well, with the exception of William Faulkner, Leo Tolstoy, and John Steinbeck, of course.) All the same, true to this humble “weblog’s” spirit, they’ll be horrid all the same.

Without further ado, then, allow us to present to you, dear reader, our humble first selection for our “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Book Club. We have chosen Orientalism, by the deceased apologist for terrorism, Professor Edward Said.

When not cozying up to the likes of Yasir “She’s My Baby” Arafat, Mr. Said made quite a career out of bitching about his purported oppression. You see, as Orientalism argues, the West incessantly demonizes Easterners such as Said, principally by granting them tenure at Columbia University.

Penned by a man capable of this kind of penetrating argument, Orientalism is a must-read for any hopeful Islamofascist.

Posted at September 30, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack