July 06, 2006

Luddite “Webloggers”

As regular readers of this humble “weblog” undoubtedly know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” consider ourselves fans of The New Republic, one of the most reasonable outposts for responsible liberal commentary. And recent scandals on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web certainly haven’t altered our view of TNR one iota: After all, they’ve been busy chiseling away at the Daily Kos, one of the most unreasonable outposts for irresponsible liberal non-thought.

Add to this Martin Peretz’s recent excoriation of Nannerl Keohane, the vapid, self-promoting academic administrator angling for the top position at Harvard:

When Nannerl Keohane was elected a fellow of Harvard College, she told some press flack that she was “enthusiastic about the prospects of working with President [Larry] Summers.” But it took her hardly more than a half-year of membership on the Corporation before she began to maneuver to put an end to Summers’s presidency.

But who is Nannerl Keohane? In the mean Cambridge game…of electing people to “the academy of the overrated,” Keohane will always win by a landslide. She is known as a scholar, but I am not sure why. She displays nothing resembling erudition about anything. The book to which she owes her reputation—I think it was her Ph.D. dissertation—was published 26 years ago. But she is a recognizable type in the academic cosmos: the professor who disguises mediocrity with status. She is not an intellectual; she is a dignitary.

Oh, how delicious! And how true! Mr. Peretz need only add that Keohane, who managed to land gigs as the president of Wellesley and Duke, is a believer in virtually all the shibboleths of the academic Left. Clearly, she’ll try to sell herself as the un-Summers in order to become Harvard’s next leader.

But, general enthusiasm for TNR aside, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the magazine sometimes gets things quite wrong. Like that whole backpeddling on the liberation of Iraq thing. It really left us with less respect for their spirited call for intervention in Darfur.

But surely we can point to other errors. In the June 26 number of the magazine, one Christine Rosen offers the article “Technobabble,” a hit piece on Glenn Reynolds, the Internet’s famed Instapundit. In the course of her excoriation—in which Ms. Rosen likens Mr. Reynolds to Edward Bellamy, of all people—she offers the following sentence:

In fact, techno-utopianism is the one sentiment that unites both left and right in the blogosphere.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Not true, not true.

Sure, our humble “weblogging” outfit may be slightly outgunned by the likes of Glenn Reynolds, but we must inform you nonetheless that we are not “techno-utopians.” Far from it.

Actually, we pine for a return to feudalism—the kind of simpler, agrarian world that delights Roger Scruton and Victor Davis Hanson. Butter churners, stocks without the stock market, chastity belts: What’s not to like?

After reading the works of Noam Chomsky, we’re entirely convinced that capitalism can’t work and that America is the most malignant “failed state” of them all. (We wonder why he still lives in the US, though. Doesn’t he have enough money to flee to a less troubled country, like Rwanda?) Since Communism seems not to work either (sorry, Perry Anderson), obviously feudalism is the only answer.

As such, we hope that Goodie Rosen will take back her vile slander against the greater “weblogging” community. Some of us don’t dream of hovercrafts and smell-o-vision. On the contrary: We long for catapults and cannonballs. In fact, if we could get our hands on Ms. Rosen, we’d invite her to a duel.

Or, failing that, the local Renaissance festival.

Posted at July 6, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack