Tuesday, December 02, 2008

'Who's to Say?' and the Advent of Offense, Stupidity, Hypocrisy and Probably a Thorough Ass-Kicking from a Good Person

"One does not leave a convivial party before closing time." Winston Churchill

I got an e-mail about a book by Paul Krassner, one of the many terminally unfunny Comedians who play at being Lenny Bruce, who was also largely unfunny. Who's to Say, Paul Krassner is not funny? Me.


In any case, there's a certain meta-irony about the name Re-create 68. Not only did the crossed-out 68 on the hat of the cop on the T-shirt refer to Re-create 68, but also Re-create 68 itself was a reference to the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago where protesters were severely beaten by police.

Moreover, at the 1996 Democratic convention in Chicago, there were T-shirts with the logo of the Chicago Police Department and the legend, "Democratic National Convention Chicago--1996--We Kicked Your Father's Ass in 1968--Wait 'Til You See What We Do to You!"

That's the trouble with a police state. The cops think it's a good thing.

Stop, Paul, your killing me! No really. Stop.

Krassner is a smoked-up, Hippie Manque who writes for Arianna Huffington. Arianna is universally recognized for her wit and good humor. I'm kidding. Arianna has all of the Wimsey of an obscenely obese Greek diner owner who had twelve limber and athletic drunks pull a dine and dash at 3AM on $300 bill. Paul Krassner is an affirmative action placement on Huffngton Post. BTW - how come Arianna keeps her old man's handle after taking all his gelt, when it was learned that he was dating good looking guys and not Arianna, his bride? Just asking. Who's to say?

I have heard the guy, seen the guy, read the guy and his material and Bupkis! No giggle; no smile; no wistful nod of assent of his charm. Arianna Huffington writes the foreward to his book, which should be indicative of the level of Haines moistening humor thickening Paul Krassner's new book -Who's to Say What's Obscene Politics, Culture and Comedy in America Today ! Me, Paul.

'Who's to Say?' is the key that unlocks the doors to goodness and lets in the idiots, the talentless, the obscene, the dangerous and the useless. It is rooted in Marxism and Hegelian/Dewey subjectivism - American Progressive Romance - which Bertrand Russell called 'madness' in his History of Western Philosophy. 'Who's to Say?'is as particularly obnoxious a dodge and head-fake as it appears; soulfully accepted by the truly shallow and the spineless. It is especially evident in Academia. Idiots and gutless lightweights have attempted to erase the Canons of Taste for more than thirty years. Alan Bloom, Mortimer Adler, Harold Bloom, E.D. Hirsch and Max Weismann have fought heroic actions against the Chomsky/Ward Churchill/Mad-Dog Feminists/Cornell West fruitloops alive at American Universities.

Canon Formation was huge topic of concern when I was in graduate school in the
1980's. It was an agenda set by Identity Issue academics to destroy the Canons of Literature ( Dead White Men).

Canon Formation hit Loyola University through the English Department, when trendy professors replaced Old School Humanities Close Readers and genuine scholars. Loyola University had more good scholars aboard than nutbags and at Loyola University graduate students were taught the Canon of British and American Literature. 'Who's to Say' what is good literature? Well, people who actually have read and understood the vast fields of literature and have developed Taste.

Tolstoy is better than William Least Heat Moon - Who says so? Me. I read both.
Milton is better than Charles Bukowski - Who says so? Anyone who has not allowed a drunk to throw up on him.
Jane Austen is better than Gertrude Stein - Who says So? A Rose is A Rose Is a Rose!
Thackeray is better than Tom Wolfe -who say's so? Tom Wolfe.

The Canons of Taste, like the Canons of Literature were formed by many, many people who agree that certain actions, words, images and allusions are acceptable or unacceptable. That is called Judgment. Discernment. Thus,a 1787 Chateau d'Yquem ($56,588) is better than Night Train Express.

Who's to say what is obscene? Well, the people kicking your ass!


Anonymous said...

It depends on the context of why someone threw up on you--it could be a friend you were helping out of the bar.

Did you mean Edith Stein?

Anonymous said...

It depends on the context of why someone threw up on you--it could be a friend you were helping out of the bar.

Did you mean Edith Stein?

Anonymous said...

Don' forget
Evylen Waugh
JRR Tolkien
CS Lewis
Graham Greene
Joyce (not 19th ward one)
TS Eliot
in terms of England

In terms of American lit
I like some of the Southern (and Catholic)
Walker Percy
or even transcendatalists like Emerson and Thoreau
Walt Whitman
Mark Twain
John Steibeck (he wrote the Viva Zapata screenplay not the one with Banderas but the one with Bradno and Quinn)
Ernest Hemingway
Old Man and the Sea is short but still a classic
or how about some Puritan stuff
Spider in the Hands of an Angry God

The Russian stuff is good too:
The Brothers Karmazov
A Day in the life Illich
The Idiot
moody, Russian Orthodoxy, vicarious atonement, spiritual fathers, friendship, family

What about some Spanish stuff:
Cervantes Man from La Mancha
the Don Quixote stuff
Garcia Llorca poetry--La Luna
Carlos Fuentes--Mexico
Octavio Paz

For some multicultural stuff
Alex Haley--Malcolm X and Roots (yes I know he took some liberties)
Uncle Tom's Cabin
You may disagree but some Toni Morrison stuff is interesting (I don't agree just said interesting--it is a black thing you wouldn't understand)



Plato's Republic


Anything by Shakespeare is a must, MOBY DICK is an absolute and not the drum solo by John Bonham with Led Zeppelin, The Bible is great even in the heretical and schismatic King James Version (great English and contributions)--read the Book of Job in the KJV
anything by Plato or Aristotle

Going East
the Muqadimmah by Ibn Khaldun
the Holy Qur'an by the angel Gabriel (Jibrel in Arabic although probably a demon)
Tao Te Ching
anything by Lao Tzu, or Confucius
(does not need to be all dead white men--Augustine (as in Saint from Hippo) may have been black)
The Hindu scriptures are interesting--influenced Oppenheimer: "I am Shiva, I have become death, destroyer of Worlds"

allright: three musts:
1. the BIBLE (KJV for English)
2. Moby Dick
3. anything by Shakespeare
close behind
4. Plato's Republic
5. literature (or philosophy or history or religion) that matters to the individual by heritage, cultural, lineage, parents, ancestors, racial, ethnic, tribal
6. Something the individual likes that may not be connected to blood, culture or religion that they like for whatever reason hopefully a sense of enjoyment or learning. Perhaps poetry
7. Pat Hickey's book on Guam or Leo High School.

Random thoughts late at night.

Dominus Vobiscum