Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

December 29, 2008

All That Needs to Be Said About Gaza…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:51 pm

…can be found in this post here. So I won’t add anything except to say it demonstrates the difference between a mensch and the chorus of pipsqueaks (great descritive word, no?) You know who you are.


December 28, 2008

Valkyrie is Better–and Worse–Than I Expected

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:40 am

Well Tom Cruise is better. Not great. Still too callow (Killing Hitler is “Risky Business”) and not really convincing as a German aristo. But the problem is with the film’s Hitler and it’s skewing of history. Hitler seems to be the bad guy in this movie mainly because he’s poorly groomed and has bad posture–that’s how you can tell he’s a mass murderer. At least compared with the impeccably dressed anti-Hitler aristo-officer conspirators.

But it’s really the history that’s the problem: the impression is left that all well-groomed Germans of a certain (upper) class and (higher) military rank opposed Hitler. But many were gung ho Nazis and in fact the movie just contributes to the meretricious myth of virtually non-existant “German resistance”. It gives the German people a reason to pat theselves on the back retrospectively (“see we tried!). But in fact the so called resistance was largely a bunch of opportunists and pro-fascist anti-semites who lost their nerve, and postponed their coup plans every time Hitler pulled off an unexpected military victory (hey, he’s a genocidal mass murderer but he’s a winner!) and got serious only after the Normandy landings succeeded in June 1944 (the Valkyrie plot took place in July ’44– what a co incididence!).

The real heroes of German resistance were people like the journalists I wrote about in Explaining Hitler–the ones who risked their lives to tell the world the truth about Hitler’s evil even before he came to power. The world didn’t listen but tht doesn’t diinish their heroism.

December 27, 2008

Sad Follow Up to "Saddest Story": Author Confesses, Publisher Cancels

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 8:36 pm

This New Republic post says it all. The author admits he ade it up. Sometimes the truth is necesssary but no less painful.

Jarvis (3): Jarvisite Calls on PJM to Censor Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 9:59 am

Showing the true colors of the worst sort of new media type, the comment below, which I’m reproducing in full (aside fro the name to spare him the embarrassent of his effusion), is evidence that some–not all–new media advocates’ response to views they disagree with is to call for censorship of said views.

I never was told that Pajamas Media had some kind of stalinoid line that every blogger must adhere to at the risk of being “informed on to the authorities”. Nor have I suffered any censorship. Instead the person who posted the comment below must think that it’s time to impose discipline and uniformity. Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what the blogsohere is supposed to be about?

In fact I’ve found that PJM has been, thus far, quite tolerant of my sometimes divergent views. I’ve posted a dozen or so impassioned pro-Obama posts over the past year and although I know Roger Simon has disagreed with them, to his credit, he’s never tried to censor me. One would think a new media blogospheric type would be in favor of lively argument. When PJM asked me to blog for them they said they wanted me to be myself, not toe some line. After all, Roger’s the author of a forthcoing book about what he’s suffered from dissenting from the Hollywood line (Blacklisting Myself) and I’ve assumed that PJM is not some grim monolithic propoganda outfit. I’ve shared some of Roger’s views of the sad inability of the sclerotic Left to accept the truth about its past, but I’ve remained consistently liberal on domestic issues.

Now here comes a guy who, like crybaby Jeff Jarvis, can’t handle the contradiction that free speech involves disagreement with his views (the only ones that should be free I guess), who apparently is frightened by views that differ from his own, and like Jarvis, goes running to dada and says “the bad man is deviating from the line, dada,” we must adhere to the One True Truth around here.

Anyway here’s his comment:

Author : Brian O’XXXX (IP: XXXX , localhost)
E-mail :
URL    :
Whois  : XXXX
“What an odd use of Pajamas Media: a rousing defense of traditional journalism, and in case that’s not enough, a call to pity those poor reporters and their families (at Christmastime!). I half feel that Charles or Roger need to come in here and pull a Palmieri. And the part where Rosenbaum goes all Glen Greenwald with his resume was extra special.”

It’s hardly worth pointing out the inaccuracy of just about every sentence of his comment. My post was not a “rousing defense of traditional journalism” but a further critique of second rate new media consulltant bloviators (with whom the commenter must identify; I wonder whose payroll he’s on}. I’ve never been a traditional journalist, my column is online, and have quite often, in posts here–see the recent one on Adam Walsh– criticized traditonal journalists for their lack of skepticism among other flaws.

And in sneering at empathy for people who are out of work at Christmastime, I assume the commenter’s either parodying the heartlessness of Jeff Jarvis or can’t see how ugly he makes himself look. (I vote for the latter)

But for those blessedly unfamiliar with blogospheric inside baseball, when he calls for someone to “pull a Palmieri” he’s advocating the kind of soft censorship that was imposed on blogger Matthew Yglesias by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, whose acting CEO, Jennifer Palmieri “convinced” Yglesias that it was necessary for her to intrude on his blog and dissociate herself and the think tank from Yglesias’s crticism of one of her think tank’s partners. This is what the commenter wants for PJM. Momma and Dada to police it for incorrect views. The liberal version of censorship.

Yes he actually calls for PJM to adopt the censorship methods of liberal foundations. While he may not share their policy views he obviously favors their methods of intimidating dissent, and I think he’s an embarrassment to those at PJM he believes would want to exercise such methods. I guess the censorship minded are the same across the political spectrum. And just as repellant.

By the way the other inside (insnide?) baseball snark, the one about Glenn Greenwald, again misrepresents what I wrote. I was responding to some commenter who thought I was criticizing Jarvis because I was envious of his “accomplishments”. Does the commenter want to take that up with dada too? I’m sure he has many, many accomlishments that should have leapt out at me, which I should have mentioned. Or could it be he’s the one who’s envious?

He certainly thinks he deserves recognition as a big shot , judging from his preening, I’m-on-a-first-name-basis-with-the-boss way of throwing his weight around.

I think, to keep things in perspective I’ll spotlight another commenter who tells us a lot more about Jarvis and Jarvisites like Mr. O.:

“Jarvis makes his living being a well-compensated consultant to old-line MSM newspapers like the Newark Star-Ledger, which has taken the route of destroying its own franchise while terrorizing its employees. This charlatan even has the chutzpah to nod knowingly while his online idiots go on at length about how lousy the Ledger’s website ( is, while never copping to the fact that he was the consultant who designed it in the first place. He is beneath contempt, no matter what anyone may believe about the cosmic merit (or lack of it) of journalists.”

Just another opinion. You know, free speech, Mr. O. Scary isn’t it?

December 25, 2008

A Truly Profound Moral Debate: A Medal for Cold War Veterans?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 6:57 am

Jarvisites (see below) don’t seem to get that I love the ‘net. I love surfing. I love the debates one comes upon (and sometimes starts–see below). And I love Google (just not kool-aid drinking Google- worshippers), for instance for rthe way Google Alerts has helped me with my new book on the new face of nuclear warfare.

And so it was that on Christmas morning I woke up to find one of my Google alerts directing me to what I consider a truly profound and important moral debate, one initiated by the campaign to create a medal for “Cold War veterans”.

These are the guys who manned the missile silos and the nuclear armed subs, flew the nuclear armed bombers. The guys who–depending on your point of view–saved the world from a nuclear holocaust, by making deterrence–the prevention of nuclear and conventional war, possible in the 45 years between Hirsohima and the fall of the Soviet Union.

Or took part in the reckless policy of Mutually Assured Destrruction at the heart of deterrence that pledged them to what anti-nuke types such as Jonathan Schell called “conditional genoicide”: our threat to attack and vaporize entire cities full of unarmed civilians if we should be attacked. To carry out a genocidal threat even after the threat had failed in its purpose. Or even, as happened on more than one occasion, carry out that threat on the basis of “false positive” warnings of an attack.

On the other hand what was the alternative? And also on the other hand they were doing it because we, as a populace, in effect ordered them to do it.

On the other, other hand (I’m running out of hands) there were some who questioned and opted out of it. I wrote about one in a Harper’s article “The Subterranean World of the Bomb” (March, 1978; reprinted in The Secret Parts of Fortune). And I talked to guys in Minuteman misile silos who had doubts, but I had no idea, as the post below shows that some went as far as hanging themselves from the stress of the moral quandry our policy makers (and the Soviet Union’s) put them in.

Was deterrence a profoundly moral doctrine inthat it saved tens, hundreds of milions of lives, perhas the entire human species. Or was it profoundly immoral because it threatened genocide after it had failed to deter nuclear attack?

And do the “footsoldiers” in that unconventional, non-physical–very real, but metaphysical, conceptual–combat that deterrence represeneted, deserve medals for their service regardless because of the impossible demands it made upon them as human beings?

That’s the contention of a campaign for a Cold War Medal campaign I came upon in this blog posting (lined above):

“Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cold War Veteran Spot to Air on Weekend America on Dec 27th.

ACWV and Independent Producer Eric Molinsky have put together a montage of interviews of Cold War Veterans to commemorate the End of the Cold War. Dr. Frank Tims, Scott L’Ecuyer and Bill Robinson are featured on the radio spot.

This weekend marks the 17th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the official end of the Cold War. Some Americans will be observing this weekend as if it were a holiday. These folks flew the Berlin Air Lift, or played cat and mouse games with Soviet subs, like in a Tom Clancy novel. Independent Producer Eric Molinsky says these retired servicemen are facing a new battle.

Bill Robinson was part of an elite crew: People who had their finger on the button. He flew a B52 bomber in 1968, circling the Arctic for 24 hours at a time. If given the order, he would’ve nuked Moscow. “We had one purpose and only one purpose, and that was to put our bombs on the target, regardless of battle damage, regardless of anything other than complete destruction of the airplane. So we all knew that we were basically flying a suicide mission.”

Officially, they were called “Chrome Dome” missions. Bill worked for the Strategic Air Command, or SAC. They were tested constantly – rehearsing World War III over and over again.

“Every time we had a practice alert, we never actually knew whether if it was real or not,” Robinson says. “But if it were the real thing, we would have nothing to come back to. In the back in our minds, and my mind, I knew that my family would probably be vaporized.”

Bill and his crewmates were on the front lines of the Cold War. But when the Soviet Union fell, there were no victory parades and no medal ceremonies. Gorbachev was barely clinging to power. The first President Bush was worried about sparking a backlash in the Soviet Union if America appeared to be gloating. Bill Robinson gets that, but he still feels unappreciated.

“It would have been nice to have somebody say thank you.” Bill says. “It would be nice to have somebody say, as my old OPS officer used to say, ‘It was a real bucket of snot but thanks.'”

Bill is part of a growing movement of retired servicemen who support The American Cold War Veterans Association. The organization is lobbying Congress to create a Cold War Service Medal. They have the support of seven senators, but the Pentagon is against it.

Here’s the problem: The Department of Defense does not consider The Cold War a real war. They’re worried that if they give medals to people who didn’t serve in combat, they’ll water down the whole meaning of the word “veteran.”

Scott L’Ecuyer believes that he was on the front lines of a real war. The contribution of his crew needs to be recognized.

“Sometimes I wonder, if President Reagan was still around and conscious of this, would he recognize us?” Scott contemplates. “I’ve spoken to Ronald Reagan. On a Christmas day, when I was out on the missile site, he called us, and said ‘Merry Christmas.'”

Scott spent four years as a chief mechanic at a nuclear missile silo. The job was grueling. The missiles were constantly malfunctioning, but the base had to be fully operational in case the Soviets took a first strike. The crew was tested every day, unaware if was the real thing or just a drill. One of Scott’s roommates couldn’t handle the stress. He was kicked out.

“I can’t tell you how much that guy did for the mission,” Scott explains. “He couldn’t do the job, but he propped us up so much, he might as well have been the truck that drove us there. When they kicked him out, it was unbelievable to all of us, because he was like our parent. We didn’t realize he couldn’t go home because of family issues, and he hung himself in our room. I have a flag that’s on my mantel right now that was flying over the squadron at the time, and I keep it in a box for his memory.”

Those memories weigh heavily on Scott. He had trouble adjusting to the outside world. He had nightmares from underground in solitary confinement. Scott was eventually diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. He showed up at a local VA hospital, and that’s when he discovered that he wasn’t technically a veteran. He didn’t serve during an official time of war, like Vietnam.

“I was locked out from being a new applicant,” Scott says. “I went crazy. That’s when I really got involved.”

Scott recruits members for the American Cold War Veterans Association. He’s hoping to change the system, which he thinks is unfair.

According to Scott, “Everyone’s made hay on the Cold War, from authors to politicians to the media. Everyone for 50 years has made their careers on the Cold War, and it was us that carried out that mission, and the fact that we’re forgotten is unbelievable.”

Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have pledged their support, but getting money is going to be tough. A new generation of soldiers is coming home, with pressing concerns. The Cold War veterans might have to hunker down for a long fight. The payoff may be years down the road. They’re used to that.”

How do you feel about the stories of Bill and Scott above? I’d like to hear from “Cold War vets” about their experience–what they thought then, what they think now. Post them in “comments”. I’d like to hear what the non-combatants among you think. I think we just can’t bury their experiences, we need to think about them, because the way things look we’re going to have to deal with these questions again, soon.

December 22, 2008

Jarvis Watch (2) He Brings In Mommy and Daddy!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:21 pm

This has got to be a blogospheric first! No surprise, I suppose, that it’s brought to you by Jeff Jarvis, self-proclaimed pioneer of blogospheric thinking. Still when I first heard about it, I couldn’t believe it. I knew Jarvis had been avoiding defending himself from the substance of my critique of his ludicrous notion of “journalism” i.e. you learn more about an institution such as Google by refusing to talk to anyone who founded or works for Google. Seriously! That’s the method of his forthcoming Google book. Apparently Jarvis has no defense, because all his replies are complaints that someone dared criticize him.

Instead and I’m not making this up, he’s hiding behind his mommy and daddy to avoid engaging with my argument. Somebody told me about this passage which I think will become famous in the annals of Web discourse. Call it Crybabyism 2.0. It’s from Jarvis’s blog, shortly after my Slate piece ran. I should have been paying attention but so much of his blog is devoted to self-reverential accounts of his many travels to self-congratulatory blog “summits”, and quotations from cronies telling him how smart he is, I missed it.

But, really, it tops it all, garners the gold in the Jarvis self-pity Olympics. He quotes an e-mail from his parents who read my critique of little Jeffy:

“I was more bothered than anything that I got email from my parents wondering who this Ron Rosenbaum was (and why was he attacking their son). Even bloggers have mothers.”

Awww. Pardon me while I wipe away the tears. It’s actually pretty offensive to me, when you think about it. Offensive to me, offensive to his own mother that he uses her to hide behind. He can’t defend his position on journalism from criticism on any rational grounds–basically it comes down “better to learn less than more–so he has so accuse me of causing pain to his parents.

December 19, 2008

Worst Movie of the Year: The Reader

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 4:13 pm

No contest. It’s not just another degrading conflation of Nazis and sex a trend in cultural stupidity I’ve noted elsewhere. It’s just plain incoherent, idiotic–and deeply offensive.

Kate Winslet–a wonderful actress (what could she be thinking?) plays a Nazi deathcamp guard–a job she got because, we’re led to believe by the deeply meretricious Bernard Schlink novel of the same name–she was illiterate. During the war she allowed 300 Jews locked in a church to burn to death. After the war–20 years after the war–when she’s finally put on trial, she takes the blame for writing a lying reort on the incident (and thus a longer–but still not very long–prison sentence–because she didn’t want to admit she was illiterate and thus couldn’t have written it. She’s (seriously) actually more ashamed of her inability tot read than her articiation in mass murder.

We’re apparently supposed to feel sorry for Kate for some reason because she really likes reading. In fact the whole first third of the movie is devoted to her imediate post war sexual affair with a teenage boy in which she shows how much she likes sex and reading–and how much the film makers like showing us her naked body as she gets herself read to and laid.

In the film the teenage boy (ralh Fiennnes–what was he thinking?–grows up to be a law student who’s shocked when he learns of her crime, but not shocked enough to prevent him from spending hours reading books into a tape recorder and sending her the tapes and the print versions which she uses–in conjunction–to learn to read.

We are somehow supposed to be insired by this tale of a her learning to read agaisnt all odds as a story of elf imrovement I guess. In the book she reads about the Holocaust she participated in and feels really, really bad about it. In the move the director, Stehen Daldry told us at a pre release screening he eliminated this because he thought it was “too redemptive”. In the movie she’s totally unrepentant except for sending a tea tin of her meagre savings via poor conflicted Raloh to the daughter of one of her victims. Thanks Kate!.

In the book literature is supposed to show her the path to a new humanity. In the movie she doesn’t even show repentance. So what’s the point of the movie. Reading Is Fun, even for mass murderers? It’s not even an advertisment for literarcy which in the film does nothing to change her morally.

This one of the most baffling misguided wrongheaded cases of filmmakers overcome by their misbegotten reverence for a widely over praised “contemporary classic” about collective guilt, not knowing what the fuck they’re doing. The film makes no sense whatesoever. The book was offensive but at least coherent.The film is an absolute disaster. Talk about Titanic being a disaster movie. This is a disaster of a movie. You almost expect that when a Jewish Holocaust survivor opens the pathetic tea-tin at the end they’ll find the blue sapphire “The Star of the Sea” from Kate’s Titanic role inside. It could not get any more farcical or moronic..

And yet the reverent reviews this film has got from people who should know better. Are they out of their mind? Or does the reverence for a “serious” film with “serious” actors and “serious” pretentions outweigh, overwhelm their “serious” powers of judgement? I’m totally baffled. I’d like to call this movie the Emporer’s New Clothes of “serious” Oscar contenders, but maybe with its sleazy exploitiv use of nudity to keep our attention from wandering in the first thifd, it should be called The Emporer’s New Nudity


December 18, 2008

Radio Recommendation: The John Batchelor Show

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:45 pm

He’s kind of a madman, but in a good way. Not a typical talk show way, but an old fashioned pitbull reporter way. When he gets on to a story, you feel like this almost palpable lust to get behind the official story and into the real deal. You can hear The John Batchelor Show at 7-10 p.m. in most cities–go to the link for schedules.

He’s got sources in every hot spot in the world, particularly the Middle East, and when the show’s over you don’t want it to end, and how often can you say that about your typical liberal NPR or convservative talk radio droning.

He’s kind of a know-it-all, it’s true. One who’s too smart to be a great self promoter. (He’s always telling listeners to go to his website “” without telling them it’s not spelled conventionally, losing a lot of them, I fear. Tell them about the “t”, John!). I once was invited on his show to discuss my anti-semitism anthology Those Who Forget the Past but he kept telling me how much he knew (and demonstrating that he hadn’t actually read the book as carefully as a know-it-all should) so that I actually started arguing with him in the pre interview, something you learn never to do in putting up with book promo, and blew my chance to plug a book–something no author is crazy enough to do, but he was insufferable and it just wasn’t worth it to me to pretend I didn’t think so. But he is genuinely knowledgable about that subject and a host of others and he has great opinionated guests and the show is breathlessly entertaining, so I forgive him and just look foward to listening.

Pluis–and not many peole know this and I don’t know if he likes it to be told–but he once perpetrated one of the greatest, wittiest literary hoaxes ever perpetrated, a long time ago (he’s a skilled novelist as well) when he wrote a piece for the long defunct SoHo News claiming to have proven that J.D. Salinger was the author of the works of fellow recluse writer Thomas Pynchon. (Ever seen them in the same room together?). It was the hoax as a work of literary criticism, indeed as a work of literature in itself, and evinced a deep and sensitive understanding of the works of both writers. My hat is always off to him for that. And I’m glad he’s back on the air. Check him out.

December 17, 2008

Did Obsession with "Closure" Let Adam Walsh's Killer Go Free?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 9:23 am

It’s all over the papers today: the long ago murder of 6 year old Adam Walsh–whose death inspired his father John Walsh to found “America’s Most Wanted”–has been solved. Case closed.

My blood pressure’s been rising all day as I see more and more mainstream media outlets have picked up–entirely without investigating–this transparently contrived story without the slightest bit of sketicism. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised any more, by this sort of thing, but I am.

The family and the Florida cops say they know the killer, who is conveniently dead. They say it was a fellow named Ottis Toole. He’s been named before, he’s even confessed before. The problem is he’s confessed to dozens of murders. He’s also recanted before. According to news reports there’s no new information to cause yesterday’s sudden press conference to announce the case had been closed. There’s only one word that hangs in the air: “closure”.

According to The New York Times the announcement will allow the Walsh family to “finally move on”. But, John Walsh added, “it’s not about closure, it’s about justice.”

I’m not so sure of that. I’ve met Ottis Toole, the loathsome fellow they say was the killer, when he was on death row in Florida’s aptly named Starke maximum security prison. I was in a holding cell with him and a tape recorder. And one thing I’ll never forget is the way he smelled. Not just physically, though that was bad enough; metaphysically too. He smelled of evil. I’ve never sensed, felt, the presence of evil so closely. But I don’t believe a word he says when he confessed to poor little Adam Walsh’s death. I think he only did it for self-aggrandisement, to make himself seem like an important killer. Since he thought he was going to Sparky anyway, he used the oportunity to torment the Walsh family with grisly details of their son’s death. He did it for attention, for publicity, because he had nothing to lose. He confessed because he was a vile creep who wanted to increase the pain for the Walsh family.

In fact when he first confessed to Adam’s murder he actually said he killed and atethe child.(I know: pause for nausea). And then when parts of the body were found, he had to recant that. The problem with accepting Ottis Toole’s word for this (we’re now told there was a “deathbed confession” but Toole’s been dead for nearly a decade and confessing for a decade before that–and then taking it back) or taking his word for anything, is that if the case is closed on the basis of his word alone, it will likely mean that the the real killer will forever go free.

Not that he’d ever likely be caught. But think of the horror of him lying on a bed in a cheap motel somewhere watching tv news clips about the case being closed–and grinning from ear to ear. Home free! on to the next child. The horror, the horror, as Conrad’s Mr. Kurtz said.

Now don’t get me wrong, I admire John Walsh for all he’s done, for all the cases he’s closed with forensic finality through his tv show. And I understand the desire for “closure” after 27 years. But this kind of closure is not justice, it’s therapy.

Let me briefly sketch out how I came face to face with the alleged murderer, Ottis Toole and why I don’t believe he can offer closure or justice. I was researching a story about the phony serial killer Henry Lee Lucas who once conned the legendary Texas rangers into believing his confessions to more than 300 serial killings. All lies except maybe 2 or 3, it was later demonstrated. His confessions–sadly taken at face value for all too long (some “serial killer” experts still cite Henry)–were the basis for the movie Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. (you can read my story “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Hoax” in my collection The Secret Parts of Fortune).

In any case, at one point in his travels Ottis Toole’s was Henry’s “runnin’ buddy”–they bummed around the country selling their blood for food, committing a few petty crimes. Toole eventually went to prison on a fatal arson rap, but he thought he could “pull a Henry” by confessing to multiple killings, “taking cases” as they put it, to stave off the executioner so that far-off police departments with unsolved cases could up their “solved'” rate by assigning the kill to Henry or Ottis.

It all got more elaborate and baroque as Ottis began claiming he was doing his killings on behalf of a Satanist cult called “The Hands of Death”. He even “co wrote” a book that was used to substantiate the whole satanist, recovered memory witch-hunt. By the time I got to interview him in the steel-cage deathhouse in Starke, Florida, all the lies had become too much, even for Ottis.

He couldn’t keep up the pretense with a straight face.

“Did you ever go to a Satanist assassination training camp in the Everglades?”I asked Ottis.

“That whole fucking book is lies,” he said.

“So what is the truth?” I asked.

“There ain’t no murders,” he said, laughing.

“No murders?”

“I dug up all the information playing them [the investigators]digging all the information out of them.”

It’s sad. If you ask me, even now, long after his death, Ottis is still playing us, playing the Walshes, playing the Florida cops who I can’t believe really think that after all his confessions and recantations, anything he says abou Adam Walsh has any evidentiary value.

As I said I admire john Walsh, but when he says “this is not closure it’s justice” I’m afraid that it’s not either.

Well I’ve met Ottis Toole–on Florida’s death Row

December 9, 2008

King of the Pseuds: At Last Somebody Calls Out Slovoj Zizeck

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 6:14 pm

Really it’s almost a test. If you hear someone one posing as an intellectual cite, or take seriously the views of the the Slovenian sophist Slovoj Zizek, you know you are in the resence of a pseud.

But at last one of my favorite critics Adam Kirsch has taken on the long needed task of exposing the Augean stables of intellectual bullshit that is the work of this fraud.

I once had a close encounter with Zizeck when I was told by someone he wanted to meet me after reading my book Explaining Hitler. For some ridiculous book he’d written explaining why Stalin was superior to Hitler because communists had “good intentions”– or something like that–which excused the fact they’d murdered tens of millions more than Hitler. It turned out he had lifted much of my critique of Hitler theories and then in an offensively ungrateful footnote acknowledged the lift while calling my work “undertheorized”. As if not until someone with his grand theoretical sophistication could make it opaque and meaningless would it be worthy. It is precisely his over theorized, under thought approach that is so apalling. Thank god he didn’t praise it, it would have been an utter embarassment to me he;s such an obvious fraud, but it demonstrated the mendacious and parasitical quality of the man and his work for all to see. I refused the invitation to share a meal with the dimwit.

Cleaning out the Zizek stables may be beyond the abilities of Hercules by now, their noxious pollution has infected the susceptible minds of so many in and out of academia. But Kirsch has performed a Herculean service, and at least we know now that we don’t have to waste time explaining to the intellectually naive what the stink is. Just send them the link above.

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