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October 01, 2003

Intellectual trickle down please

If a traditionally liberal (read: paleoliberal) magazine like The American Prospect can publish an obit that is mildly critical of the excesses of Edward Said-why is it that the majority of culturally "sensitive" liberals can not do the same??? To see the extreme case, check out this report of the push toward criminalization of "Islamophobia". I am not asserting that most latte liberals know much about the details of Orientalism, but the terror of criticizing and critiquing non-Western culture that the Said's of the world enforced has now spread horizontally far into the "cowboy" culture of the Right-note G.W. Bush's consistent refrain that Islam = Peace.

Posted by razib at 05:14 PM

Edward Said was a saint, and don't you forget it.

Seriously, my favorite part of some obit was where they pointed out the fact that Said's parents were careful to move back to Jerusalem for his birth, even though they were prosperously ensconced in Cairo. What the obit did NOT point out was that they only did this because the medical standards in Cairo were so atrocious that their first son, Gerald, died. Said was honest enough to point this out in his autiobiography. His pediatrician was a Jew, as was his childhood nurse. So the Zionists stand accused of perpetrating a first-world medical system on the Said family, which enabled him to survive the stresses of birth in a society where the infant mortality rate was quite high.

I do think that the Commentary mag article was a hack job, though, and backfired.

Posted by: diana at October 1, 2003 07:07 PM