Bats aren’t bugs, II: Goldberg Variation

by John Holbo on May 22, 2004

Jonah Goldberg wishes liberals were more interested in ideas, specifically the history of their own ideas. He wishes they were less ‘intellectually deracinated’; more like conservatives:

[click to continue…]

Something like Fire, or the Wheel

by Kieran Healy on May 22, 2004

I spent a lot of a flight from London to Singapore reading “Tragically I was an Only Twin”:, a well-edited collection of the comedy sketches, monologues and occasional journalism of “Peter Cook”: It turns out that Cook addressed many of the issues that preoccupy us at CT. Like “intelligent design theory”:

*Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling*: Well, I’d like to say I believed in God, of course, but I’m afraid that, as a thinking person … there are two very good reasons why I simply can’t. … A — Wasps. Can’t see the point of a wasp, can you? And B — caviar. I mean really, what is the point of having caviar locked away inside sturgeon? So inaccessible. I’m sure if there were a real God he’d have arranged for caviar to just sort of toddle over to your house on a pair of little legs in a self-opening jar.

Or “sociobiology”:

*Interviewer*: [B]ut isn’t an anthill a very organized society?
*Prof. Henrich Globnik*: If your view of an organized society is thousands of ants milling around in corridors, bumping into each other with bits of twig and other rubbish in their mouth then I understand why you elected that woman.

Or “political theory”:

*Arthur Grole*: No you don’t [speak Russian], you poor sod. And you have an inalienable right not to speak Russian in this country. In Russia you have to speak Russian. But in this country we have an inalienable right not to speak Russian.

And “philosophy of language”:

*Ludovic Kennedy*: Do you speak any Lap yourself?
*Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling*: I have a smattering — or a smeurtering, as they call it. They don’t in fact call it Lap. They call it Leurp. But I do have a smeurtering of Leurp. A few words … I like to think if I found myself in fourth-century Lapland I could get by — probably. Or preurbeurbly.

So obviously you should “just buy it”: