Asks “Jeffrey Goldberg”:http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/06/why-is-ireland-such-a-bastion-of-anti-israel-feeling/241067/, in a blogpost that relies in its entirety on a column by Irish opinionator “Kevin Myers”:http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-myers-how-can-dogooders-possibly-think-that-gaza-is-the-primary-centre-of-injustice-in-middle-east-2804748.html. A cogent question, to be sure. But only one of a number of such questions which have been investigated by the indefatigable Mr. Myers. I look forward to future Myers-inspired Jeffrey Goldberg posts, asking the hard questions about why we give aid to Africa, “when Africa has given nothing to anyone – except for AIDS”:http://web.archive.org/web/20090422225329/http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/africa-is-giving-nothing-to-anyone–apart-from-aids-1430428.html. After all, the “wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a priapic, Kalashnikov-bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes him.” Myers is indeed quite emphatic about the threat of African priapism, warning us about “violent, Kalashnikov-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently tumescent layabouts,” and “an entire continent of sexually hyperactive indigents,” where politicians indulge in “voodoo idiocy” about “the efficacy of a little tap water on the post-coital penis as a sure preventative against infection.” And this is not even to mention the threat on the home front of “a welfare state”:http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82069?condense_comments=true which encourages teenage girls to “consciously embark upon a career of mothering bastards because it seems a good way of getting money and accommodation from the State.” I’m looking forward to Goldberg’s in-depth investigation of the “cash-crop whelping” scandal in a forthcoming issue of the _Atlantic Monthly._ Very likely, the Israel hating, handwringing politically correct liberals who have targeted Myers in the past will start to target Goldberg too. But I’ve no doubt whatsoever that he has the moral courage to withstand them.

Katie Roiphe recently wrote an article on the new book “Go the F#$k to Sleep.” She makes rather sweeping claims about miserable, sexless yuppies who have mollycoddled their children so extravangantly that the parents can no longer even steal enough time to watch a single episode of Mad Men together. During which they could take notes on parenting tips, one imagines!

Are our enlightened, engaged, sensitive parenting practices driving a certain segment of the population insane? Is the nice, liberal father who has just this Saturday carted his kids to soccer practice, play dates, piano lessons, made sunflower-butter sandwiches, and read Goodnight Moon three times seething with quiet desperation? The surprise ascendance of Adam Mansbach and Ricardo Cortés’ Go the F**k to Sleep on all sorts of best-seller lists eloquently answers that question….One wonders if this hostility [evident in the book] toward the child, who is naturally and rightfully manipulative, is just a tiny bit misplaced….The book, in all its cleverness and artfulness and ingenuity, raises certain other questions: Are they having sex, these slouchy rageful parents? Not enough, perhaps. When the father turns back to the waking child’s bedroom, we look out at the comfy, sexless, vaguely depressive scene of his wife sprawled asleep on the couch under an ugly old blanket. No wonder the slouchy dad is full of rage.

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Mercury and Anya’s Ghost

by John Holbo on June 27, 2011

Well, if you aren’t reading all the posts and comments about same-sex marriage over at the Corner – but why wouldn’t you be? wow, K. Lo – maybe you would be interested in some YA comics. Mercury, by Hope Larson, and Anya’s Ghost, by Vera Brosgol. I really have only one complaint, and it concerns Hope Larson’s art. When she draws people running … oh, I’ll just show you.

The right arm and the left leg should be forward. Or left arm and right leg. Opposites. She’s a good cartoonist. As Scott McCloud says in his blurb: “The best work to date from a powerful cartoonist.” So there! So I don’t know why she draws people running in this strange, unnatural way that the human body would never move in. The rest of the art is fine.

On we go. I bought both books for my older daughter, who is almost 10 – and for me, who am I kidding! Turns out they’re a bit too much for her. Somewhat mature teen themes – maybe PG-13 – also murder and ghosts. She can read them next year, or the year after. (Your 9-year old daughter might be harder-boiled than mine. I couldn’t say.) Well, I enjoyed them. But they sort of had the same plot. I’ll explain under the fold, thereby semi- but not really spoiling the plot(s). [click to continue…]