“The Duty of Journalists is to Tell The Truth”

by Henry Farrell on August 12, 2011

Another “Kevin Myers classic”:http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-myers-feral-rioters-all-have-one-thing-in-common-a-lack-of-father-figures-2844058.html, explaining that the London riots are a result of too many black immigrants and not enough patriarchy.

bq. They are clearly, and overwhelmingly, Afro-Caribbean, the descendants of immigrants, though such has been the utter British failure to integrate so much of the immigrant population that many have retained something of a Caribbean accent. Admittedly, not all of the rioters are “black”: clearly, some white youths have joined in. But where they have not got race is common, they probably have another feature that joins them: absent father-figures. … They have been raised without the presence of a male authority figure to impose familial order, and furthermore and most vitally, to promote the patriarchy.

The piece opens with an exhortation “that the duty of journalists is to tell the truth” and closes with two paragraphs where Myers congratulates himself at length for his lack of “cowardice,” and hints that he’ll take legal action against anyone who suggests that his … concerns … about the horrors of immigration, African indigents with massive erect cocks who have too many children etc etc are motivated by racism. Clearly, Mr. Myers fancies himself as a bold truth-teller – his recent column suggesting that todger-mutilating Jews shouldn’t make laws that interfere with Catholic social practices was framed in a “similar fashion”:https://crookedtimber.org/2011/07/20/21012/.

And this brings us back to Jeffrey Goldberg, “who did American public debate”:https://crookedtimber.org/2011/06/27/why-is-ireland-such-a-bastion-of-anti-israel-feeling/ the disservice of introducing it to Mr. Myers’ theories. Goldberg is not, unless I am very badly mistaken indeed, a bigot in the sense that Kevin Myers is a bigot. He nonetheless appears eager to believe claims about generic European anti-Semitism that are propagated by Mr. Myers, without checking into his sources. If I had made a gross and offensive claim that an entire country was a “bastion” of “anti-Israel hatred,” and then discovered that my source for this claim had the general worldview that Kevin Myers has, it would cause me to think about my journalistic practices, and likely to question whether my beliefs on this question were well-founded. Goldberg apparently takes a different approach.

Travel and Nostalgia

by John Holbo on August 12, 2011

I wished I had lived in the days of real journeys, when it was still possible to see the full splendor of the spectacle that had not yet been blighted, polluted and spoilt … When was the best time to see India? At what period would the study of the Brazilian savage have afforded the purest satisfaction, and revealed them in their least adulterated state? Would it have been better to arrive in Rio in the eighteenth century with Bougainville, or in the sixteenth with Léry and Thevet? – Claude Lévi-Strauss

Speaking of which, I watched Midnight In Paris on the plane, coming home from vacation, which seemed a fine occasion to watch such a film. It seems like a good idea for a film. But I don’t think it ended up being a good film. It’s too self-satisfied with the fact of it being a film with a good idea for what it’s going to be about. It kinda rests on its laurels before it even gets started. Owen Wilson is just walking around, giving a passable dramatic reading of his lines. All the actors playing the famous figures from the 20’s are having fun, but in a light sort of Hey Kathy Bates is pretending to be Gertrude Stein and Adrien Brody is having fun with his Dali accent kind of way. The direction was … fine. Paris looked like … Paris as filmed for a nice American Express ad or something like that. Competent evocation of a beautiful city. Is this what all Woody Allen movies have been like for the last 20 years? I really haven’t checked in for a while. Seems like lots of people really liked this movie. It was ok. Did you like it?