These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 19, 2009.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Jesus was Jew—not a Muslim
A letter in the East London Advertiser in answer to a bit of islamic dawa the other day. The editorial stance of the ELA is generally alert to efforts at Islamisation.
SOMETIMES people give offence to others intentionally or unintentionally. I am not sure which was the case when a white car went past my house in Spitalfields in East London with a loudspeaker calling out, “Jesus was a Muslim.”
Since I don’t know the man or where he is from, I am writing this in case he reads it as I disagree with his statement.
Jesus lived and died a Jew. We read in The New Testament that he was born a Jew, circumcised when he was eight days old, according to Jewish Law, and went to Jerusalem when he was 13 to be Bar Mitzvah.
The writer continues with other evidence from the Bible concluding,
Before he physically died on a cross, he used words from the Jewish Psalm 31, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Mrs ~ Spitalfields
EDITOR: The rise of Islam was six centuries after Jesus of Nazareth’s time.
I expect the editor knows, but has decided not to dignify the claim, that Muslims insist that everybody was Muslim until the Christians and Jews corrupted the Bible for our own treacherous ends.
I have not read of any more assaults on the Christian ministers in the East End lately, or damage to our churches but fear it is only a matter of time.
Posted on 05/19/2009 2:06 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Home Guard killed in attack on police picket
From The Times of India
HYDERABAD: A Home Guard died and a police constable suffered injuries when two assailants opened fire on a police picket in Falaknuma on Monday evening. A little-known terror organisation Tehreek-e-Ghalba-e-Islam owned responsibility for the attack. The TGI, in a leaflet found at the spot, claimed it was an attack to avenge police firing on innocent people after the Mecca Masjid bomb blast. Incidentally, Monday was the second anniversary of the blast at the mosque.
Two persons clad in grey safari suits walked to the police picket opposite Falaknuma electricity sub-station. One of them, wearing a helmet, fired eight rounds from a country-made weapon at two police personnel posted at the picket. K Balaswamy, 22, home guard died and Rajendra Prasad, 30, constable of Falaknuma had a bullet lodged in his brain.
After the attack, according to eye-witnesses, the assailants coolly walked away.
Posted on 05/19/2009 2:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Muslim worshippers humiliate Swiss schoolgirls.
This is a story in French from Le Matin about events in Geneva which I have précised.
Men were leaving prayer in the Mosque at Grand-Saconnex and took a short cut to their car park through the playing field and running track of a local school. They hurled abuse at a class of pupils aged about 15 doing PE calling them "Espèces de sales Blanches! Vous n'avez pas honte?" which I think translates as "Filthy whites, you have no morals" They then took photos of the children with their mobile phones and kicked over the cones setting out the running track.
The PE teacher said that the girl pupils are often made to feel uncomfortable by men on their way to prayer ogleing their breasts. Another teacher says that the hundreds of men leaving the car park to go to prayer make her uneasy.
After a letter from the school the Iman has preached a sermon urging decorum and asking his flock to consider the reputation of Islam. The shortcut may be closed to the public.
The French language version is here. The Google translation into English here.
There shouldn't be a public right of way through a school PE pitch. And the Iman seems more concern with Islam's reputation than the men's crude behaviour.
Posted on 05/19/2009 3:20 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Les fidèles humilient des collégiennes (Suisse)
Les fidèles humilient des collégiennes
«Espèces de sales Blanches! Vous n'avez pas honte?» Insultées, raillées, reluquées et même photographiées au moyen de téléphones portables: une quinzaine d'élèves de l'Ecole de commerce André-Chavanne ont été prises à partie par un groupe d'hommes qui sortaient de la mosquée du Grand-Saconnex. Leur tort? Elles couraient en tenue de gymnastique sur la piste d'athlétisme de leur école «durant l'heure de la prière».
L'affaire a mis en émoi élèves, professeurs, parents et jusqu'aux hautes sphères du Département de l'instruction publique (DIP). Elle a suscité une réaction énergique au sein de la mosquée. L'imam a violemment condamné ces agissements dans son sermon aux fidèles. Aujourd'hui, les rapports de bon voisinage seraient de retour.
Vendredi 3 avril, début d'après-midi: les élèves, âgées d'une quinzaine d'années, s'exercent sur la piste de course. Une dizaine de personnes, qui sortent de la prière, se retrouvent face à elles. Pour retourner au parking, elles ont emprunté un raccourci, un chemin nouvellement ouvert au public qui débouche sur le terrain de sport.
Au lieu d'éviter de passer sur la piste, les hommes du groupe, jeunes et moins jeunes, se plantent au beau milieu. Ils perturbent la course, shootent les cônes de plastique disposés pour l'exercice. Ils insultent les élèves, les matent grossièrement, les prennent en photo, leur reprochent leurs tenues impudiques puis finissent par se retirer.
Choquée, la jeune prof de gymnastique qui les encadre dénonce les faits à la direction de l'école. Le 6 avril, le directeur, Roland Jeannet, alerte sa hiérarchie et envoie un courrier aux responsables de la mosquée: «Je vous prie d'intervenir lors des prochaines rencontres à la mosquée pour inciter vos fidèles à plus de respect.»
«L'imam a très bien réagi. Dès le vendredi suivant, il a consacré une longue partie de son sermon à cette question», raconte Roland Jeannet. «J'ai depuis reçu des lettres de fidèles qui fustigeaient l'attitude de ces hommes et craignaient pour l'image des musulmans.» Une réunion entre la direction, deux représentants de la mosquée et une îlotière de la police a eu lieu fin avril. Elle a rassuré l'établissement scolaire, qui n'a pas déposé de plainte.
Affaire prise au sérieux
Du côté de la Fondation culturelle islamique, on dit avoir pris l'affaire très au sérieux. «Les musulmans doivent montrer l'exemple, surtout dans ce contexte où ils sont souvent montrés du doigt», affirme un de ses responsables.
Il n'y a pas eu précédemment d'incident de voisinage marquant entre la mosquée et le collège, situé à trois jets de pierre. «Mais je suis parfois un peu mal à l'aise quand les parkings dans les alentours sont envahis par des centaines d'hommes qui se rendent à la prière», témoigne une prof. Une enseignante de gymnastique parle de regards insistants sur la poitrine des jeunes filles qui courent. Il n'est pas exclu que le fameux raccourci entre l'édifice religieux et les parkings soit de nouveau fermé.
Posted on 05/19/2009 5:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Cash Sales Of White? Or, Translation Is A Human Activity
The Google translation of the first paragraph of this story about the bullying Muslims and the Swiss schoolgirls (and the papering-over imam, who is of course not to be trusted), goes like this:
"Cash sales of White! You have no shame? Insulted, derided, and even reluquées photographed using mobile phones: fifteen students of the Ecole de Commerce André-Chavanne had been attacked by a group of men who came out of Mosque of the Grand Saconnex. Their wrong? They kept running in gymnastics on the athletics track of their school "during the hours of prayer."
The case has excited students, teachers, parents and even the upper echelons of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). It has been a strong reaction in the mosque. LThe Imam was vehemently condemned such acts in his sermon to the faithful. Today, a good neighbor would return."
Cash sales of White? [for "Especes de sales blanches"} Why not the famous "White Sales" of bed-linens, so beloved of American shoppers every thrifty January?
The case is clear. Neither the hard-working and grossly underpaid members of the A.T.A. (American Translators Association), nor those of the F.I.T. (Federation Internationale des Traducteurs), nor those of the A.I.I.C. (Association Internationale d'Interpretes de Conferences), many of whom may have attended the celebrated school for translators in Geneva, just down the road from where this Muslim outrage to Swiss schoolgirls occurred, have a thing to worry about..
I don't know if Wolfram Alpha has Google on the run. But when it comes to machine translation, Google has a lot to be embarrassed out. And so does every other machine-translatiion thiingamajig and thingamagob (go ahead, damned machine, translate those word, do! And make sure, o brave new machine, that the last two words I used are not translated by the same word, but by two different words, that mimic the similarity of the original, but carefully preserve the greater frequency with which "thingamajig" is used, because "thingamagob" ordinarily appears as part of a pair with the former, but the reverse is not true.
Posted on 05/19/2009 5:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
The Death Rattle Of Islam
Here Rebecca posted a most interesting article by Steven Steinlight at the Center for Immigration Studies.
I take issue with only one part of that post and that is that Muslims will be the majority religion by the end of this century. That is impossible unless a huge level of immigration into Europe is allowed – much, much larger than at present and almost impossible for any European Government to contemplate – and there is every sign that the European peoples and their Governments are waking up to the threats posed by immigration of all sorts. Indeed, there has been a very marked tightening of border controls and immigration policies over the last ten years.
In the EU only 3% to 4% of the population is Muslim. According to censuses, and other available data, one third of that percentage is beyond breeding age. Currently, according to the same data, approximately one fifth of that percentage is below breeding age. No matter how one extrapolates the figures it is impossible for Muslims to become the majority in ninety years time. Assuming that no action is taken, and that things go on as they are doing at the moment, it will take between one hundred and fifty to two hundred years for Muslims to become the barest majority of the population in the EU.
Currently, out of the 560 million (approximately) EU citizens, 490 million are Christians – the balance being other faiths and atheists. The number of census declared Christians, other faith believers, and atheists, has actually risen in the EU over the last thirty years – from 430 million to 490 million, whilst the percentage of census declared Muslims in the population has fallen from about 4.5% to between 3 to 4 percent. Independent spot checks confirm these figures – just use a well-known search engine to look for European census statistics.
The fastest growing group, by self-declared religious identity, in the EU today are Roman Catholics – followed by the Orthodox, the Anglican, the Hindu and the atheist in that order. Overall, the population of the EU countries has grown by over twenty percent since AD1947 and, though it levelled out throughout the years between AD1985 to AD2005, the population is now growing again and that growth is chiefly amongst the non-Muslim, native peoples. At the current rate of growth the population in the EU will hit a record high in AD2190 of about 900 million people – 700 million of whom will be Christian or atheist, 110 million of whom will be other non-Muslim faiths and scant 90 million of whom will be Muslim or identify as Muslim (barely ten percent, in other words) and that’s assuming that all of the Muslims present in the EU today pass on some sense of identity of being Muslim to their offspring and there is good evidence that, for as many as fifteen percent of those adult Muslims present in the EU today, such cultural transmission is not happening as the relatively weak process, in Europe as compared to the US of A, of acculturation begins to take hold.
Some authorities believe that the drop off in attendance at the Mosques, and all over Europe Mosques are reporting far lower figures for attendance (as a percentage of the putative Muslim population) than they did just ten years ago, is at least partly responsible for fuelling the increase in extremism amongst those who still attend – a sort of desperation driven extremism: if we don’t fight back then we’ll lose our identity – whereas most Christian sects are reporting, and independently verifying, a huge increase in attendance at Church on the major Feast days, particularly at Christmas and Easter and on some random, and seemingly sporadic, Sundays throughout the year. There has been a huge increase over the last five years in the Baptisms into the One True Faith of Christianity throughout Europe – most notably in The Netherlands, Southern Germany, Austria, in the South of France, Poland, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Slovakia and, outside the EU, in Russia, in the Ukraine and in Armenia and Georgia.
Many, very many, so-called Muslims fled to the West, specifically to Europe, because their syncretic beliefs were, and are, at variance with the hard-line tenets of Salafist, Wahabist, Islam. These people are passing on to their offspring a much more racially oriented, identity-laden Islam – an Islam born from their racial roots, a much calmer Islam interpreted and filtered through their roots and origins, a much more spiritual, philosophical and intellectual Islam than that practised in the austere, magisterial and remote desserts of Arabia – and they are rejecting the Mosques, and the hard-line Imams present therein, in droves. There is also a huge resentment amongst many Muslim populations against the Arab interpretation of their faith (an interpretation which some many Muslims see as being invalid and a corruption of their faith) – most notably in Indonesia and in Pakistan where many prominent politicians have spoken out against the ‘Arabisation’ of their faith and in Afghanistan where the fanatical Arab infiltrators of the Taliban/al-Qaeda nexus believed that they, and they alone, had a right to direct matters of faith in only one particular ‘true’ path (the hatred of the Arab is, in Afghanistan, most pronounced) – and this has led some Muslims in Europe, most particularly many Iranian refugees who have fled from the Arabised hard-line mullahs who currently hold political power in their homeland, to publicly state their opposition to the mere mechanical practice of Islam and to emphasise the spiritual and the tolerant message which they take from their prophet’s words; albeit, in strict interpretation, the very strict interpretation which they argue about, the message that they choose to take might ‘be wrong’ in absolute terms, but they see it as right in relative and spiritual terms – and kudos to them and their interpretation: there are more ways to God than we can ever know!
Let’s return, however, to the unwarranted and unfounded assertion that Europe, more specifically the EU, will be a majority Muslim state by the end of this century. Such a thing would have come to pass had we continued to allow uncontrolled immigration from Muslim nations. However, we no longer do allow that. Immigration is now strictly controlled and quota driven – as it is for the US of A. Even allowing for illegal immigration, assuming it continues to grow at the presently indicated levels (which it won’t), the number of Muslims in Europe will increase by only nine to fifteen million over the next thirty years whereas the Christian population of Europe (excluding, importantly, other non-Muslim faiths and atheists) is projected to rise by some twenty-one to thirty million people in the same period.
One should also look at SAOFF – selective abortion of female foetuses – in the Muslim world. The natural ratio of male to female births in the human population is that 105 males are born for every 100 females born. However, in the Muslim world, SAOFF, combined with the traditional practices of killing off unwanted female offspring (particularly in the primitive tribal areas) has meant that that ratio in the Muslim world is now 153 males born for every 79 females born. Quite literally they, the Muslims, are killing themselves off by deliberately removing, on silly cultural and religious grounds, fertile wombs from their own populations. This practice, which has been ongoing for a considerable number of years now (ever since we in the Western world taught them how to determine the sex of a foetus), means that over the next thirty to fifty years the population of the Muslim world will crash from about 1.2 billion people at present to fewer than 600 million between AD2090 to AD2130. Currently, yes, currently, no matter what they do today, there are simply not enough wombs to sustain their population – assuming they continue with their current sexual practices, that is. By any Fisherian measure Muslims are doomed, assuming that they don’t alter their sexual morality, that is.
Good news for us?
The huge excess of males over females in the Muslim world in the years to come, and this is already becoming evident in almost all Muslim populations, and more noticeably than at present, towards the middle of this, our century, will probably fuel an even greater effort to Islamise, to Sharia-ise, the West, and the East, than we are seeing at the present moment when the current effort is only belief driven. Imagine, if you can, some one to two hundred million young Muslim males who stand no chance of marrying, or of having a sexual relationship, as long as Western morality, and Islamic morality (for what it’s worth), persists – and as long as they believe themselves, wrongly, to be superior to us. Where are they going to find the females they ‘need’? Sexually driven, and belief driven in their own superiority – as all Muslims, mistakenly, are – they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Now that’s frightening, isn’t it?
The problem, the only problem, with what you posted is the mistaken assumption that demographic change can, and will, overwhelm us in Europe. In reality, in the real world of numbers, demographic change has already overwhelmed and destroyed the Muslim world. Incapable of change, unlike the flexible and spiritual other faiths, this stupid faith, Islam, based on a falsity, this silly male-dominated fiction that is Islam, is already dead. They killed themselves by killing off their females.
We merely await the rattle. It’s not our end we are looking at – it’s theirs!
Good-bye, Islam, good-bye. We won’t miss you! Believe me, we won’t miss you and all your sickening, evil and devil inspired ways.
Posted on 05/19/2009 6:51 AM by John M. Joyce
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Vee haff vays of making Hugh talk
To prove Hugh's point about machine translation, I have used Babelfish to translate the final paragraph of his post into German and back into English. Here is the result:
I don' t know, if tungsten alpha googles on the run has. But, if it comes to the machine translation, googles much has out to be confused. And so every different one does machine translatiion thiingamajig and thingamagob (, condemned machine, translate those go to word, do in front! And guarantee you, O-courageous new machine that not by the same word, but by two different words it translates the last two words, which I used, which copy the similarity of the collecting main, but carefully will conserve the larger frequency, with that " thingamajig" becomes, because " used; thingamagob" appears usual as part of a pair with the former, but the back is not applicable.
You hear that - the back is not applicable. Do the same with French, and the paragraph comes out as follows:
don' ; T know if l' wolfram alpha has Google on the race. But when it comes to the automatic translation, Google has to be embarrassed much outside. And does each others thus thiingamajig and thingamagob of machine-translatiion (advance, the condemned machine, translate those word, make! And you ensure, courageous machine d' O news, that the last two words that j' employed are not translated by the same word, but by two different words, which imitate the similarity of l' original, but carefully preserve the larger frequency with which " ; thingamajig" ; is employed, because " ; thingamagob" ; d' appears; practice in so much qu' element d' a pair with l' old, but l' opposite n' is not true.
Live the difference.
Posted on 05/19/2009 7:25 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Only Six Days Left
Posted on 05/19/2009 8:37 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Tiens! Somali Pirates Like The Netherlands So Much, They May Just Stay
Netherlands: Somali pirates thinking of immigrating
Arrested Somali pirates who are now in the Netherlands on trial for their deeds say they would like to stay in the Netherlands. "It's a good life here."
Suspected pirate Sayid will stand trial on Monday with four of his countrymen in the first Dutch pirate trial. "I want an education during my imprisonment, and I appeal to the government not to send me back to Somalia. The people who live here respect human rights. I want to live here," he told Volkskrant.
Fellow suspect Farah also thinks the Netherlands is good. "My client feels safe here. He eat well, can play football and watch television. He thinks the toilet in his cell is so fantastic," according to his lawyer Willem-Jan Ausma.
According to De Volkskrant Ausma explained to his client that he could realistically get four years in prison and that he has a chance for a residence permit. "He's naturally delighted. He hopes to do computer training and to have his family come over."
The lawyer fees that the trials in the Netherlands, but also in France, the US and Kenya, would encourage potential pirates rather than deter them. "Anything is better than sitting on a wharf in Somalia."
Posted on 05/19/2009 9:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Rotterdam, Eurabia (Giulio Meotti)
An excerpt from a report on Rotterdam in Il Foglio by the Italian journalist Giulio. Meotti, to be found here with introductory commentary by Sandro Magister:
"One year ago, the city was buzzing when the newspapers published a letter by Bouchra Ismaili, a Rotterdam city councilman: "Listen up, crazy freaks, we're here to stay. You're the foreigners here, with Allah on my side I'm not afraid of anything. Take my advice: convert to Islam, and you will find peace." Just a walk through the streets of the city, and you know right away that in many neighborhoods you are no longer in Holland. It is right out of the Middle East. In some schools, there is a "room of silence" where Muslim students, who are in the majority, can pray five times a day, with a poster of Mecca, the Qur'an, and a ritual washing before the prayers. Another Muslim city councilman, Brahim Bourzik, wants signs placed in various parts of the city showing the direction to Mecca.
Sylvain Ephimenco is a Franco-Dutch journalist who has been living in Rotterdam for twelve years. For twenty years, he was the "Libération" correspondent in Holland, and is proud of his leftist credentials. "Even though I don't believe in that anymore," he says, welcoming us to his home overlooking one of Rotterdam's little canals. Not far from here is the al Nasr mosque of the imam Khalil al Moumni, who when gay marriage was legalized described homosexuals as "sick people worse than pigs." From the outside, it can be seen that the mosque is more than twenty years old, having been built by the first Moroccan immigrants. Moumni has written a pamphlet that is circulating around the Dutch mosques, "The path of the Muslim," in which he explains that the heads of homosexuals should be cut off and "hung from the highest building in the city." Next to the al Nasr mosque, we sit down at a cafe for men only. In front of us is a halal Islamic slaughterhouse. Ephimenco is the author of three essays on Holland and Islam, and today is a famous columnist for the leftist Christian newspaper "Trouw." He has the best perspective for understanding a city that, perhaps even more than Amsterdam, embodies the tragedy of Holland.
"It is not at all true that Wilders gets his votes from the fringes, everyone knows that, even though they don't say it," he tells us. "Today educated people vote for Wilders, although at first it was the lower class Dutch, the tattoo crowd. Many academics and people on the left vote for him. The problem is all of these Islamic headscarves. There's a supermarket behind my house. When I arrived, there wasn't a single headscarf. Now it's all Muslim women with the chador at the register. Wilders is not Haider. His positions are on the right, but also on the left, he's a typical Dutchman. Here there are even hours at the swimming pool set aside for Muslim women. This is the origin of the vote for Wilders. Islamization, this foolishness with the theater, has to be stopped. In Utrecht, there is a mosque where they provide separate city services for men and women. The Dutch are afraid. Wilders is against the Frankenstein of multiculturalism. I, who used to be on the left but am no longer anything, I say we've reached the limit. I feel the ideals of the Enlightenment have been betrayed with this voluntary apartheid, in my heart I feel the death of the ideals of the equality of men and women, and freedom of expression. Here the left is conformist, and the right has the better answer to insane multiculturalism."
Posted on 05/19/2009 11:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Strolling round the Lourvre one day last week (as you do), I was surprised to see that visitors were allowed to take photographs. Even third world countries normally fuss about paint fading, but that’s the French for you. Groups of Japanese, in particular, lived up to their snap-happy stereotype, barely looking at the exhibits. I don’t know much about art – I don’t even know what I like – but I think it’s a shame not to look at it properly. That said, my companion did pose near the Mona Lisa trying to imitate her smile. He just looked constipated – more enematic than enigmatic. Not quite the done thing, for, as Peter Cooke famously said in that brilliant art gallery sketch, the Mona Lisa looks as if she’s never been to the lav in her life.
Are we supposed to behave reverently in the presence of art? Bernard Richards of Brasenose College, Oxford says yes, or rather he writes it in a letter to “that last refuge of pedantry and malice”, the Times Literary Supplement:
Many years ago the curator of pictures at Christ Church, Oxford, the late James Byam Shaw, urged a group of graduate students to whom he was showing Old Master drawings not to talk in front of the unprotected pictures, “because when one talks one spits, and it lands on the paper”. Very true. Yet on virtually all of the history programmes on television, original documents are produced. They are there not so much to convey information, as to provide a vague gesture towards authenticity. Sometimes they are handled by historians with bare hands, which is alarming. But what is really alarming is that the presenters talk with the documents in front of them. Everyone is guilty of this – Simon Schama, David Starkey et al, even curators. Holman Hunt’s “The Light of the World” was brought back to his studio after being exhibited for some years. The bottom half of the painting was pockmarked with minute craters, like the surface of the moon. He couldn’t at first work out why they were there, but soon surmised that the damage represented decades of spit, from spectators commenting on the picture. They had not heeded Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s advice that when one looks at a picture one should saturate it with silence.
Unless it’s the Turner Prize or Tate Modern, where spitting is de rigueur, and the art is the fart.
Posted on 05/19/2009 12:50 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
The Chess Players
There's more where that came from on a new website called Aftermath.
Posted on 05/19/2009 4:11 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Referring to the famed Music Row in Nashville as "Muslim Row," Ryan Mauro has an excellent round up article in Front Page about the problems with Somali immigrants in Tennessee. Our symposium will host a panel specifically on "Somalis in America" hosted by Jerry Gordon and featuring Dave Gaubatz and Don Barnett of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Posted on 05/19/2009 5:53 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Something New Under the Sun
I might be wrong, of course, but I suspect that one could walk down a crowded street for quite a long time before one came across anybody who had heard of Walter Bagehot. This is sufficient to establish that brilliance, energy, enterprise and erudition are not enough by themselves to secure a lasting fame, a depressing thought for those few people who wish to do so.
Bagehot was a ship-owner, a banker, an economist, a political theorist, a journalist who founded and edited the still eminent (though now supremely dull) journal, The Economist, and, perhaps most surprising of all, a brilliant literary critic who can sometimes make you – or perhaps I should say me – laugh out loud.
For example, in describing the great historian, essayist and occasional poet, Thomas Babbington Macaulay, he says of the style and temper of his writing that "it is characteristic that he should always be thinking of posterity." A little later he adds:
"Macaulay looks on a question as posterity will look on it; he regards existing men as painful prerequisites of great-grandchildren."
This, of course, is a way of approaching public questions not entirely unknown today; but Bagehot is extremely fair-minded, for he recognises, and pays generous tribute to, Macaulay’s strengths as a writer, his very great strengths, which he admires and praises even as he criticises.
It is one of the lessons that Bagehot teaches in his literary essays, by implication rather than pointing it up (which is much the best way of teaching), that a writer necessarily has the weaknesses of his strengths: so that, where writing is concerned, you cannot have it all. And, since literature is both the reflection and the criticism of life, it is not possible to have everything in life either. This is a not insignificant lesson, though one that is seldom learnt, marked and inwardly digested.
Keep reading here.
Posted on 05/19/2009 7:29 PM by Theodore Dalrymple