This week’s winning article, Why we don’t revere our intellectuals by The Colossus of Rhody, took a far reaching look at exactly what intellectual has come to mean in our society and why many of us don’t revere them – and it has nothing to do with their intellectual capacity, but with something else entirely. Here’s a slice:
Insty had a brief blurb up linking to a Guardian (UK) article which asks “Why don’t we love our intellectuals?” In response, Insty also linked to articles by Christopher Hitchens and the inimitable James Taranto. The question is a good one; conventional wisdom, such that it is, posits that conservatives are the “anti-intellctual” crowd … you’ll see this conceit uttered frequently by folks like the usual suspects, and by those “big brains” in the mainstream media. As partial evidence, it’s conservatives who are frequently made fun of and derided. George W. Bush was a total buffoon — even though he had better college grades than Al Gore; Dan Quayle was a walking, talking gaffe machine — but our current veep actually makes Quayle look like a professional motivational speaker; Ronald Reagan was a “lovable dunce;” Sarah Palin is [insert demeaning comment],” etc. etc. etc.
Take Hitchens’ article next: He dissects the “intellectual” that is Noam Chomsky. Chomsky is sort of a radical leftist academic pop-culture icon (he got a nice gratuitous shout out in Matt Damon’s “Good Will Hunting,” for instance), who somehow has managed to evolve into this deeply heavy political and cultural thinker even though his area of expertise is … linguistics. He is greatly admired by a former big-time Delaware blogger many of you probably know, Dana Garrett. Let me state right up front that I love Dana to death — he’s an incredibly nice and personable fellow, who actually listens to conservative arguments and concedes good points when they’re made … a very rare trait for a progressive. (Notice that I did not put quotations around the word “progressive” this time like I normally do, for Dana is a true progressive.) Chomsky was one of the [many] items Dana and I argued about back in the day. It’s easy to understand why the noted linguist is endeared by progressives: the virtually constant tendency to side with the “underdog,” taking up the cause of the historically oppressed, fighting for minorities and the poor, etc. The problem is that Chomsky and his acolytes will overlook virtually every negative aspect about the causes they take up. Why? To be consistent? Because maintaining a contrarian view is of utmost importance? This leads to what historian Paul Johnson (noted in the Guardian article) stated about people like Chomsky — they are “moral cretins.”
Hitchens’ article dissects much of this aspect, and is pretty much in line with how I feel about him. In this case, ‘ol Noam chimed in on the death of Osama bin Laden where he questioned the al Qaeda leader’s actual responsibility for 9/11, said bin Laden was no worse than George W. Bush, and claimed that, by our commando raid on bin Laden’s compound, we thus “would justify a contingency whereby ‘Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.'” Chomsky also complained that bin Laden’s killing was a “planned assassination,” and that he “should have been accorded all the rights of criminal suspects.”
It should come as little surprise, then, that bin Laden was apparently a fan of the MIT professor.
Our non-Council winner this week was Sultan Knish’s Allahu Akbar, an explanation of what that often heard term really means…and more importantly, how and when it’s used. An important read.
Here are this week’s full results:
- First place with 3 2/3 votes! The Colossus of Rhodey––Why We Don’t Revere Our Intellectuals
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Joshuapundit-Historical Resonance, Barack Obama And The Coming Election
- Third place *t* with 2 votes – Snapped Shot-Shooting al-Aqsa
- Third place *t* with 2 votes – The Noisy Room-A Kinder, Gentler Hatchet Job
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 vote – The Glittering Eye – Why does The Unemployment Rate Stay So High?
- Fifth place with 1 vote – Bookworm Room – Community Servitude
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – New Zeal – Rapping for the Rev’lution: ‘Pac Was a Teenaged Communist
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Republican 2012 Presidential Field Goes Jurassic as RINO-Saur Gingrich Jumps in the Primordial Ooze
- First place with 3 1/3 votes! – Sultan Knish- Allahu Akbar submitted byNew Zeal
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Gates Of Vienna – The Intrusion of Sharia Into American Justice submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 vote –Wired/Danger Room – NATO Choppers, Pakistani Troops ‘Exchange Fire’ submitted by Right Truth
- Third place *t* with 1 vote –Maggie’s Farm/Bruce Kesler – What My Grandfather Taught Me About Honor submitted by Bookworm Room
- Third place *t* with 1 vote –Pajamas media/Victor Davis Hanson – End Of An idea – Why Affirmative Action Should Stop submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Third place *t* with 1 vote –Via Meadea – Establishment Blues submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Third place *t* with 1 vote – Atlas Shrugs – New York City: Muslims March in Jewish Genocide Bund Rally; “Third Intifada” Marches Round the World submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Big Government/Kyle Olson – IL Tea Party Activists Expose Alleged Gift Cards-For-Votes School Scam submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote –The Reaganite Republican – Iran Moving Ahead on Venezuelan Missile Bases that Bring Miami Well Within Range submitted by The Political Commentator
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Doug Ross – My response To HuffPo’s “Constitutional Expert” submitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote –Israellycool – Nakba Caption Bias of the Day submitted by Snapped Shot
See you next week!