Monday, June 21, 2010

The sickness of the contemporary left - 1

David Thompson seems to have been collecting examples of the diseased state of the left for a while now, and it makes for a real chamber of horrors. It's noteworthy that these are more or less prominent figures, columnists, poobahs of various kinds, not exactly culled from the cellars of anonymous Internet comment threads.

And following a link chain from Thompson's post above, we come across one of the more vomit-inducing examples in quite some time -- here's Terry Eagleton, supposedly "Britain's most influential living literary critic", burbling about suicide bombers as "tragic heroes":
Suicide bombers and hunger strikers are out to transform weakness into power. Because they are ready to die while their enemies are not, they score a spiritual victory over them. The ultimate freedom is not to fear death. ... It is, to be sure, a pyrrhic victory. But it proclaims that what your adversary cannot annihilate is the will to annihilation. Like the traditional tragic hero, the suicide bomber rises above his own destruction by the very resolution with which he embraces it.
I don't think he was ever much good as a literary critic, actually -- compared to someone like Fredrick Jameson, say, Eagleton's ideological blinkers seriously limited his vision. But it's still both sad and creepy to see an old Marxist reduced to vaporing over the "spiritual victory" of the likes of the Columbine killers, or any common murderer-suicide.

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