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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Sunday, January 08, 2006
Sloppy kisses to
Lileks again.
The telling line in Steyn's piece quotes that fine Gaul Jean-Francois Revel: "Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself." Iíve read a lot of Revel; a great man and a profound, clear thinker. Lucky for him, he is old, and will not see his fears made manifest. Guilt is a problem, but itís not the entire enchilada. Itís guilt married to a peculiar belief that Western Civilization is unique only in its sins. The only thing Western Civ really gave the world was slavery, imperialism, war, and capitalism; the fact that we have eliminated or diminished or abbreviated those sins is due not to anything inherent in Western Civ but some overarching, free-floating Enlightenment unmoored from the cultures that produced it. The world began in 1968, and owes nothing to what came before; if we wish to combat the regrettable enthusiasms of some other cultures whose animus appears religious, we should deconsecrate the cathedrals in order to set an example and light the way. Religion is the enemy to the transnational progressives, because religion holds up laws and codes and rules the wise burghers of Belgium cannot amend.
It goes without saying that selling anti-Christian iconography to European fashionistas is as brave an act as reducing the food pellet allotment to your pet hamster; a true act of bravery would be yanking the dead wildebeest out of a lionís mouth. Or selling jeans that have the international circle-and-bar NO symbol over the crescent of Islam. They donít dare do that Ė partly because they are deeply suffused in the very racism they decry, and regard the inhabitants of their tall dead Corbu-inspired concrete ghettos as brown rabble beneath contempt and therefore irrelevant to relevant discussion, and partly because they have a nagging fear of editorials, hate-speech laws, tut-tuts from the thinking class, and the occasional unhinged fellow with a knife. But Christianity? Didnít that die in a muddy hole in Ypres?

I know, I know: I am a hopeless reactionary. I believe in judging a culture on the liberties and prosperity it affords to its people. I believe that the West is an anomaly in human history, and that it is a rare thing to have what we have: information without boundaries, freedom unimagined by those who have gone before, womenís equality instead of the black Hefty-trash-bag dress, respect for gays instead of death-by-stone-walls, and all the other remarkable accomplishments like space probes and plumbing and overnight delivery of Omaha Steaks (track the UPS code in your browser, if you wish.) But it didnít just happen. As Felix Under said to Oscar Madison: you have to make gravy. It doesnít just come.

posted by Rachel 1/08/2006
. . .
So now it's
50 cases of bird flu in Turkey.

posted by Rachel 1/08/2006
. . .

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