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(Note to literalists: the Watched column presently contains only a smattering of 'warblogs' because the facilitator of the template-change--Dr. Menlo--is not very familiar with them, and will be adding more as they are sent to him. Also, this blog may contain areas of allusion, satire, subtext, context and possibly even a dash of the surreal: wannabe lit-crits beware.)


[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Thursday, June 13, 2002


I offer two hastily typed notes forthwith and hope that you will pardon the lack of connection between them:

1. I feel bad for poor Andrew Sullivan in that history has already laid claim to the title "Sullivanians," robbing him of one of the more euphonious terms with which he could describe his devotees. A loss for Andy, but a gain for Warblogger Watch. The similarities between the original Sullivanians and the new crop are remarkable: a shared belief in the fundamental evil of maternal love (manifested in the warblogging Sullivanians as a determination to prevent the Palestinians from realizing a Motherland, or, in a corrupt form, as indifference to dead Iraqi children); a common organizational form with a collection of pathetic followers arrayed around a megalomaniacal leader who fancies himself infallible; the theater figures in both movements, though information supplied Warblogger Watch has it that Andy's turn as Benedick was even less enjoyable than the dismal stagings of the Fourth Wall Reperatory Company. "I'll be back Monday with guns blazing. See you then." We can't wait, little Andy.

2. Lileks delights over his own graceless bangings on the keyboard today. He introduces his daily Bleat, an apt word for so enthusiastic an adherent of prevailing orthodoxies, by saying "Having reread today's bleat, that's all I can say: hooooboy. I bring this up just because I think it's . . . unusual, and reveals a different aspect to a place I pass daily and patronize once a week. It's an interesting story you might have heard, but I've not seen it discussed anywhere in blogland." You can almost hear the blood rushing to and engorging his penis.

He has found that a director of an Islamic investment concern whose U.S. arm holds Lileks's local coffee chain in its portfolio is a wild fundamentalist. He makes much of a now deleted webpage (though, supersleuth he is, he tracked down its Google cache) that lists the members and mission of the Shari'ah compliance board on which the director in question serves. It states the company is "committed to providing financial products that conform to Shari'ah, as well as ensuring that all of the Bank's operations conform to Shari'ah." Lileks apparently misunderstood this as stating the company's U.S. holdings must accept the Koran or something (the financial product would be the fund, not the portfolio company), as he then dredges up some of the writings of the director in question that expand on some of the Koran's nuttier and more misogynistic passages. It seems he's saying First Islamic Investment Bank would like to force Shari'ah on us stateside.

Lileks grants Muslims their "right in America" to proselytize, and he indulges his similar right to ridicule them. I hope Lileks would permit us an exercise of our not-yet-taken-away American right to follow his lead. I could have guessed by his narrow-mindedness that Lileks is a Christian, though he allows in his current column that he is a Lutheran. Of course Lutheranism, whose founder wrote that "the Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves," and that "we ought to take revenge on the Jews and kill them," is a wholly sensible body of doctrine. Lileks, a man who seconds Ariel Sharon's realistic fear that the Palestinians are threatening to push the Israelis into the sea, is merely following Church precedent in abiding the campaign against the Palestinians, just like Luther abided the German Peasant War with such brio: "They [the peasants] should be knocked to pieces, strangled and stabbed, secretly and openly, by everybody who can do it, just as one must kill a mad dog...Therefore, dear gentlemen, hearken here, save there, stab, knock, strangle them at will, and if thou diest, thou art blessed; no better death canst thou ever attain." Man, is that ever some nutty shit my American ass is completely incapable of relating to.

• • • • •

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