« Go Elizabeth Edwards! | Main | How To Produce Ghosts »

June 27, 2007

Comments

It's simple. Vegetable nature holds apart the abstract "moments" of the dialectic and, with its persistence on maintaining its insufficient organic unity, only postpones its inevitable Aufhebung into the higher unity of spirit. Similarly, Whole Foods is liberal fascism's wedge for dividing our polity, keeping us all "unhappy consciences" at a lower vegetarian level of spirit, insistent on our individuality, our civil liberties, and so on, and dominating us from a place of abstract separation from the true (red-state) America. This postpones the inevitable Aufhebung in which all of us recognize Bush/Cheney as the sunburst of Absolute Spirit and reconcile one to another around a new order in which we all love Texas BBQ and NASCAR. Oh, and Jesus.

See? No need to wait for Goldberg!

Dear God. I have unleashed a monster :0

"Organic produce uber alles."

Wretched parasitical heterotrophs. Vegetarian or not, you are all vampires sucking the lifesap of the producing classes.

Hah! The joke's on you. It's a cookbook.

But the steaks at Whole Foods are so tasty! Why must the liberal fascists seduce me with their scrumptious steaks and fillets of fish! Damn you Whole Foods!

Somewhat more seriously, the original subtitle to the book is something which seems to me little different than the sort of bilge that Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly put into their book titles. Can we finally dispense with the idea that Jonah Goldberg can be viewed as a respectible mainstream conservative? And if so, can someone tell the folks at my daily rag with national pretensions, who continue to give him space on the Op-Ed page?

Why does Goldberg hate Crunchy Cons?

"Why does Goldberg hate Crunchy Cons?"

He prefers ones with chewy centers?

The more corn syrup the better.

If indeed vegetables are inherently fascist, this finally explains Hitler's vegetarianism. Perhaps Jonah will explain this to us.

<>

Now that the title's nailed down, I guess he can start writing the rest of the book.

I'm not sure how he makes the Hegel - Whole Foods connection, but I've got a nice crisp twenty that says it involves Kantian Nihilism.

"If indeed vegetables are inherently fascist, this finally explains Hitler's vegetarianism."

Or as was once sung, Cole slaw's a fascist regime

Vegetable verse, in bad taste.

Re huh - I don't have a sense for these animal-related issues, but I can imagine a lot of dog owners will be steamed to read that.

Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that Goldberg has Hegel and Chuck Hagel confused?

Brilliant, Togolosh!

rilkefan: I think that strapping your dog carrier, with dog, to the roof of your car for a 12 hour drive is inhumane. Even if he had a windbreak, think about water, exposure (heat? cold?), and the just plain terror of driving for 12 hours on the top of a car.

"is inhumane"

It's not something I would do, or would countenance someone's doing - I just think it means he's a complete idiot. I was wondering if this is campaign-ending.

There was a case around here back in 2000 where a driver got run into, argued with the other driver, flipped out, and tossed her poodle into traffic. He got sentenced to three years in prison. The case got much more publicity/donations than some local child abductions around that time. I knew some people who were (to my surprise) deeply upset about the case. Romney's act is quite different, but judging from the reaction above I can imagine this being a serious blow to his chances. Hence my question.

personally, i feel bullied by the cheese samples. they totally (and totaliarianily) DICTATE the types of cheese I get to eat for free. it's not consistent with liberal values in our democracy and i'm glad to see goldberg is on the case.

Good lord, the potential for unintentional humor in this "very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care" is unlimited.

And keep in mind he has a nationally syndicated newspaper column! Words fail me

rilkefan,

I am among those who are quite upset about Romney's act. First of all, I like dogs. More important, there is an incredible callousness here. hilzoy's comment has lots of reasons why tying a dog to the top of the car is a terrible thing to do. Where is Romney's brain? How about attaching a luggage carrier to the top and letting the dog ride inside?

i gotta say... the last time i was at Whole Foods they did make me swear an allegiance oath to the One Organic True Natured Whole Grained Flaxseed and Soy Leader - even though I told them I was just buying lunch from their buffet and wasn't really in the mood for a political conversion.

they were slaughtering dissenters in the parking lot, and making a big show of it, too. and the music was quite stirring. but they let me slide this one time as long as promised to seriously consider their literature and to return within three days and announce my decision in front of the commisar.

(still not accepting my URL, FYI)

"First of all, I like dogs. More important, there is an incredible callousness here."

I wasn't arguing against that - what I'm wondering is if this will turn a large class of his supporters away when they hear it. I don't have a candidate at the moment so I can't well ask myself how I would react if he had done this (not that I can imagine such a confluence).

Maybe Mitt thought his dog was just a 'varmint'?

Joke all you want, but there's no denying that there is a large, mostly liberal contingent that desires greatly the authority to start ruling over food, in that "Whole Foods" organic, hippy way.

rilkefan: there are probably people who will be turned away, but I think there's also a sizeable contingent in the GOP base who will see any such concern as liberal wussiness, and be (if anything) more likely to support Romney. (The same group Jonah Goldberg -- or was it one of the other Cornerites? -- thought would like Giuliani more because he had been brutal enough to announce that he was divorcing his wife at a press conference before telling her about it.)

I think there are actually people out there -- and some of them are at Bizarro World -- who see (e.g.) an act of cruelty and think: liberals will hate it, they'll be all "ooh, the poor victim", so I like it -- even more than I would have done had it not been cruel and thus a sort of screw you to liberals. -- And conversely for liking acts of kindness less because they are kind. I find that perverse beyond belief, but there we are.

Jonas -- there is? Where?

Jonas -- there is? Where?

Right here, for example. I haven't been to that blog in a while, so I don't have the most egregious examples of their nannyism. But really, the degree of Government control of personal health they advocate is terrifying.

I read the blurb at the Doubleday site (which Goldberg must've written it, since the book doesn't actually exist yet). It starts with the proposition so dear to the American Right's heart: redefining Nazism as left-wing liberalism.

The Nazis weren't exactly famous for forcing people to be vegetarians, nor for condemning the use of ethnic slurs. One of the things they were famous for is putting people they disliked in concentration camps.

Hmmm... concentration camps; concentration camps... wait, I know I've heard Americans say those were a good idea; when was that?

I seem to recall that, back in the 80s, during the worst of the AIDS plague, some people thought putting gay people in camps was a good idea. They even came up with ways to identify gay people, by profession, clothing choice, and hair style. None of the people proposing concentration camps for gays were liberal; in fact, IIRC, they were all Republicans.

More recently, some leading lights recommended putting Muslims in internment camps. Liberals? No, Republicans again.

And Tom Tancredo - another Republican, last I checked - is in favor of doing the same thing to Mexicans.

Somehow, I doubt those examples, or any discussion of them, will appear in Goldberg's mighty tome. Which is a pity, because it'd be highly entertaining if he tried to explain why identifying people by religion, gender, and national origin for the purpose of putting them in concentration camps is not fascist, but advocating healthy eating is.

Just to be clear, though: I don't care how unintentional hilarious Goldberg's trip to Cloud Cuckoo Land turns out to be, I ain't a-buying the book. I would not buy the book even if I were stuck in a blizzard and stacks of Liberal Fascism were the only flammable items available.

not to dignify this ridiculous title, but fascism also draws heavily on nativism/nationalism type themes, and on romanticizing the state and its military. It often does this by defining itself against an other or external threat.

goldberg is presumably using fascism to mean "the government orders me around too much."

my point being that this type of state romanticism is found more on "the Right".

I would not buy the book even if I were stuck in a blizzard and stacks of Liberal Fascism were the only flammable items available.

What if Mitt Romney's dog was really, really cold? Would you buy Jonah Goldberg's books and burn them for warmth then?

I would not buy the book even if I were stuck in a blizzard and stacks of Liberal Fascism were the only flammable items available.

Good thinking, Casey. It's likely that the gases given off by burning the book would be poisonous. Better to suffer the blizzard and hope it ends soon enough that you can find shelter.

Jonas: I didn't go burrowing through the archives of that site, but all I saw was a wish that US food companies would voluntarily decide to care about health, praise for someone saying that characters aimed at kids should not be used to market junk food (which isn't coercive at all), some disapproval of people who try to make people feel bad about being fat, praise for Shaq for adopting a more realistic approach to issues of child obesity, a factual piece on whether fruit juice is healthy, praise for Rolling Stone for having a piece that presented facts about fast food, and a report on a public health study. I missed the part about anyone wanting to control anything.

I didn't go burrowing through the archives of that site...

I can fully understand that.

but all I saw was a wish that US food companies would voluntarily decide to care about health...

It's a Government/Corporate partnership where they try to plan to change the citizens salt intake through collusion to take salt out of their products, so that the companies don't get hurt when it stops tasting as good. Outside of threats of litigation and legislation, there's no way these companies will be "voluntarily deciding" to care about health. Do you bemoan the fact that we don't have a similar partnership setting targets for you and me when it comes to our salt intake? The Rudd Center does.

...praise for someone saying that characters aimed at kids should not be used to market junk food (which isn't coercive at all)

When a Senator starts demagoguing about a companies alleged misdeeds, yes, that is coercive.

You're right about the other ones, they are far more sensible. But the fact that the Rudd Center wants to change everyone's "food environment" to suit their own preferences, and by any means necessary, is not acceptable to me.

I missed the part about anyone wanting to control anything.

Here you go:

"Obesity is too grave a danger for government to remain laissez-faire."

Laissez-faire meaning let restaurants serve what they like and people eat what they like, in this case.

We liberals do a good job of recognizing that adult, sexual relationships are really nobody elses business and we leave it at that. When it comes to food, many are unwilling to extend the same courtesy to what is also a major part of peoples emotional life.

Worrying about what everyone else is eating is an inherently conservative and puritan impulse, and one I completely reject.

CaseyL:

Is Tancredo really in favor of putting Mexicans in internment camps?

Can you provide a link to that – because I googled it, and didn’t turn up any hits.

I know Tancredo did say he wanted the Government of Mexico to extradite Mexican criminals charged with felony offenses here who skip across the border – so we can imprison them for those offenses if found guilty— maybe you got that mixed up with internment camps –

Jonas: I don't think this is an issue where there are absolutes. On the one hand, most people think that the government should, for instance, ban putting poisons in food, inspect restaurants for basic hygeine, etc. On the other, most people also think that except for things that are just plain bad for you and that you don't always know about, we should be left alone to eat nothing but Twinkies if we so choose. The hard part is deciding whether, for instance, trans fats are more like lead in paint (bannable) or like Twinkies (not.) Personally, I'd find the trans fats question a lot easier if either it was always obvious when foods contained them, or the science were less solid. (Easier in different ways, naturally.)

And may I just say: I hate, hate, hate whoever runs spambots. I have deleted at least 30 spam messages in the last hour. To do this I have to log out, log back in as Moe, ban the IP address (two steps), get back to the comments list (two more steps), and delete the stupid message.

Each time.

So stop it, you evil spambots, and the even more evil people who are willing to externalize the costs of their stupid payday loans and online craps and cialis onto me.

Three since that last message ...

Three more...

Hilzoy, in regards to the spamming, is the CAPTCHA turned off? I haven't seen one in a while.

Good question. I'll check as soon as I deal with the latest batch.

Well, I just set it to 'require captcha', which I hate. But I hate it less than spending all that time manually deleting spam.

So stop it, you evil spambots, and the even more evil people who are willing to externalize the costs of their stupid payday loans and online craps and cialis onto me.

And here I just (this afternoon) went back three weeks (at least) cleaning out spam from comments.

Which, maybe there's a cause-and-effect at work here. Maybe I should just let old comments spam lie.

Hilzoy, I hate it too, but it sounds like its out of hand.

On the one hand, most people think that the government should, for instance, ban putting poisons in food, inspect restaurants for basic hygeine, etc.

As they say, the dose makes the poison. Not one person is going to walk out of a restaurant serving trans-fat food and drop dead, or even get sick because of it. People like to say it's poison - it isn't, of course.

The hard part is deciding whether, for instance, trans fats are more like lead in paint (bannable) or like Twinkies (not.)

It's not that simple. Not one part of the interaction between diet, genetics, physcial activity or other health habits operates on a two-dimensional good-to-bad scale for individuals.

I'm not going to be comfortable with these ambitious health efforts until we have a better picture on how this all works. There are plenty of people, that for whatever genetic or environmental reason, don't have to worry about their salt intake at all. According to anti-smoking ads, 1 out of 3 smokers die from it - that means 2 out of three don't. At some point, we'll have tests that tell us what is good for us individually and what is not, and then truly we will know how to live healthy. In the meantime, everyone is just running around and flailing their arms in the air, making rash judgements based on aesthetics, class, and fear.

Worrying about what everyone else is eating is an inherently conservative and puritan impulse, and one I completely reject.

Interesting. I'd guess that worrying about what everyone is eating would connect directly to the national health care debate, and would therefore be a more traditionally liberal impulse.

I understand that one of the really big sources of rising healthcare costs in our future is that set which is connected with diabetes, which is correlated with rising obesity.

Not, you know, that I feel compelled to watch everyone's caloric input or anything. It's hard enough just keeping track of my own.

Slarti: in the odd minutes between masses of spam, I took the somewhat different approach of starting with a spammed post and clicking 'Next Post', and there were (I thought) very few to be found. Thanks.

I don't think there's a Principle of the Conservation of Spam, but maybe we should ask rilkefan.

Re: the dog brouhaha--

I sure don’t want to have a Mitt for president (isn’t that an oversized baseball glove?) especially one who has his head so far up his butt he wouldn’t sign a proclamation when he was Gov of Mass, recognizing the 1972 landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing birth control for unmarried people. Mormon’s like BIG FAMILIES – and don’t favor techniques to artificially keep their sperm in check— curtailing the birth of children by any means is contrary to Church teachings.

It’s those kinds of beliefs and attitudes you should be focusing on if you want to discredit Romney as a presidential candidate, and not hysterical rants about Fido being abused way back in 1985 during a family trip from Boston to Ontario.

If you follow the link back to the original Boston Globe story this is the descriptive:


“Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.”

If in fact he used a standard enclosed travel dog carrier, like the kind airlines require when transporting dogs on flights; and if the windshield did indeed deflect wind, and if the carrier was securely fastened in place, that’s a comfortable a way for a dog to travel, not any worse then being in the baggage area of a plane or a train. And it’s probably safer to put the dog up there then to have it jumping around inside a moving automobile filled with five kids and two adults. It’s certainly safer than putting a dog in the back of an open pick-up truck, often not even tied to a loop (I see that all the time, sometimes on the freeways, and it drives me up the walls, because occasionally they will jump out).

This is what happens when you’re looking for dirty laundry – you tend to accentuate the negative, latch on to the unsubstantial, and eliminate common sense (sorry Bing) – and you become your own worst enemy (these are the same kind of distorted observations you all complain about when they emanate from FoxNews and/or Conservative Talk Radio-- are you adopting them too?

"I don't think there's a Principle of the Conservation of Spam, but maybe we should ask rilkefan."

Actually it's nothing I studied at all but there is I believe a relatively new and important kind of analysis of conservation of information, and since spam has near-maximal entropy it can't be gotten rid of that way.


"To do this I have to log out, log back in as Moe [...] each time."

I would guess you could have a second tab or a second session of your browser for such tasks.

"thought would like Giuliani more because he had been brutal enough to announce that he was divorcing his wife at a press conference"

I would think many many people of that sort feel differently about dogs.


"hysterical rants about Fido being abused"

"A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours."

I'm not a dog person but something seems wrong in this picture.

rilkefan: alas, no. I can only be logged in as one person at a time. Besides, I always log back out again to avoid inadvertently posting as Moe -- I can't imagine he'd appreciate having my views under his name.

This is what happens when you’re looking for dirty laundry – you tend to accentuate the negative, latch on to the unsubstantial, and eliminate common sense (sorry Bing) – and you become your own worst enemy (these are the same kind of distorted observations you all complain about when they emanate from FoxNews and/or Conservative Talk Radio-- are you adopting them too?

Hmmm, a little projection there, methinks. rilkefan asked if anyone thought it would make a difference. Rather than just point out the problems with the story, you launch an attack on one side while, ironically, seemingly acknowledging that is pretty common from the other side. Funny, that.

"I can only be logged in as one person at a time. Besides, I always log back out again to avoid inadvertently posting as Moe -- I can't imagine he'd appreciate having my views under his name."

How does the site know? Via your IP? So another idea would be to log in to your office machine remotely and launch your browser from there as Moe. You wouldn't accidentally post there because the connection will be annoyingly sluggish...

rilkefan: Alas, I have only my laptop ;(

Besides, we're getting above my competence level.

"I have only my laptop"

That's ... bizarre.

Why? Works fine, I love it to pieces, why get another?

Back on topic: the gang at Unfogged are having fun coming up with alternate titles for Jonah.

"I read the blurb at the Doubleday site (which Goldberg must've written it, since the book doesn't actually exist yet)."

Authors don't write promotion copy for publishers; the Doubleday promotion department does, based on text from Goldberg's editor.

Jonas: "Joke all you want, but there's no denying that there is a large, mostly liberal contingent that desires greatly the authority to start ruling over food, in that 'Whole Foods" organic, hippy way.'"

Then:

Jonas -- there is? Where?

Right here, for example.

I see 18 people listed as contributors there. Technorati says they're linked by 43 blogs. Let's assume that each brings 50 readers (you're welcome to check the Technorati links and other figures to produce a suggested more accurate figure). That makes 2150 people. Plus 18, which makes 2168.

The Census population clock says we have 302,201,520 citizens.

I suggest that to get to "large," you need to come up with at least ~10,000,000 more people.

hilzoy,
If the typepad interface is thru a web browse, one thing you might be able to do is to have two different browsers (for example, Firefox and Safari) open, one with you logged in as you and one with you logged in a Moe. I do this with gmail, and the browser windows are sufficiently different (safari has the brushed metal look, firefox has the white window) so I'm not going to accidently write in the wrong gmail. Your Mac interface will let you hide the window by clicking the yellow circle and it helpfully provide either the firefox or safari icon to let you tell which is which.

It’s those kinds of beliefs and attitudes you should be focusing on if you want to discredit Romney as a presidential candidate, and not hysterical rants about Fido being abused way back in 1985 during a family trip from Boston to Ontario.

Actually, abusing a dog in this way is more of an issue to me than signing a silly proclamation recognizing the legality of birth control. I’m one of those people for whom the family dog is part of the family, period. I’ve based decisions on where to live around how pet friendly it is. My wife and I won’t board our dog after a bad experience with that, and we won’t check a dog as luggage with an airline so we don’t fly. Our vacations are based around driving and pet friendly hotels. One of the primary decisions in purchasing a new vehicle was how well the dog carrier fit in the back seat and how well it could be secured there. Several years ago I went into debt spending almost $10,000 trying to save a dog that was dying of cancer (experimental chemo treatments). So to some people at least, this is not a non-issue. All other things being equal, it would cost him my vote.

OCSteve -- in lieu of boarding, have you tried leaving your dog with someone in their home? You didn't go into detail, so the same issues might pertain, but I've had wonderful luck with a couple of different dogsitters. My greyhound just got back from a week with her sitter, and moped around the house for a day. (I think she misses their dogs.)

Jay Jerome,

The trip was for twelve hours, in the summer. Airplane flights are much shorter, and some airlines won't take pets in the luggage compartment in the summer.

If you don't want the dog jumping around inside the car put him in the carrier in the car: it was a station wagon. Just put some luggage in a rooftop carrier to make room, or rent a small trailer.

Gary,

That's an interesting way of extrapolating their audience, actually. When I think about it, I don't think there are 10 million people who are actually actively supporting this either. So perhaps large isn't the word I should have used. (It seems large here in NYC, but that's not a good population-wide indication of anything.)

Such people are, at the very least, significant - at least when it comes to formulating policy and getting press coverage. Their blog isn't very popular, but the Rudd Center is well funded, connected, and operating out of Yale. They may be punching above their weight, but those punches are landing.

That Hegel passage is from his Philosophy of Nature, not the Phänomenologie des Geistes (Phenomenology of Mind/Spirit). It shows that Hegel is out of his fucking mind, in any case.

I sense, today's Republicans are Right-Hegelians.

Bryan: serves me right for cutting and pasting ;( Will update.

It shows that Hegel is out of his f**king mind, in any case.

I wasn't quite sure that the Hegel passage wasn't really the product of a Dada Engine, similar to the Postmodernist Generator.

Burke also has some weird passages on vegetable life in his Enquiry; accounting for the nature of plants in one's Giant Philosophical System seems to have been required of Enlightenment philosophers.

There seems to have been a tension (contradiction for Marx) in Hegel.

Hegel thought that the revolutionary evolution (or evolutionary revolution) of Idea was erupting all over the world…and when it has finally evolved it would look like his modern day Prussia and the most evolved citizen was a Prussian bureaucrat.

He was a radical Prussian Exceptionlist.

Sorry there is not enough nuanced but I don't think I'm off the mark.

Jackmormon: and who can forget Hume's Dialogues? Here Philo is objecting to Cleanthes' claim that since the world resembles a watch, we can infer the existence of a watchmaker, on the grounds that the world is too unlike a watch for any such inference, and that we have as much reason to suppose that the world resembles an animal or a vegetable and is produced by generation or vegetation:

"I affirm, that there are other parts of the universe (besides the machines of human invention) which bear still a greater resemblance to the fabric of the world, and which, therefore, afford a better conjecture concerning the universal origin of this system. These parts are animals and vegetables. The world plainly resembles more an animal or a vegetable, than it does a watch or a knitting-loom. Its cause, therefore, it is more probable, resembles the cause of the former. The cause of the former is generation or vegetation. The cause, therefore, of the world, we may infer to be something similar or analogous to generation or vegetation.

But how is it conceivable, said DEMEA, that the world can arise from any thing similar to vegetation or generation?

Very easily, replied PHILO. In like manner as a tree sheds its seed into the neighbouring fields, and produces other trees; so the great vegetable, the world, or this planetary system, produces within itself certain seeds, which, being scattered into the surrounding chaos, vegetate into new worlds. A comet, for instance, is the seed of a world; and after it has been fully ripened, by passing from sun to sun, and star to star, it is at last tossed into the unformed elements which every where surround this universe, and immediately sprouts up into a new system.

Or if, for the sake of variety (for I see no other advantage), we should suppose this world to be an animal; a comet is the egg of this animal: and in like manner as an ostrich lays its egg in the sand, which, without any further care, hatches the egg, and produces a new animal; so...

I understand you, says DEMEA: But what wild, arbitrary suppositions are these! What data have you for such extraordinary conclusions? And is the slight, imaginary resemblance of the world to a vegetable or an animal sufficient to establish the same inference with regard to both? Objects, which are in general so widely different, ought they to be a standard for each other?

Right, cries PHILO: This is the topic on which I have all along insisted. I have still asserted, that we have no data to establish any system of cosmogony. Our experience, so imperfect in itself, and so limited both in extent and duration, can afford us no probable conjecture concerning the whole of things. But if we must needs fix on some hypothesis; by what rule, pray, ought we to determine our choice? Is there any other rule than the greater similarity of the objects compared? And does not a plant or an animal, which springs from vegetation or generation, bear a stronger resemblance to the world, than does any artificial machine, which arises from reason and design?"

I love Hume.

There's also Malebranche's idea, which alas I can't find a quote for online, that if we were to admit that material objects had causal power, we would find ourselves having to worship "leeks and onions."

Hume 4eva!—— that's my attitude.

Hilzoy, you might appreciate this (via Unqualified Offerings).

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad