Castro’s Offspring: Terms of EndearmentPosted: October 2, 2014 Filed under: Global, History, Humor, Mediasphere | Tags: Castro, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Jay Nordlinger, Miami, National Review, New York 1 Comment
Jay Nordlinger has a very funny item over at The Corner about a special nickame for Castro’s five sons among members of Miami’s pro-democracy community.
The above photo – The Cuban leader with female admirers in New York, 1959 Photo: GETTY – is from an article in the Telegraph a few years ago about El Commandante’s legendary womanizing.
Notes on Life and Death in a MosquePosted: August 12, 2014 Filed under: Religion, War Room | Tags: Corner, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Jay Nordlinger, Jewish prayer, Knesset Menorah, Lord's Prayer, Names of God in Judaism, Shema Yisrael, Suicide attack 1 Comment
From Jay Nordlinger, at The Corner, this chilling excerpt, with my notes at the end:
A friend of mine sent me an article from Breitbart (here). I’d like to quote two paragraphs:
[A unit] of [Israeli] soldiers — which had gone into a mosque looking for weapons, explosives, and rockets — encountered a female suicide bomber who was about to detonate the belt she wore, which would have resulted in the deaths of the soldiers. One of the soldiers instinctively recited the opening words of the holiest Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael”. The female suicide bomber hesitated and began trembling, giving the soldiers a chance to grab her and disable the device.
The soldiers then took her prisoner and turned her over to a counter-intelligence unit. Their investigation uncovered that the female suicide bomber’s mother was a Jew who had married a Palestinian in Israel and, after the wedding, was smuggled against her will into Gaza. There she lived a life filled with abuse and humiliation, and was basically a captive. In addition to the female suicide bomber, there were two smaller children as well. An armored force went in and rescued the two small children.
On first reading, I understood it to mean the Israeli soldier spoke the opening words of the prayer “Shema Yisrael” in an effort to appeal to the suicide bomber’s humanity, to weaken her resolve, invoking the universal fear of death, fear of “the final judgement”, a fear so primal that it transcends any one religion. A humbling and insightful way to disarm a human bomb.
Because the phrase “instinctively recited” is ambiguous, my first reading was wrong. I missed the real meaning.
On second reading, I understand it wasn’t a quick-thinking tactical maneuver. It was the Israeli soldier’s “I am about to die” moment. Confronting unavoidable death, speaking for himself and his fellow soldiers, he was kissing his ass goodbye. Not unlike a Christian’s invocation of “The Lord’s Prayer“, in a moment of mortal panic. The soldier wasn’t tying to weaken his attacker. He was preparing to die.
The Israeli soldier’s words had the unexpected effect of weakening the suicide bomber’s resolve. Who, unknown to him, was the daughter of a Jewish mother. And a victim herself. She understood this prayer, and trembled upon hearing it.
Which makes this passage even more chilling. And beautiful.
Is my second reading correct?
I’m interested in what other readers think. Read the rest of this entry »
The Intellectual Decline of The LeftPosted: March 9, 2014 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Comedy Central, Daily Show, Ezra Klein, Fox News Channel, Jay Nordlinger, Jon Stewart, Kevin D. Williamson, Megyn Kelly, National Review 3 Comments
A dumbed-down Democratic party runs out of ideas.
The Stupid Party
Kevin D. Williamson‘s current NRO article is extra pithy this week (or “wonderfully bold’, as Jay Nordlinger says) it’s more like a long, funny, sarcastic email from a friend, or an energetic barstool rant — if the guy on the barstool is a National Review Online roving reporter — than a scholarly essay. It’s also the first I’ve seen to take on The Daily Show head-on, exposing it and mocking it without mercy. Because for many conservatives, the Daily Show is a guilty pleasure. Right? Conservatives watch The Daily Show, or watch clips that circulate…
[UPDATE: Don’t miss Jay Nordlinger‘s response to Kevin D. Williamson’s essay in the Corner. It begins: Kevin’s piece “The Stupid Party” — a typically and wonderfully bold piece — awakened many thoughts in me. I’m sure it has done that in others…]
…Just like liberals — though they pretend they don’t — watch Fox News shows like The Kelly File, The Factor, or Red Eye. The viewership for these shows is not as segregated as members of their loyal fan base would have us think. Video clips from The Daily Show are often linked (on those rare ‘friendly fire’ occasions when Stewart takes shots at Democrat targets) at right-wing watering holes like Hot Air, and hipster libertarians dig Stewart’s humor, think Jon Stewart is “one of us”. Make no mistake. He’s not.
“…for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to “destroy” such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs.”
As Williamsons’ rant illustrates, The Daily Show‘s predictable, sanctimonious, echo-chamber humor is not brilliant satire. It doesn’t speak “truth to power”. For its low-information fan base, it’s what passes for “journalism” and “hard-hitting reporting”. And accurately represents the vacancy of the Left’s bankrupt world view.
Kevin D. Williamson writes:
Here is a selection of recent headlines: “Jon Stewart Destroys Megyn Kelly,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News’ ‘Spite-Driven Anger Machine,’” “Jon Stewart Destroys What’s Left of Peggy Noonan’s Credibility,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News Over Syria Coverage,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Glenn Beck’s Utopia,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Bill O’Reilly” — there are about 520,000 more — and, not to be missed, “Jon Stewart Destroys Chicago-Style Pizza.”
The sound of terrors is in his ears at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, and in prosperity the destroyer cometh upon him.
Mr. Stewart is the host of a fake news show, the genesis of which probably was a conversation that went approximately like this: Brother-in-Law: “There’s nothing funny on Saturday Night Live except the ‘Weekend Update.’ They should really just do that for the whole show.” Jon Stewart: “Hey . . . !” Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name.
“I do not much blame the Left for hesitating to talk about Big Ideas. The Left has been losing the Big Idea debate for a generation or more, in no small part because its last Big Idea killed 100 million people.”
His shtick is a fundamentally cowardly one, playing the sanctimonious vox populi when it suits him, and then beating retreat into “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” when he faces a serious challenge. It is the sort of thing that you can see appealing to bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds… Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] The Professor Is in the HousePosted: January 27, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, History, Think Tank | Tags: Bernard Lewis, Jay Nordlinger, London, Middle East, National Review, NRO, The Human Parade, World War II 1 Comment
The Human Parade: Interview with Bernard Lewis
Great item from The Corner:
Bernard Lewis is generally regarded as the dean of Middle East scholars. Furthermore, he is one of our greatest scholars, in any area. Born in 1916, he grew up in London and has had an international career. During World War II, he served in British intelligence.
[Amazon: Books by Bernard Lewis]
He taught for many years at Princeton and is now professor emeritus. After 9/11, his knowledge became more important than ever. Many people, in America and elsewhere, looked to him for explanations.