Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"A Clash Between Two Opposites"

As much as I love defending Matthew Sweet and the Smashing Pumpkins circa 1993 (and I'm not being sarcastic), back to more serious politics (of a sort) for a moment. Take a few minutes to watch this clip of Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist who aired some strong opinions on Al-Jazeera. (It's clip #1050 at this link, the seventh one from the top as I write this.) As brave and eloquent as she is, perhaps I'm more pessimistic than I like to believe, because I focus mostly on the fellow guest who appears about two-thirds of the way through and asks her if she's a heretic. It's in his dismissive, shut-off stance that the problem comes into view -- this is only an argument (in that studio, and across the broader culture) as much as one argues with a four-year-old not to draw with crayons on the wall. This is just someone shouting rational things louder and louder into the void of the most ignorant brand of absolutism. A bit depressing in that regard, but otherwise inspiring.

(Via Norman Geras)


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