December 31, 2003

· Internet

Here in Australia it has been 2004 for some time. My advice from the future is, buy IBM. Reading around this morning I see Glenn Reynolds going out on a high, high note for 2003, reminding us all why he dropped his tagline “The New York Times of bloggers” in favor of “If you’ve got a modem, I’m shouting in your ear!” Meanwhile Tacitus closes 2003 with a variant on one of the most popular themes of the year, viz, “I’ve noticed a disturbing tendency on the American left…” Yeah, me too. It barely exists. I hope you won’t stop reading Crooked Timber now that Tacitus has shown that “the American left” relies wholly on “murderous racism based on junk economic theory.” Another of our sins is noted by Steven Den Beste, who observes that we at CT think “white men don’t actually matter.” In case you haven’t twigged, CT policy is that white males are only good for use as the sexual playthings of rich and beautiful women. Email me for more details about this.

All of this rhetorical overkill reminds me of a line about the late rants of F.R. Leavis: “In his later books he libelled his literary opponents so scandalously that when he tried to condemn Stalin he had no harsh words left over.” Excitable bloggers take note.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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