Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Some reasons for cultural pessimism & optimism (Martin Amis, via Norman Geras)

Norman Geras (Normblog)
January 15, 2005
Amis depressed and otherwise

In today's Independent Martin Amis answers some questions put to him by readers. I like many of his responses, including this one:
What is the most depressing thing about Britain you have observed since your return? And the best?...

The most depressing thing was the sight of middle-class white demonstrators, last August, waddling around under placards saying, We Are All Hizbollah Now. [JW: See here.] Well, make the most of being Hizbollah while you can. As its leader, Hasan Nasrallah, famously advised the West: "We don't want anything from you. We just want to eliminate you." Similarly, when I went on Question Time the other week, a woman in the audience, her voice quavering with self-righteousness, presented the following argument: since it was America that supported Osama bin Laden when he was fighting the Russians, the US armed forces, in response to September 11, "should be dropping bombs on themselves!" And the audience applauded. It is quite an achievement. People of liberal sympathies, stupefied by relativism, have become the apologists for a creedal wave that is racist, misogynist, homophobic, imperialist, and genocidal. To put it another way, they are up the arse of those that want them dead.

The best thing has been to find myself living in what, despite its faults (despite a million ills), is an extraordinarily successful multi-racial society. This is a beautiful idea, with a good chance of becoming a beautiful reality, too.
And here's something for the small people to chew on:
My friendship with the Hitch has always been perfectly cloudless. It is a love whose month is ever May.
Posted by Norm at 12:36 PM |