Recommended Reading: n + 1, Fall 2010

They call it their “Self-Improvement” issue, and while flying today from Richmond to Chicago, I read three especially good articles about the sorry state of our nation, each one a pretty good substitute for the sort of news and editorials that we’re no longer getting. Here are teasers from each one:

From “Revolt of the Elites” (unsigned) in The Intellectual Situation (p. 15):

“Who…is guility of elitism, if not the elitely educated in general? The main culprits turn out to be people for whom a monied and therefore educated background lies behind the adoption of aesthetic, intellectual, or political values that demur from the money-making mandate that otherwise dominates society.”

From “Caucasian Nation” by Marco Roth in Politics (p. 14):

“The robust case for dominating other people sounds awful to most American ears today. So the contemporary idea of ethnocracy relies instead on an opposite rhetoric of victimization. The simple-minded mantra we’re taught in grade school goes like this: blacks good because oppressed, whites bad because oppressors. So if whites suddenly became oppressed, even while remaining the majority, they would magically become good again. Many Americans are now being taught to think this way.”

From “The Two Cultures of Life” by Kristin Dombek in Essays (p. 105):

“When Scott Roeder murdered George Tiller [the abortion doctor in Wichita], the only US citizen on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list was Daniel Andreas San Diego, who was allegedly involved in ┬áthe 2003 bombings of three Bay Area office buildings belonging to the Chiron and Shaklee Corporations, customers of the animal testing lab Huntington Life Sciences. Huntington employees have been caught on tape doing things like ┬ápunching puppies and dissecting monkeys alive. According to the FBI’s website, San Diego has “psychopathic” tattoos of burning hills and collapsing buildings. He has “ties to animal rights extremist groups” and is “known to follow a vegan diet, eating no meat or food containing animal products.” No one was hurt in the Bay Area bombings — they caused only property damage — and San Diego is only a suspect; nevertheless, he is still, at this writing, at the top of the FBI’s list.” [11/24/10]

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