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« The Arts Litany | Main | Odd Couples »

May 22, 2003

Derbyshire Q&A

Friedrich --

As you know, I'm a fan of John Derbyshire, who writes opinion columns for National Review. He's a true conservative (a rarity), and one with a lot of writing style -- I enjoy his dryly incisive and amusing way with a sentence, a paragraph, a piece. (Semi-aesthete and anti-political person that I more or less am, I'm moved and impressed by flair.) Those babies are turned. Plus, hey, agree with him or not -- and he takes a lot of stands that many will find outrageous -- he makes tons of worth-wrestling-with points, at least if you're open to the fun of wrestling with a well-made conservative argument. Perhaps this is a special taste.

Derbyshire has a typically good column here, asking (vis a vis the Jayson Blair scandal) why we take journalists all that seriously anyway. Bernard Chapin interviews Derbyshire at length here for Enter Stage Right.



posted by Michael at May 22, 2003


Isn't a bit precious for Derbyshire, a journalist, to write an arch little dis of journalists?

Is it just me?

Seriously, if Justin Timberlake showed up on MTV with commentary about music today and expected you to congratulate his wit for belittling boy bands, wouldn't you be put off?

Posted by: j.c. on May 25, 2003 9:38 PM

I dunno. Personally, I don't have a problem with a journalist saying, hey, let's take journalists a little less seriously, and then contrasting England (where journalists don't tend to puff themselves up as much) and America (where they do). I mean, I can see the logical peril -- why should we take his "let's not take it too seriously" point seriously? -- but it doesn't bother me. I don't think he's doing philosophy, I think he's doing common sense. But it bugs you?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 26, 2003 12:29 PM

Typically, I like D. This one piece strikes me as a pose. Gut feeling. Like when someone comes up in a bar and says, boy, those people at the other end of the bar are yahoos and instead of agreeing that about those yahoos at the other end of the bar, I find myself wondering why the heck is this guy working so hard to make me feel like we have some special shared view of the world.

Not a defensible position. Just my take.

Posted by: j.c. on May 26, 2003 2:37 PM

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