Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Rage of Virginia Woolf

Theodore Dalrymple, a now-retired prison psychiatrist has a chapter in his recent book Our Culture, What's Left Of It entitled "The Rage of Virginia Woolf. A quote from that essay seems appropriate in view of our cultural discussions in the psychosphere.

It comes as no surprise that a thinker (or perhaps I should say a feeler) such as Mrs. Woolf, with her emotional and intellectual dishonesty, should collapse all relevant moral distinctions, a technique vital to all schools of resentment. Time and again we find her misappropriating the connotation of one thing and attaching it to another, by insinuating a false analogy: that since both the British policeman and the Nazi stormtrooper wore a uniform, the British policeman was a brute. It is one of the chief characteristics of modern rhetoric, designed not so much to find truth as (in the words of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam) to "maintain your rage."

4 comments:

jw said...

I saw one of these false analogies this morning. One of the feminist writers has come out saying that since most terrorists are male, terrorism therefore must be a function of being male. She proposes to fix the problem of terrorism by forcing all males to behave like females. If I remember right, this is Kimmell's logic.

I won't even go into the errors in this "logic."

katje said...

How did she propose explaining the female suicide bomber brigade adjunct to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigade? (Oh, wait, I forgot; they don't have to justify anything - it's enough for them to have said it.)

Another example is to equate the My Lai massacre to all troops in uniform, especially those overseas now. Or even long before this iteration of the war started. Hmph. Fools and Jack*sses. Maybe we should see about issuing them all sets of donkey ears...

Vulgorilla said...

"Maybe we should see about issuing them all sets of donkey ears..."

I would wager that they all have them firmly in place, politically that is.

kufrdog said...

Don't be so mean to the donkeys. They were the sagest, sanest group I'd met in the mideast. In the Balkans, too. I mean the four-legged, hee-haw Eeyore kind of course. The two-legged ones are an insult to all donkeyhood. Bastids. "The king's ears are really...donkey's ears!"