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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 5, 2006 / 5 Teves, 5766

Finding things to like in bad news? Lighten up!

By James Lileks


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The story made every Blue Stater sit up straight and hiss: The mask has dropped. It's begun. A college student at the University of Massachusetts requested a copy of Mao's "Little Red Book" from the Dartmouth library and was subsequently visited by federal agents. A professor vouched for his tale.


The news wires picked up the story. Blogs frothed. Columnists great and small rent their garments. Finally, the true face of Chimpy W. Pretzelchoker's Amerikkka had shown itself. Today, goon-squads bracing innocent Mao scholars; tomorrow, the Reichstag burns. No, that was 9/11. Tomorrow, Kristallnacht! The worst has come true, and things are looking up!


The story turned out to be nonsense, of course. As if federal agents slide down poles, pile into Crown Victorias and hit the sirens because a kid checks out Marxist bromides. "Faster, Agent Smith! If he gets to the part about a single oxen having more power than a thousand flowers, the terrorists have won!"


For heaven's sake, you could teach a comp-lit course on the writings of Osama bin Laden, and the only repercussion would be fast-track tenure. So why did anyone believe the student? Two reasons.


One: It was fake but accurate. That's what they said about the Bush TANG memos, you may recall. Granted, the papers were forged, the dates wrong, the authors dead or retired, and the memos called Bush "Mr. 666 Helliburton Dry-Drunk Oil Shill Poopy Head," but that doesn't mean there aren't serious questions about whether he was 10 minutes late for his physical exam.


Likewise the "Little Red Book" affair: OK, it didn't happen. Granted. But if George W. Bush eavesdrops on people calling al-Qaida cells in Pakistan, you know he has plans to deport The Nation's subscriber base to labor camps in Kansas and make them sew covers for Gideon Bibles. Sometimes a lie reveals a greater truth. Just because "King Kong" is a movie doesn't mean there aren't monkeys, somewhere.


The lunatic right went through this in the '90s. Bill Clinton, as it turned out, did not tie small children to railroad tracks in Mena, Ark., to cover up his worldwide cocaine-distribution syndicate. To Clinton's foes, however, it was true in the macro sense.


Somehow. It had to be. In the '90s these people were marginal cranks, and no one listened to them. Today they're on Air America. Nothing's changed, in other words.


Two: the climate of despair. The longer one side is out of power, the more it takes solace in the gathering darkness.


Again, the far right went through this in the '90s. Ruby Ridge, Waco, programs to soak up all electronic communication and sift for security threats – each was proof that Y2K would be the excuse for herding everyone into FEMA-operated cattle pens and tattooing bar codes on the back of their necks.


But that was the nutwad ham-radio right, the guys who believed Art Bell was a disinformation plant. This muttering, bug-eyed despondency now grips great swaths of the left. Polls show liberals are far less optimistic about the future than merry Red Staters, as if hope were some devious neocon concept.


To the left, the booming economy is a slug on a hot tar roof. Iraq is another Vietnam – 48,000 casualties to go, G-d willing. Half the welfare budget has been diverted to subsidize solid-gold walking sticks for the rich, secret agencies are planting cookies in your Web browser, and somewhere in Texas a theater owner is intentionally understating the opening night grosses for "Brokeback Mountain."


Bad news is good news. Everything's going to hell, but at least they're smart enough to catch the whiff of brimstone. (Secondhand brimstone. There ought to be a law.)


But what if the worst doesn't happen? That would be worse than bad. That would mean all those bumper stickers they put on their cars had no effect whatsoever. What if people don't Question Authority, Visualize World Peace, speak truth to power, or rotate during cooking? What if letters to the editor don't end up in CIA files? What if subversive college students are ignored? What if the dark night isn't descending after all?


However will they go on?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

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