July 08, 2002
Mirror of Wildernesses

The Poor Man More from the It's All About Me Files - Brad Delong has a archive category entitled Commentators: Andrew Northrup. I am one of five commentators given their own category, one of whom is Michael Kinsley. It should prove greatly encouraging to Mr. Kinsley that he was included with a distinguished wordsmith such as I, especially if I was right in guessing that you use "whom" instead of "who" in the last sentence, and if I was right in regard to the whole "I" vs. "me" issue just now. I fully realize that the set of people who actually care is identical to the set of people who are typing this post, and I promise I'm not about to start talking about how many hits I get on prime numbered Thursdays or what kooky google searches this page shows up on, but I had a Sally Field Oscar moment when I saw that. ("Norma Rae", not "Places in the Heart". Duh.)...

Posted by DeLong at 03:31 PM

June 18, 2002
Andrew Northrup Offers Insight Into Chomsky (Which Insight He Then Repudiates)

Andrew Northrup ("The Poor Man") offers some--I think accurate--insight into Noam Chomsky, particularly his bizarre apparent habit of attributing moral agency and moral responsibility (always exercised badly) to the governments of the U.S. and of Israel alone. The Poor Man [Chomsky writes:] "For intellectuals in Russia in the Communist days, condemnation of US crimes had little if any moral value; in fact, it might have had negative value, in serving to buttress the oppressive and brutal Soviet system. In contrast, when Eastern European dissidents condemned the crimes of their own states and society, it had great moral value. That much everyone takes for granted: everyone, that is, outside the Soviet commissar class. Much the same holds in the West, point by point, except with much more force, because the costs of honest dissidence are so immeasurably less. And exactly as we would expect, these utterly trivial points are almost incomprehensible to Western intellectuals, when applied to them, though readily understood when applied to official enemies." Well, yeah, that's about right, actually. And I think that offers a bit of insight into his style of criticism. And it is his strength, and it is his weakness. The concern with the "moral...

Posted by DeLong at 12:54 PM

June 12, 2002
Three Cheers for Andrew Northrup

The Poor Man "...The Bush people need to look into creating a Department of Thinking Up Names For Things That Don't Sound Like They Come From Fahrenheit 451. It's stupid that names like that give me the creeps, but they do. (Making matters a billion times worse, "USA PATRIOT" is an acronym! Are we fighting against K.A.O.S.? Can somebody please stop John Ashcroft?) At the same time, it's not stupid. In America, we give things American names. We don't talk about "homelands", and we don't make up wicked radically awesome acronyms for our anti-terrorism bills. We are American. We give things normal-sounding names and then get down to business. The USA PATRIOT Act should be called "The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001" because that's what it is. It's not the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism", because that's about 6000 more words than is needed just so it can be a stupid acronym. "The Department of Homeland Security" is much better, but still all wrong. "Federal Bureau of Investigation" - that's a deeply, profoundly cool name. Professional, of modest length, and without any florid language - I feel comfortable knowing that the FBI...

Posted by DeLong at 08:40 PM

June 04, 2002
Andre Northrup: Poor Mans Blog: The Cornier

Recently, the NR's "The Corner" was crowned the 3rd-best right-wing blog in a lavish ceremony presented by the Right-Wing News. The Poor Man did not rate, perhaps due to the fact that it contains no news, or that I'm not right-wing, or perhaps because this page sucks Satan's left nut like it's on a mission. In any case, I'm not going to ignore a successful formula, so I'm launching a special Corner-esque feature, where I try to Corner-ize my content to increase my synergistic B2B click-through. As near as I can tell, this involves having incredibly long and tedious minjing sessions where you dispute the hit counters of more successful or ideologically impure commentators. Without any further ado...

Posted by DeLong at 12:55 AM