Ron Radosh on The American Conservative.

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Oct. 5 2002 1:20 AM

Thug Life

The Fray dissects The American Conservative.

(Continued from Page 3)

JS here:I'm horrified by Glen Gabbard's highly unprofessional claim that it was healthy for Janice to push Ralph down the stairs, nearly breaking his back—that it was necessary for her "to stop being a doormat." What pseudofeminist hogwash! … [E]ncouraging Janice to wallow in her already brimming pool of self-pity inevitably led to Janice acting out, and when Janice acts out, she becomes a psychopath, just like her mother and to a lesser degree her brother.

BG here: [I]t is possible to be both aggressor and victim. No one can say Ralphie is anything other than a miserable psychopath, abusing women left and right. ("Sorry I disrespected the Bing" after committing murder!)

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David NYC and Mitch have the best discussion of Janice (beginning here) and the ontological status of fictional psychopathy (or, who decides how crazy she should be?). ...

Jammed with Barakan heroes? New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has been busy, scrambling to find a viable Democrat to run in Torricelli's place (more below) and forcing Amiri Baraka to resign as New Jersey's poet laureate. (See this Recycledpiece for the poem that got him tossed and Bryan Curtis' debunking of the myth of "4,000 Jews" who did not go to work on 9/11. Bob Baraka (no relation) files the Baraka flap under "Well, what did you expect?" here:

If you make Amiri Baraka poet laureate you can't act astonished when he spews anti-Semitic bile—it's been his stock in trade for several decades now. Either accept him as he is, or appoint someone else to the post. And what does it say about N.J.'s illustrious governor that the only thing he objected to in the entire poem was the one line about Israeli workers?

Philo attacks Baraka's postmodern relativism here. Our Poems Fray regulars might use this as a jumping off point for a discussion of, ahem, narrative voice. …

Down with MPP? Following the International Papers roundup of British reaction to the revelation that Conservative former PM John Major had been carrying on a long-term affair, Lee compares American and British attitudes toward sexual infidelity here:

Luckily for Major, the mere fact of having an extramarital is not that big a deal in Britain. His opponents will get some mileage (kilometerage?) out of his hypocrisy, since he stumped on the traditional family values thing, but the Brits don't seem as susceptible as we are to that whole "...nation sliding into the rotting ooze of moral decay..." nonsense we hear from Robertson & Falwell. … 10:45 a.m.

I lift my lamp: Even before William Saletan's diagnosis of Senator Robert Torricelli's withdrawal, Ballot Box and Today’s Papers Frays were debating Torricelli's exit. (For some good threading see heremarylb leads off.)

Cato the Censor objects to Saletan's analogies and offers a more home-grown explanation here:

Unfortunately, Torricelli brought this ignoble end to his public life upon himself. Torricelli is an incredibly talented, but deeply flawed man. He served New Jersey well, and he could have been great. He is not like Clinton, Gore or even D'Amato. The Torch was the type of politician that Garden Staters love—an outrageous street brawler with a bit of a mean streak that helps him get things done. However, he had a character trait that was more like former Gov. Florio's, which New Jerseyans loathe—arrogance.

Joan is one of the many who feels some pity for the passing of the torch here:

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