October 09, 2009

Please Pan Me

My good friend Peter Kocan, who may be Australia?s greatest living novelist and a gifted poet to boot, has just informed me that he?s written a negative review of Encounters for the distinguished Australian quarterly Quadrant. It seems that Peter, who considers himself a paleo and sentimentally a Jacobite, is disturbed to learn that he and I are not on the same wave length entirely. He’s discovered that I think the paleos have spent whatever energies they could muster to fight the neoconservatives and that they have been thoroughly routed. I further suggest in Encounters and elsewhere that the discomfited paleos have turned from combating their old enemy to cuffing each other. This new blood sport involves a religious conversionary aspect, as aging paleos convert to a pre-Vatican Two-form of Catholicism and then slam each other as not being truly Catholic or (Heaven forbid!) soft on American Calvinism. Movements that engage in such activities are quickly nearing the end of their usefulness as political forces.

Peter has done me a great favor by going after my book from the right. Unlike such kind reviewers as John Derbyshire, Steve Sailer, Pat Buchanan, Jim Antle, Grant Havers and all my well-meaning bloggers on amazon.com, Peter does not praise or characterize me as a ?paleoconservative.? Although I still haven?t read his review, I am hoping that somewhere in his text he identifies me as a radical leftist. That way I can hope to win attention for my work not only from the New York Times, Washington Post, and New York Review of Books. Like my leftist colleagues and acquaintances, I might also hope to bask in the attention of the Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard.  Being on the unauthorized right is really the pits. It is far better to be described as a left-liberal recovering Marxist who is fixated on the Holocaust. With that label, you can pick up friends from across the respectable media spectrum.

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