Edward Said is dead

Mark Steyn:

"It's a generally good rule not to speak ill of the dead. I wish Professor Said had observed it in the days after September 11th when his almost every utterance was an insult to his fellow New Yorkers vaporized a few blocks from his ivory tower. He was a hugely influential academic, who found a way to make the institutional 'counter-tribalism' (in John O'Sullivan's phrase) of America's elites pay off for him big time. His bestselling Orientalism is a deeply disingenuous work riddled with factual errors and with a selectivity of focus that negates its main claim. But it remains a stunningly successful example of how to parlay western self-loathing into bestseller status. I mentioned Said a couple of times in the early chapters of The Face Of The Tiger mainly for one reason: he didn't seem to understand that the life he enjoyed was only possible in the west. In the Islamic world, where the theories of Orientalism are either unknown or disdained, he would have been a nobody."

"...I thought of Said again when the air strikes against the Taliban began and Osama issued what appears to be his last date-specific video call to jihad:

"Take away all the infidel products and you’d be left with a loser in yak-wool boxers standing in a cave shouting to himself. Osama had an infidel watch (Timex Ironman Triathlon), infidel fatigues (army-surplus US battle dress), infidel hand-mike, infidel camera. This is presumably an example of what Professor Edward Said, the distinguished New York-based America-disparager, calls the “interconnectedness” of the west and Islam. The Prof deplores the tendency, in the wake of September 11th, to separate cultures into what he called 'sealed-off entities,' when in reality western civilisation and the Muslim world are so 'intertwined' that it’s impossible to 'draw the line' between them.

"This pitch isn’t getting a lot of respect. 'The line seems pretty clear,' said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review. 'Developing mass commercial aviation and soaring skyscrapers was the west’s idea; slashing the throats of stewardesses and flying the planes into the skyscrapers was radical Islam’s idea.'”


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