« JSP, real estate czar | Main | Worth a thousand words »

Roll over, Ed Gibbon

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:50 PM

Head for the hills -- Marty Peretz has a blog now, called The Spine -- I guess we should be glad he didn't call it The Rock Hard Erect Penis.

Marty's maiden blog entry was a mighty essay -- 575 words, about the size of a New York Times op-ed -- in which the sage takes us to the mountaintop and gives us a really, really big-picture panorama:

... history is the spine of the present and also of my understanding of the present... history tells us about the proclivities of certain cultures and of their limits, too. History teaches us to beware of millenarians and utopians, of strongmen, of the idea of classlessness and class encrustations both, of greed, of otherworldliness, of technological solutions....
That history. Quite a Chatty Cathy. "I've told you, and told you and told you -- but do you listen?!?!
... ever since Montesquieu read the character of peoples through the climates in which they lived, we know also that there is a scientific basis to human similarity and to human difference. In any event, my reading of history is part of the spine of my thinking and of my writing. It is not only a tocsin. It is a connective.

One cannot grasp the meaning of the mass murders in Iraq without knowing something about the history of Mesapotamia. One cannot grasp French behavior in international affairs (and in internal social conflict, too) without seeing France as it has seen itself, the envoy of civilization to everyone in its arc. One cannot grasp the insistent religiosity of America without grasping that the colonies were religious commonwealths. And so on and on. History may be fragmented. But it is also whole. Is the guy channeling the ghost of Saul Bellow these days?

Lots to chew on here. Where is Mesapotamia? Arizona, maybe? What does Marty think "tocsin" means? Since when do countries have "arcs", and who or what lies within France's?

Gotta give the guy credit for one thing: writer's block he has not got. His next blog entry, after this Macaulayesque overture, is 844 words about what a swell guy Scooter Libby is.

P.S. -- In case you're wondering what the tank above has to do with Marty, it adorned one of his columns in the Jewish World Review, written in a more characteristic Peretz idiom -- the Livy of American Zionism doffs his toga and carefully lays it aside, then drops to the floor and chews the carpet for 1300 bloodthirsty, raving words.

Now that's the Marty we all know and love.

Comments (1)

js paine:

my favorite hollywood producer
was the late stanley kramer

master of un intended satire

the kramer cup for same
this year goes to .....

marty P

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Tuesday September 12, 2006 12:50 PM.

The previous post in this blog was JSP, real estate czar.

The next post in this blog is Worth a thousand words.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31