Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Laughing Noam

Noam Chomsky’s already ample retirement fund gets an unexpected boost as Hugo Chavez’s impromptu recommendation of his latest work sends it shooting up the Amazon hit list.

In other reviews, a Herr Hitler of Salzburg warmly recommends The Merry Widow, by Franz Lehár.

It’s not hard to see the appeal that “Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance” might have for our Hugo…

“America is just as much a terrorist state as any other government or rogue organization”
“the repression of other nations' citizenry is, in fact, the very reason Americans support certain foreign leaders”
“current U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are … the continuation of a consistent half-century of … "imperial grand strategy" in which the United States has attempted to maintain its hegemony through the threat or use of military force"

I’m sure that the elegant Mr Chomsky would be the first to point out the shortcomings of Chavism, and the dangers of religious extremism, or even the fundamentally corrupt nature of the UN. But alas he has not yet found the time to comment on these matters in print, while of course anything trashing the US flies off the shelves at $28 a pop.

Still, doubtless he is suitably shame-faced.

As for the readership, in case they’re still insufficiently outraged by the abyssal evil of American foreign policy, Amazon is on the case:

People who bought this book also purchased…
“Why I idolise all peoples and cultures except my own”
“Flag-burning for Dummies”
“The Little Rich College Girl’s Guide to Making Daddy Angry” - now comes with free software for selecting the most alarming ethnic boyfriend!
“101 Ways to Avoid Work for Yet Another Damned Year”
“Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Abu Ghraib”

One commentator likened Chavez’s foray into literary criticism to Oprah’s Book Club. Oprah? That woman’s a monster

The Boyfriend Select-O-Matic, yesterday. This miracle of modern science caters to all combinations of colour, creed, and elite social status to identify exactly the right type of boyfriend to guarantee Daddy’s first embolism…


R. Sherman said...

How a linguist became the "go to" guy on all matters political has never been clear to me. I would have thought he'd prefer analyzing Urdu or something. Then again, people listen to Barbara Streisand when she does something other than sing.


Ivan the Terrible said...

Frankly I'd prefer it if Noam sang and Barbara analysed language. At least then she might come up with an intelligible sentence occasionally.

Anonymous said...

Here’s a site devoted to debunking the Great Gnoam.

Anonymous said...

Try again.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Enjoyable little selection of Noam-debunking, there, Anon. Maybe that link should get posted on Amazon as a review :)

Anonymous said...

You will all be laughing out of the other side of your faces after the revolution.
And why shouldn't a linguist write about politics? Lots of folk do interesting things other than their professions. Look at little Raul Hilberg; he's not an academic historian but that didn't stop him becoming 'the dean of Holocaust academics'.

Mr Chomsky-Pot said...

That's right. Noam was one of the few intellectuals to defend our peasant revolution in Kampuchea against the lies of the Free Press. That's why I named myself in his honor.

Kevin McDonald said...

Granted, Ivan, Chomsky's prose is indecipherable. But many Jewish academics share this trait. We cannot jump from Chomsky having poor prose style to Chomsky is a neo-nazi so quickly, I fear. You would have to demonstrate that he was wrong, in some more substantial way.

Fat Sparrow said...

I like Evo Morales a lot better than Hugo Chavez. Evo doesn't read much, but he brings drugs to the party. Screw your pseudo-intellectuals, that's my kind of guy.