I can’t say I’m surprised to find that Martin Peretz’s new blog The Spine is utterly uncongenial. I do, however, find it at least somewhat noteworthy that he’s chosen to dedicate his energies toward pushing particularly disreputable rightwing causes defending The Path to 9/11 and and Scooter Libby. There’s nothing up there nearly as predictable as a post about how Israel roolz and Palestine sux, it’s like there were whole never-before-explored corners of darkness in his mind. Words of “wisdom”:
Everyone has a spine. But some people are spineless. I mean this in several ways. One is a common and simple thought. If you shy away from saying what you believe, most especially when men and women are being counted, you are spineless. Spinelessness is an affliction of our civilization. Sometimes it is called “prudence.” Even if that’s what it is called, it often seems to me weak and pithless. But spinelessness is also an expression of social politics. It is called being “correct,” even if what one is saying is palpably false. The choice in such a circumstance, people who calculate this way seem to think, is either to be correct or to offend. While I don’t claim to be especially brave, I know that I am not spineless. I do not set my course by other people’s lights. And this is one reason why I’ve called my blog The Spine.
The good news, obviously, is that it’s now much safer to read The Plank so, on the whole, one has to count the Spine Era as a positive development.