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Eros Rising

From out of the desert it came: a virtual world named Sin. For two millennia, the world was enthralled by the priesthoods of this demonizing world. But a new day has dawned with the reemergence of Eros, the Pagan God of Love. An eyeblink ago, when the Baby Boomers were young, the Age of Aquarius announced the dawn of this new day. But it had a little setback, as the church and its patriarchs struck back. Eros Rising is here to help freedom lovers everywhere reclaim their human rights.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Who are the Real Highbrows?

In the October 30, 2005 NYT magazine, its neocon writer James Traub asks under the headline Their Highbrow Hatred of Us, "How did virulent anti-Americanism become so respectable?" He cites playwright Harold Pinter's statement "Mr Bush and his gang are control the world and the world's resources. And they don't give a damn how many people they murder on the way." to make his point. I've got the answer Mr Traub is looking for.

"They" hate us for the very same reason that about 1/2 of the American people hate the gang of Republican thugs who hijacked American democracy in countless voting districts throughout the land, but especially in Florida and Ohio. They hate us for waging an obscene war under the pious headline of "Freedom," when indeed the U.S. becomes less free by each Republican year. They hate us for claiming the moral highground of Democracy, when in fact American society becomes more Feudal with each passing Republican year. They hate us for the unbridled greed of our upper classes who deserve more than any group in the world to be branded "Highbrow."

What is a highbrow? My old Webster Seventh defines it thus: A person of superior learning or culture: intellectual." However, my newer American Heritage Dictionary defines it this way: One who has or affects superior learning or culture. When neocon critics like Traub use the word to skewer what they see as anti-Americanism, they are clearly talking about the affectation to superiority, not the real thing, for clearly superior learning is something we all aspire to.

By the affectation standard, there is no group of highbrows in the world like American neo-conservative. Little known to most people (and most journalists, unfortunately) the gang of neocons who are now running our country count as one of their intellectual lights the philosopher Leo Strauss, who espoused Plato's "Philosopher King" thesis. This has often been seen as one of Plato's most charming, if totally unrealistic, ideas. Most college graduates know of it: In a perfect society, all decisions of importance will be made by a small (very small) handful of scholars--philosopher kings, if you will. I alway smiled when I read about it. But not anymore. Not since Strauss' students started taking over the U.S. of A. We are now living in a country where a tiny handful of "philosopher kings" (don't laugh) are totally running the show. We the people of the United States are now ciphers. It's a joke that we even still bother to vote.

The subject of this little philosophy lesson was the question: what is a highbrow? Could there be any people in the world who hold more affectation to superiority than the American Neocon? Affectation is the operative word. The superiority of the Neocon is an utterly unfounded pretense to superiority, which makes it "highbrow" in the most perjoritive of senses. What could be more highbrow, after all, than the belief in "philosopher kings?" Too bad Plato's not around to see the mischief his little pipedream has spawned.


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