Saturday, December 17, 2005

Smear and Loathing

Harold Bloom is purportedly, as the Guardian notes in their story header for Bloom's American epitaph (Bushitlerburton, that tired cliché again), a "celebrated critic". They neglect to mention who celebrates him, if anyone, outside academic cloisters. Certainly not me, and I also understand why he is a critic, rather than one of the classic American authors he admires.

The man can't write. His words reveal a brain that is a walk-in closet packed with disjointed literary tidbits hung in mismatched sets and hateful paranoid fantasies lurking in the shoeboxes.

He wanders on for hundreds of words when his entire message can be summed up thusly, "I'm an old partyline Democrat and I hate Republicans in general and George Bush in particular, and Americans are stupid for voting him into office". That's it, all Bloom has to say. Yet he drags out this message with inappropriate and boring literary references and unfounded lunatic fringe innuendo until one just wants to scream at him, "Enough! Pass gas in the President's general direction and be done with it, you senile old misanthrope."

Here's Bloom's "argument":
At the age of 75, I wonder if the Democratic party ever again will hold the presidency or control the Congress in my lifetime. I am not sanguine, because our rulers have demonstrated their prowess in Florida (twice) and in Ohio at shaping voting procedures, and they control the Supreme Court. The economist-journalist Paul Krugman recently observed that the Republicans dare not allow themselves to lose either Congress or the White House, because subsequent investigations could disclose dark matters indeed. Krugman did not specify, but among the profiteers of our Iraq crusade are big oil (House of Bush/House of Saud), Halliburton (the vice-president), Bechtel (a nest of mighty Republicans) and so forth.
There you have it. Bloom's case, such as it is. Sound and fury. Unreasoning hatred. The real tragedy is that Bloom, a Yale professor, has been spewing his bile to young people for 51 years.