Thursday, February 19, 2015

Another Mark Steyn Masterpiece: Living History

So, I love this essay and not only because Mark Steyn graciously mentions my thoughts on European Jewry.

Full disclosure: Starting off the day with Mark Steyn saying you are right is a pretty good way to start the day-even if you are right about the most depressing things facing civilization.


(*congratulates self, regains composure, makes second cup of coffee, reaches for smelling salts before passing out on fainting couch*)

I love it because it has all the hallmarks of Steynism.

The searing wit ("Obammyboppers", journalists as "metrosexual eunuch trustiefundies", government "nuancy boys") the brutally honest descriptions ("As worse and worser as they got, however, it was not in-your-face genocidal, with regular global broadcasts of mass beheadings and live immolations. In that sense, the salient difference between Lebanon then and ISIS now is the mainstreaming of depravity. Which is why the analogies don't apply. We are moving into a world of horrors beyond analogy.)

Then, of course, he weaves together seemingly unrelated threads, and personal anecdotes, which paint a verbal picture of what so many of us are feeling and thinking.

Though he takes breaks from doom, jihad and and doom via music, I can't help but read his work nowadays as anything but a series, or perhaps chapters in a sad book of eulogies for Western civilization.

Mark adds rich, soulful depth to my comment on Jewish "life" in Europe.

Can we call it life at all?

I think not.

"Laura Rosen Cohen is forceful and impassioned about those Europeans who object to Netanyahu's call for Continental Jews to leave for Israel. In the most basic sense, she is right: Jews have no future in Europe - because the actions necessary to restore normality to Jewish community life on the Continent will never be taken by its ruling elites."

"But incremental evil is not as instantly clarifying as ISIS riding into Benghazi and running their black flag up the pole outside City Hall. Jews cannot safely ride the Paris metro with identifying marks of their faith, or walk the streets of Amsterdam, or send their children to school in Toulouse, or attend a bat mitzvah in Copenhagen. As much as those Nigerians and Libyans and Yemenis and Ukrainians, Europe's Jews are living history rather than reading it."

"They are living through a strange, freakish coda to the final solution that, quietly and remorselessly, is finishing the job: the total extinction of Jewish life in Europe - and not at the hands of baying nationalist Aryans but a malign alliance of post-national Eutopians and Islamic imperialists. Sure, it'd be nice to read a book - maybe Obama could recommend one on the Crusades. But you've got to be careful: in France, in 2015, you can be beaten up for being seen with the wrong kind of book on public transportation. As Max Fisher says, we could all stand to read a little history, and the Jewish Museum in Brussels has a pretty good bookstore, but, if you swing by, try not to pick one of the days when they're shooting visitors."

If you read history as Mark does, and as I do, and if you've lived it-as his grandparents and my grandparents did, if you've "lost" a loved one-oh sorry, let's make that if you've had a friend or family member brutally murdered by terrorists as my family has, then you can close your eyes and without any difficulty whatsoever, "read" the present as the self-inflicted, tortured, nihilistic and bloody denouement of humanity's great, young experiment with democracy.