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Monday, April 16, 2007

Imus

Happy Birthday to Troglotyke #2!

There are plenty of opinions out there of what "it all means," the end of his insult shtik. I don't know whether they have it, but Newsweek has a decent rundown. Myself, I've been prepared to paraphrase a line from Atlas Shrugged, had anyone asked:
Q: What do you think of Don Imus?
A: I don't.
But I didn't think that captured it. This weekend, in the Catholic Spirit, is a reprint from Peggy Noonan that was prompted by recent "expellations" of Bill Maher and Ann Coulter. I don't quite accept her casting of earlier times as all sweetness and light, but our inability to stop things cold on occasion with "That's not nice!" is worth noting. Here's a truffle quote:
One of the clearest statements ever about the implied limits of legitimate political discourse was made by the imprisoned Socrates in his first dialogue with Crito, when he said, “That’s not nice.” Actually, it was your grandmother who said “That’s not nice.” She’s the one who probably taught you the wince. It is her wisdom, encapsulated in those three simple words, that is missing from the current debate. ...

We tie ourselves in knots trying to explain why it is, or why it isn’t, always or occasionally, helpful or destructive to use various epithets, or give full voice to our resentments. But the simple wisdom of Grandma — “That’s not nice” — is a good guide.

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