Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

February 27, 2006

Ian Buruma: what an embarrassment

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 1:51 pm

Although I have gotten used to the Islamophobic musings of Bard professor Ian Buruma, his think-piece (or stink-piece) in Saturday’s Guardian under the heading “Can sexual inadequacy or deprivation turn angry young men into killers?” really reaches new depths.Buruma writes, “Sexual deprivation may be a factor in the current wave of suicidal violence, unleashed by the Palestinian cause as well as revolutionary Islamism. The tantalising prospect of having one’s pick of the loveliest virgins in paradise is deliberately dangled in front of young men trained for violent death.”

He adds, “It is said that Mohammed Atta visited a striptease bar before crashing a plane into the Twin Towers. Perhaps he craved one nibble at the forbidden fruit before his earthly extinction.”

Gays are also suspect. Buruma finds himself in agreement with fellow Islamophobe Johann Hari regarding the “overlap” of homosexuality and fascism. “Gay men,” Hari wrote, “have been at the heart of every major fascist movement that ever was …”

Sigh.

I am embarrassed to tell people that I went to Bard College after reading such tripe.

This is the result of hiring NY Review of Books intellectuals in prominent positions at Bard College. Leon Botstein added such people to his staff in the same way that people buy Gucci loafers. It is a symbol of having “arrived”. Frankly, Bard would be better off it were the obscure liberal arts college it used to be before it was transformed into a dubious powerhouse for intellectuals like Ian Buruma. Back then, professors were smart enough only to act the fool “down the road” at the college pub after one drink too many. Now they do it in the British press.

1 Comment »

  1. Incidentally, I just finished Buruma’s “The Wages of Guilt.” While I have to admit that the man’s knowledge of German and Japanese postwar fiction is instructive and that the book is well worth a perusal, he manages to work commie-bashing into every anecdote. All moderate leftists–from tepids to Marxists–are “68ers,” and the Japanese writer Oda Makoto–arguably the most famous anti-Vietnam War voice in the country–is an “extreme Leftist.” Lackluster red-baiting on par with Paul Berman.

    Comment by Zach — March 10, 2006 @ 3:13 pm


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