Ross Douthat’s essay on Aurora: my comment by Political Observer

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From: Stephen Mack <>
Date: Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Subject: Ross Douthat's essay on Aurora: my comment by Political Observer
To: Posterous <>

Ross Douthat has used the comic book world of good versus evil from the latest Batman movie as a rhetorical frame for his essay on the killings at the Aurora, Colorado theater, titled The Way We Fear Now. The Dark Knight Rises was the movie, at which this mass killing occurred. Should we either condemn or congratulate Mr. Douthat on this fatuous trivialization? (One might speculate that the final sundering of the notions of high and low culture is completed here by our author?) Although he partially redeems this near obscenity by larding his essay with the high flown words and phrases: evil, depraved, anarchic, civilization, nihilism, Armageddon, cultural phenomenon, cultural touchstone. Mr. Douthat seems to have contracted a case of Newspaper Metaphysics, perhaps from his political ally and colleague Mr. David Brooks.

Might we as critical readers make a more tentative connection between Mr. James Holmes personal pathology, however one can describe that murderous urge with accuracy, and the social pathology of guns, and the political notion, that it is an inherent right of American citizenship to own and carry munitions in public spaces? Even the most sophisticated assault weaponry. Perhaps a better metaphor for the American political self-conception, as to place and time, is more cogently located in the frontier town circa 1875. Rather than the urban/suburban sprawl that the majority of Americans inhabit. The American dislocation as to self-conception, historical location, and the particular expression of a right to 'bear arms', as foundational to the exercise of citizenship, and the personal personal pathology of a murderer in our midst, seems to have met in a horrific denouement.

Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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