Sewer Thing

A columnist in the Guardian attributes suicide bombing to a demand for infrastructure improvements. A young intellectual doesn’t believe that ordinary people were in any way responsible for the economic crisis. Why are intellectuals so often wrong?
On the one hand they seem to want to deny the deeper currents that underlie the most extraordinary behaviour such as suicide bombing; on the other, they want to deny the quite ordinary or commonplace motivation for genuinely prosaic behaviour, such as spending too much. This is odd…
The avoidance of the obvious is an occupational hazard for intellectuals, because the obvious threatens them with redundancy. One might have thought that it was perfectly obvious that there were deep psychological currents in suicide bombing, and equally obvious that there us [sic] widespread greed and incontinence during epidemics of speculative behaviour. Therefore it is only natural that intellectuals should be found who would argue precisely the opposite, that deep motives are in fact shallow and shallow ones deep.

2 thoughts on “Sewer Thing

  1. Jackson

    Verily, the devil drills his minions “The surest way to the human soul is through the genitals”
    As Dalrymple says in his essay The Starving Criminal
    “It never takes many links in a chain of reasoning to get from their smooth and raw magenta tongues to the kind of family breakdown favoured by a certain ideology of human relations, encouraged by our laws and fiscal system, and made viable by welfare payments. It is the breakdown of the family structure—a breakdown so complete that mothers do not consider it part of their duty to feed their own children once they have reached the age at which they can forage for themselves in a refrigerator—that promotes modern malnutrition in Britain.”
    and
    “in conditions of shortage, public housing goes preferentially to young single women with children, and he had made the situation worse by having two children of his own by two young women”
    Eros has a corrosive effect on the chains of reasoning, the delay of gratification.
    I’ve been reading about Captain Cook’s explorations; a master class in economic studies. Sexual relations with the natives almost constantly threatening to unravel the venture (even almost putting the ships on a reef, Cook having entrusted the helm to those whose ears not being stopped up to the sirens – though probable, not absolutely proven); the natives being exceedingly savvy to things of value, not least nails.
    Cook (though realistic) and concerned on probably every level, at a pragmatic level, was concerned that the alarming lack of circumspection on the part of his crew would quantatively ease, therefore devalue, his currency; threatening bargaining power for basic supplies.
    This most obvious of dynamics playing out with a vengeance in our own times, yet many intellectuals loathe to concede it.

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