Marty Peretz married a Singer Sewing Machine and bought The New Republic, a magazine which for about a thousand years previous expounded establishmentarian Democratic thinking for the benefit of middlebrow readers wherever they lurked in America, which is to say everywhere in America. That was in 1975. Since then it has principally dedicated itself to the proposition that science will one day prove that the Negro, whatever his facility with balls and fields of play, doesn't much go for the thinking game (though I'd like to see Marty "Fucking" Peretz memorize an NFL playbook), indeed that science has already proven it, and that Arabs, unlike Jews, who do not drink blood, do drink blood, or at least aspire to it in their dervishistic hashish rituals over the bloody corpses of Haifa nightclubbers and commuting grannies in Tel Aviv.
Marty has always imagined himself in the mold of the Herzogian mental pugilist, a fighting man's Jew and not the sissy sort who went Red or worse, ignored Al Sharpton rather than virulently disdaining him. No one seems to have mentioned to him that Herzog was fucking crazy, that behind all those verbal knees and elbows, Bellow put a sorry sack who couldn't live in the world and so conducted an epistolary hate mail campaign against it. (Even Bellow didn't know that's what he was doing.) What's left to us readers is a chicken-or-egg dilemma: was Marty crazy to begin with, or did he merely invent himself as a crazy man in order to acquire the mythic personnage of his misread favorites? Or does the latter imply the former, bringing it all to a neat, cosmic bow?
Either way, it was bad enough when Marty was but an heir-marrying multimillionaire hack editor lashing out at Yassar Arafat or other such slow-moving targets, but now he has discovered the kids' "web" "logs" and reinvented his invented self as the craziest, loudest homeless man in your respective cities, but with a thesaurus. This forum he calls The Spine, and it's represented by the icon of a book on end, which refers quite clearly in Marty's mind and style to that characteristic of manly men, though, as you'll gather by spending a few minutes actually reading what he writes over there, the more appropriate title would be "The Mouth" or better "The Bellowing Pie-Hole."
Currently, Marty is pissed that Muslims are pissed that the Pope is pissed at Muslims. At least I think that's what he's pissed about. He wanders over and pats Pope Benedict on the head for quoting a 14th-Century Byzantine Emperor on the subject of why Mohammed is a wicked S.O.B. and cavils bizarrely at the Anglican and Greek Orthodox church for having "habitually dissembled--no, lied--for the Arab cause," whatever that may mean to Marty, since two paragraphs later he's crowing about how Sunni-Shia animosities suggest--no, prove--that Islam is doomed forever to internecine violence, hardly the stuff of which a world-spanning Ummah is made. He also complains that one of the ten zillion religious militias unleashed by the Peretz-championed invasion of Iraq has called the, uh, Vicar of Christ "you dog of Rome," no worse, I note, than anything Hutton Gibson has to say about the false prophets of St. Peter's.
He is also angry that the Council on Foreign Relations has invited the Iranian President to some blab-a-thon dinner or other. In the process, he hauls out Elie Wiesel, who "was also invited. I heard about the event through a third person whom Elie had called to discuss it." That's only a prelude to what comes next, in which CFR president Richard Haass is called "a squeamish Jew," which means either that he once fainted at a bris or else that he's insufficiently bloodthirsty when it comes to Arab males. Then he says Haass was simply a patsy in some sort of elaborate Nixonian plot to invite Ahmadinejad "himself," which in turn has something to do with Larry Summers no longer holding the title, you'll pardon the expression, of Head Nigger In Charge of Harvard. Needless to say, what Marty is really talking about is the Holocaust. Even though the two nation with the most Jews on Earth, Israel and the United States, are linked as international BFFs, and even though they represent the most powerful and one of the most powerful militaries on earth, the camps and pogroms must be a heartbeat away. Of course, appeasement is exhumed, and thus does Marty write one of those killer sentences that make you glad you waded through the dreck prior:
If I had been Chamberlain, I would not have spoken with Hitler when he did.No, he probably would've delivered "a staggering roundhouse to the Fuhrer's jaw," like the comic character of Chabon's Kavalier and Clay.
Well, if Marty Peretz had been Chamberlain, he certainly would've spoken with Hitler when he did, because he would've been Chamberlain. A less sloppy writer would've said, "If I had been in Chamberlain's place," but that was probably too modest for Marty, who really does imagine himself as a world-historical figure. Lord knows, if he had been Dreyfuss, he wouldn't have taken it laying down; if he had been Christ, he'd have turned the other cheek only in order to sucker punch the fucker who hit him first; if he'd have been Moses, he'd have struck the rock contrary the word of god, and when that big pussy told him to stay the fuck out of the promised land, he'd flip him the bird and cross the Jordan, if only to wail on some proto-Arabs and teach 'em a few millennia early why no goddamn sand nigger ever, ever! throws a rock at a Jew.