Friday, October 30, 2015

Benevolent Authoritarian Reviews

         Amused to pieces by an Amazon review that complains about After Nature's support for democracy and asserts, "An authoritarian leader with a real commitment to solving these problems could be more effective," I decided to apply the benevolent authoritarian standard to a sample of reviews and commentary.

      Other Amazon review: “What this pattern-weave bathmat lacks is a commitment to benevolent authoritarianism. Three stars.”

            Yelp review of new Thai restaurant: "I liked the drunken noodles, and the appetizers came out quickly; but the service showed a distinct lack of grit; I left still hungry for the feel of the iron fist within the velvet glove. Two stars."

RateMyProfessor Review of male professor: “Obviously very knowledgeable, even though he couldn’t always answer our questions.  Sometimes intimidating, but that’s his job! LOL Didn’t beat us enough, though.  Three stars.”

            RateMyProfessor Review of female professor: “Great shoes!  Didn’t seem self-confident, sometimes couldn’t answer our questions, which made wonder if she’s really an expert.  LOL. Didn’t beat us enough.  Two stars.”

            David Brooks column: Will you people please tell me how to live my life meaningfully, already?  Have I mentioned that freedom is a burden?  I’m giving you all two stars; no, three, because I’m still the friendly conservative.

Yelp review of old Chinese restaurant: “The egg rolls were fine.  Nice to have forks as well as chopsticks.  The General Tsao’s Chicken did not lay to waste my stomach and burn the fields of my intestines, nor did it build a new society on the ashes.  Three stars.”

            Focus-group review of Bernie Sanders debate performance: “Liked his clear talk about inequality, political corruption, prison reform.  Felt good to be harangued a little.  But I was really hoping a so-called socialist would assign me a job and tell me which uniform to wear to work.  They don’t make ‘em like they used to! Two-and-a-half stars.”

            Focus-group review of Donald Trump’s campaign: Five stars.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Postmodernist Hulk prove you always already smashed.

Foucaultian Hulk interpellate you to smash self, agonizingly, invisibly.

Marxist Hulk smash bourgeois state. Marxian Hulk take long view, dissect changing means and relations of production, new class formations.

David Brooks Hulk: last good smash was Princeton class of 1910. We are Hulks with hollow chests. Email Hulk tips on living with your green self.

Ross Douthat Hulk: Do not make me moral panic. You not like me moral panicked.

Antonin Scalia Hulk smash how Founding Fathers smashed.

Historian Hulk smash contingently; how differently it might all have turned out! Too late: all is smashed.

Hobbesian Hulk rationally smash first.

Humean Hulk have always smashed before, but maybe not this morning.

Kantian Hulk not understand moral formula whether or not to smash. Kantian Hulk head hurt.

Walt Whitman Hulk smash multitudes.

Emily Dickinson Hulk contemplate mote of dust, beam of light, ephemeral insect, and fleeting feeling: impulse - to smash -!.

Academic Hulk table smashing motion pending re-consideration by committee.

Hillary Clinton Hulk, given what we now know, could not prudently endorse own earlier smashing.