Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Lee Siegel is Still Pissed Off!

The NYT’s reviews his book:

One of the oldest and soundest rules in intellectual life is “never get in a parsing contest with a skunk.” It is a principle that the lively, intelligent, combative cultural critic Lee Siegel forgot in autumn 2006, when he gave in to the temptation to respond to comments about him posted on his blog at The New Republic’s Web site. Some of the comments were anonymous and abusive — featuring allegations of chromosomal deficiencies and pedophilia — and Siegel replied under the pseudonym “sprezzatura,” praising his own work and denouncing his critics (“You couldn’t tie Siegel’s shoelaces”). When it emerged that Siegel was sprezzatura, he was pilloried in the blogosphere, suspended by The New Republic and, “in good American fashion,” he writes, rewarded with the opportunity “to write the book on Web culture that I’d long wanted to write.”

Under the circumstances, no one would expect that new book, “Against the Machine,” to be a valentine to the Internet. The book describes itself, in its first sentence, as being “about the way the Internet is reshaping our thoughts about ourselves, other people and the world around us.” The view it takes of that reshaping is an angry, dark one. Siegel sees the Internet as “the first social environment to serve the needs of the isolated, elevated, asocial individual.” “Against the Machine” sets out to explore the consequences of that fact.

Well, I guess I should feel suitably chastised. But, coming from Siegel, I don’t.

Lee, you need to get over it!


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