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Michael Berube on the Race Donnybrook that Would Not Die

Filed under: The Squib Report   Tagged:

Martin Schneider writes:

I've been a fan of Michael Bérubé's since I was in college (graduated 1992), and was charmed to have a brief exchange with him several years ago about an essay of his that apparently only I liked, about 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which he argues persuasively that the extremely common default reading of the movie, which involves some variation on the idea that HAL "goes crazy," is indisputably contradicted by virtually everything that happens in the movie, and that the movie is really a political movie about the Cold War military-industrial complex. It's an eye-opener.

Anyway. Bérubé's exhaustively hyper-droll style always brings a smile to my face, even when he writes 2-3 times more than my attention span can handle (he kissed the Blarney Stone). Today he turns his attention to his only appearance in The New Yorker, a relatively dusty (1995) look at Cornel West and a few other African-American intellectuals who became more prominent in the mid-1990s.

Be forewarned; his post of today is not for everybody. I like Bérubé because he chases down a lot of nuance in people's arguments that other writers wouldn't bother with; plus he's funny in a way that no academic of my knowledge is. But not everyone will take him the same way.

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