Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Elves, Hobbyhorses and Reindeer of the Apocalypse

In time for the Christmas season, Hugh Fitzgerald has resurrected in a post on today’s Jihad Watch, after quite a long absence, his “Esdrujula Elves”—or, rather, what he terms his “Esdrujula Explanation” (although that is a misnomer, since it does not explain the phenomenon it purports to explain, but only highlights it). The Elves in question have been christened by Hugh as Timidity, Stupidity, Cupidity and Rigidity.

I wrote about Hugh’s pointlessly busy little elves in a post back in June of this year, in which I pointed out, among other things:

“With astonishingly uncharacteristic simple-mindedness, thus, Mr. Fitzgerald writes:

The three words that compose the Esdrujula Explanation—timidity, stupidity, cupidity—explain the folly. When it comes to the widespread inability to grasp the the promptings, the instruments, the full menace of Jihad—those three words usually do.

(Some time later, Hugh added a fourth little elf—Rigidity.)

As I explained in that prior post:

“This, alas, is an explanation too handy and facile, in my estimation. . . as though the entire stupendously sprawling problem of the Western inability to recognize the problem of Islam were reducible to mere character flaws.”

This has not prevented Hugh from reviving his trope, his Four Hobbyhorses of the Apocalypse—or perhaps Four Reindeer of the Apocalypse, for the season ‘tis (albeit with less appealing names than Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph)—as a way to explain Jack Straw, Justice Secretary for Great Britain, and his idiotic public and official remarks about how beneficial it would be for Europe to admit Turkey into the EU.

Hugh also posits that Mr. Straw is “nearly insane”—another superficial diagnosis of a symptom, but just as with his Esdrujula Elves, not a substantive explanation for why someone in such a prominent position and as obviously well-educated as Mr. Straw believes the idiotic things he does.

Hugh concludes his otherwise spot-on analysis of what Mr. Straw is neglecting thus:

Esdrujula Explanation. Timidity. Rigidity. Cupidity. And what's that other one? I keep forgetting, but it's the most important one of all.

Yes. Right.

To which one must say: Well, yes of course, “right”: Timidity, Rigidity, Cupidity, and the one left, with dry verve, rhetorically absent—Stupidity—do eminently suffice to characterize Jack Straw (and all the other millions of Jack Straws throughout the West); but they do nothing to explain him.

And so.

No. Wrong.

No comments: