October 29, 2010

Something Wonderful: Richard Fernandez in Prose Plus Video

Any intelligent person who absorbed even a smidgen of the near-decade's worth of essays by Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club would conclude the man's talent verges on genius. He's a Swiss-Army Knife essayist with no subject seemingly beyond his ken. To list the number of essays he's written that engage and enlighten and entertain all at the same time would be beyond most readers' capacity to scroll.

In the last year or so, Fernandez has also added the ability to include embedded videos not just as illustrations of his points, or keynotes from which he writes, but as integrated portions of the essay without which the essay itself would be incomplete. The latest of many examples is found in today's Belmont Club » Revolt on the Left. Here's the end of the essay where the video keys directly off the last sentence and takes the essay and the possibilities it suggests into whole new realms. Read it through and then play the video and you'll see what I mean.

Fernandez is one of those rare talents who can take an ossified form (in this case the essay which has been around since well before Montaigne) and suddenly make it new. Worth learning from.... if you ask me.

"The trend and worldview Obama represents is deeply embedded by now in America. If Bill Clinton thinks he can blast it out of the Democratic Party, remove the growth that has been yearly increasing since 1968, then good luck to him. But Clinton represents demographic forces too, dating back from before the sixties and born of normal expectations every year. They are the kind of Democrats of whom Limbaugh said: they "may have problems with this country, but don't want to see it destroyed."
"It is far from clear who will emerge victorious in the Clinton vs Obama wars. What is certain is that the low-income Democrats will not, not while the struggle for the party remains between the elites. In Trotsky vs Stalin, to use an historical parallel, Ivan is never a candidate. Whoever wins, it won't be Ivan. How can they put him on the ballot? Answer: with great difficulty.
"Whereas tea-party type movements can easily spring up among politically inactive conservatives working mostly at day jobs, spontaneous movements are harder to organize within the left because the grassroots channel is already pre-emptively filled and watched jealously by professional militants, from labor union operatives to community organizers to advocacy groups. Tea Parties in conservative populations arise at need among a yeomanry in a relative vacuum. Tea Party groups arising on the left must struggle to survive in a Darwinian ecosystem of activism.
"Still the seeds of discontent are there. If the Clinton challenge to Obama emerges openly it will momentarily legitimize all kinds of insurrectionary initiatives. In that hiatus the ordinary guy in the Democratic Party will have his chance; start to rethink his party, examine alternatives, independent of factions. It will be clear when that instant comes. While it is not here yet, the struggle of the Democratic grassroots to chart a future independently of their main factions isn't hopeless. Once it gets started all kinds of unanticipated, almost emergent events are possible. Suppose there were more than two possible outcomes in a political alignment. More than Brand Clinton and Brand Obama? Suppose, for example, there were 216? Now suppose there were millions of possibilities."

Posted by Vanderleun at October 29, 2010 10:47 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Like American Digest, The Belmont Club is one of my daily reads.
Keep up the great work.

Posted by: Uncle Jefe at October 29, 2010 3:05 PM


Posted by: Jose M. Guardia at October 30, 2010 12:40 AM

In general, because of my satellite internet connection, videos are lost on me. The great majority of youtube videos do not play correctly.

Posted by: Pete Madsen at October 30, 2010 11:19 AM