31 January 2006

God is Dead But My Hair is Perfect

Or so says Bernard-Henri Lévy. Frequently referred to as BHL (so trite it induces nausea), Lévy's been traipsingng across America, first to observe us in our natural habitat, and secondly to hump the book he wrote about it. Here at the Farm we love opinionated writing, even if it comes from one of our favorite enigmas. In this case, Garrison Keillor (via the NYT) takes Mr Sophistication down a few notches.
(Lévy) blows a radiator writing about baseball - "this sport that contributes to establishing people's identities and that has truly become part of their civic and patriotic religion, which is baseball" - and when, visiting Cooperstown ("this new Nazareth"), he finds out that Commissioner Bud Selig once laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington, where Abner Doubleday is also buried, Lévy goes out of his mind. An event important only to Selig and his immediate family becomes, to Lévy, an official proclamation "before the eyes of America and the world" of Abner as "the pope of the national religion . . .
It's a pretty good fisking of an easy mark; the French intellectual. Lévy's style, misconceptions and tunnel vision beg to be dissected by someone who can conjure the proper tone and Keillor delivers. Gotta say this about Keillor, when he's not all wrapped up in bile, he's in touch, and he gets it.

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