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I Don't Want to Pick on Jonah Goldberg...
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I don’t want
to
pick on Jonah Goldberg – he’s an insightful and often funny guy –
but in his string of attacks on post-modernists, he keeps missing the
most amusing ironies. Here,
he dumps on a Harvard professor with the wonderful Arabian Nights
name of Homi Bhabha. Homi Bhabha (I just love saying that name)
is a hot "post-colonial theorist" who has an even more muddled
prose style than is normal for the breed. What Jonah doesn’t realize is
that Homi Bhabha is a fellow conservative. (Read
this NYT article carefully.

This fabulously rich
Parsi
from Bombay writes in such a tortured prose style to cover up
his commonsensical dissent from the Edward
Said-orthodoxy
of his field. Unlike Said, who denounces Europeans
who write about Arabs to cover up how embarrassed he is by his fellow
Arabs, as a Parsi, Homhi Bhabha simply doesn’t feel like purely a victim
of colonialism. His remarkably
intelligent race of Zoroastrians
(they are to South Asia what
Hungarian Jews were to pre-Holocaust Europe) did very well for
themselves under the British as industrialists, although British racial
snobbery was no doubt galling. In fact, a Parsi was elected to
Parliament as a Tory M.P. from the English Home Counties in the 1890s!
To Homi Bhabha, it’s obvious that colonialism wasn’t all bad, and that
Said’s model of the world is stupid. But he’s too smart and too
careerist to come out and say it clearly.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)