Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Humpty-Dumpty is the familiar example of the clown unsuccessfully imitating the acrobat. ... The integral and unified egg had no business sitting on the wall anyway. Walls are made of uniformly fragmented bricks that arise with specialisms and bureaucracies. They are the deadly enemies of integral beings like eggs. Humpty-Dumpty met the challenge of the wall with a spectacular collapse.
- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, Ch. 19
(The theme for the old Space Ghost is playing right now. Somehow it seems to work perfectly for Goldberg criticism.)
McLuhan wrote this in the 1960s, but he seems to have been writing a cautionary tale for wingnut welfare recipients - like Jonah Goldberg ... and all other conservatives who are primarily supported by nepotism and think tanks - who start to believe the ranting rattling around in their echo chamber.
Jonah is Humpty-Dumpty. "Sitting on the wall" means "writing a history book." "The acrobat" means "the historian." "Uniformly fragmented bricks" means "facts, historical integrity and intellectual honesty."
And that explains why Jonah Goldberg had a great fall.
Marshall McLuhan. A great man, truly ahead of his time.
Update: One more Sadly, No! post on the sad, sorry Jonah Goldberg affair.