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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<sob><sniff> Not that any of you toadying lackeys of the capitalist overlords really care. <whimper>

But she died today at age 71 of leukemia. She was to lefties what Ayn Rand is to conservatives.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Here is the "leading intellectual" after 9/11/2001:

Susan Sontag, The New Yorker, September 24, 2001



The disconnect between last Tuesday's monstrous dose of reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by public figures and TV commentators is startling, depressing. The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public. Where is the acknowledgement that this was not a "cowardly" attack on "civilization" or "liberty" or "humanity" or "the free world" but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed super-power, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word "cowardly" is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday's slaughter, they were not cowards.

Our leaders are bent on convincing us that everything is O.K. America is not afraid. Our spirit is unbroken, although this was a day that will live in infamy and America is now at war. But everything is not O.K. And this was not Pearl Harbor. We have a robotic president who assures us that America stands tall. A wide spectrum of public figures, in and out of office, who are strongly opposed to the policies being pursued abroad by this Administration apparently feel free to say nothing more than that they stand united behind President Bush. A lot of thinking needs to be done, and perhaps is being done in Washington and elsewhere, about the ineptitude of American intelligence and counter-intelligence, about options available to American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and about what constitutes a smart program of military defense. But the public is not being asked to bear much of the burden of reality. The unanimously applauded, self-congratulatory bromides of a Soviet Party Congress seemed contemptible. The unanimity of the sanctimonious, reality-concealing rhetoric spouted by American officials and media commentators in recent days seems, well, unworthy of a mature democracy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep. And upon a close reading of that that the only part I really disagree with is the part referring to bomber crews as cowards. The rest I think stands up well.

Typical Sontag. She was a great admirer of George Orwell, and harshly intolerant of media and governmental manipulation of the populace through the use of today's Newspeak. And she didn't care who she angered when doing so.

Although the work of hers I like the best is apolitical, "Illness as Metaphor", a book-length essay on the beliefs underlying how our society deals with HIV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She wasn't that well known. Darling of the leftist intelligencia. Her works were difficult, and she was ruthless in her intellectual rigor. Check out the extract Custer cited: She's not exactly pandering to her audience.

http://www.susansontag.com/biography.htm
 

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Now she knows the truth.
 

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I seen the news clip, but also never heard of her.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Novelist, radical Susan Sontag, 71, dies in New York



From combined dispatches
Susan Sontag, a critic, novelist and essayist who blamed America for the September 11 terror attacks and once declared that "the white race is the cancer of human history," died in New York yesterday at age 71.
Mrs. Sontag died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. The hospital did not release the cause of death, although Mrs. Sontag was first treated for breast cancer in the 1970s.
Mrs. Sontag was 31 when her essay "Notes on 'Camp' " established her as a prominent critic. Her essays on art, culture and politics were published in influential journals, including the New York Review of Books.


"The white race is the cancer of human history," she wrote in a 1967 essay in Partisan Review. "It is the white race and it alone ? its ideologies and inventions ? which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself."
Such comments led novelist Tom Wolfe to dismiss Mrs. Sontag as "just another scribbler who spent her life signing up for protest meetings and lumbering to the podium encumbered by her prose style, which had a handicapped parking sticker valid at Partisan Review."
An outspoken admirer of communist revolutionaries, including Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh and Cuba's Fidel Castro, Mrs. Sontag was a fierce opponent of U.S. foreign policy. She angered many Americans in 2001 when, less than two weeks after the terrorist hijackings of September 11, she wrote an article that suggested the United States deserved to be attacked.
"Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a 'cowardly' attack on 'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world,' " Mrs. Sontag wrote, "but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?"
She added: "In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of [the September 11] slaughter, they were not cowards."
In 2000, Mrs. Sontag won the National Book Award for the historical novel "In America."
Born Susan Rosenblatt in New York in 1933, she later described her childhood as "one long prison sentence." Her father died when she was 5, and her mother later married an Army officer, Capt. Nathan Sontag.
At age 17, she married social psychologist Philip Rieff, then 28, just 10 days after meeting him at the University of Chicago. The couple had a son, David, born in 1952, but divorced in the 1960s. In later years, she described her lesbian relationship with photographer Annie Leibowitz as "an open secret."
Ex-radical author David Horowitz noted yesterday that in 1969, he published the Sontag essay, "On the Right Way (For Us) to Love the Cuban Revolution" in Ramparts magazine.
"There is no right way to love the Cuban Revolution. That was my second thought. It's a pity [Mrs. Sontag] never had second thoughts, too," Mr. Horowitz said.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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I believe in the soul, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, [and] that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap."
-- Kevin Costner, Bull Durham
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Custer, at one time or another, Ms. Sontag said something that annoyed just about everyone - including lefties, whom she took to task for turning a blind eye to communist oppression in Eastern Europe.

I haven't read the article on how to love the Cuban Revolution. Could be interesting. Aviator and I have gone back and forth over this a zillion times: I could easily love the Cuban Revolution that tossed the corrupt, oppressive, and humiliating Batista regime out. But I can only loathe the Castroists who subsequently betrayed that revolution.

And as regards her novels being "self-indulgent over-rated crap", that's an accurate take. They suck. But her essays are brilliant, and one need not agree with their content entirely. Wheat and chaff and all that; I think she would have been annoyed had anyone ever completely agreed with her on anything! What I can't figure is that she thought of herself primarily as a novelist - and everyone else in the world, even her fans, thought that her essays were much much better.

FYI, her conservative counterpart, Ayn Rand, also has to be taken with a grain of salt. If you take her uncritically swallow all that Ayn Rand has to say, you end up adopting the philosophy of a psychopath.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Too many of our generation are locked into the celebrities of the 60's. Their ideas sounded great to 19 year olds but don't wear well over the years especially to people who did not come of age in that era. Apparently it does fuel a lucrative nostalgia business.

My tastes run more to someone like Thomas Sowell rather than Rand but she is ok.
 

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Custer said:
Too many of our generation are locked into the celebrities of the 60's. Their ideas sounded great to 19 year olds but don't wear well over the years especially to people who did not come of age in that era. Apparently it does fuel a lucrative nostalgia business.

My tastes run more to someone like Thomas Sowell rather than Rand but she is ok.
Sowell and Walter E. Williams.
 
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