Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Worm Curls Up (Updated)

I had thought of giving this column a good fisking, but then I found this quote today while rereading Twilight of the Idols, and I decided it says everything that needs to be said:

When it is trodden on a worm will curl up. That is prudent. It thereby reduces the chance of being trodden on again. In the language of morals: humility. --Nietzsche

Update: Jeff Jacoby reports on a group of worms who earn a higher status by being honest about their "prudence". To be completely fair, though, the lead should have been taken by the larger media outlets, like the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, LA Times, Boston Globe, CNN, Fox, New York Post, etc. Had those outlets published unexpurgated images of the cartoons, the smaller media outlets would have felt safe enough to follow suit. To date, I only know of three US papers that have published the cartoons: The New York Sun, the Rocky Mountain News and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Not to slight them, but none of them are referred to as the "Newspaper of Record." Maintaining such a designation, though, requires a commitment to fearless reporting, so it looks as though the title might be up for grabs.

Update II: Some cartoons targeting "Muslim rage".


Daniel said...

You said some of the things I said. And used one of my all-time favorite philosophers to say it! (Nietzsche--ubermensch). Too cool.

Ardsgaine said...

Thanks, Daniel. Nietzsche is not my absolute favorite, but he can be good at times. I find him best when he is criticizing those things which need criticizing, as in the above case. He had a vague emotional grasp of a (he would hate the word) virtuous way of living, but he was not able to put together a coherent set of principles to support it. He reminds me of another writer I enjoy a great deal, Mark Twain. Both could be absolutely scathing in critiquing the world around them, but I think the tragedy of their lives is that they never found a way to satisfactorily resolve the problems they saw so clearly.