Category Archives: Social Commentary

Are Jews Too Smart For Their Own Good?


it is precisely the weirdness of Meon Nara that proves the stubbornness and ubiquity of the ugly ideological weed we call anti-Semitism. It is a weed most commonly found among those desperate for scapegoats — such as failed Muslim societies and impoverished communist dictatorships. But South Korea ranks among the most dynamic, successful and well educated nations on Earth. The fact that Rhie’s comic could become a best-seller in this sort of locale provides bizarre but convincing proof of Ruth Wisse’s famous description of anti-Semitism as “the most successful ideology of the 20th century.”

Why won’t anti-Semitism die? The Muslim world’s bloodthirsty demonization of Israel and the Jews who inhabit it obviously plays a major role. But another factor — which is more relevant in capitalist, secular nations such as Korea — is that Rhie’s caricature of the all-powerful Jew, like all stereotypes and prejudices, has a tiny grain of truth behind it.

In The Eye Of The Beholder

While I take Virginia Postrel’s general point that beauty is as genetic as any other attribute, I think that there’s a slight category error here, in that it is much more subjective than the other characteristics (taller, more agile, smarter). For this reason, we have a better shot at all being beautiful, since it might be possible to be beautiful to someone, and this isn’t subject to objective dispute.


This story, about parents who believe that discipline doesn’t work, reminds me of the Simpsons episode about the young Ned Flanders and his (speaking of the sixties) hippie/beatnik parents:

Dr. Foster: Would you please tell your son to stop?

Ned’s Dad: We can’t do it, man! That’s discipline! That’s like tellin’ Gene Krupa not to go [starts banging on the desk] “boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom boom bam ba ba ba ba, da boo boo tss!”

Ned’s Dad: We don’t believe in rules, like, we gave them up when we started livin’ like freaky beatniks!

Dr. Foster: You don’t believe in rules, yet you want to control Ned’s anger.

Ned’s Mom: Yeah. You gotta help us, Doc. We’ve tried nothin’ and we’re all out of ideas.