February 8th, 2007


Two conversations that are somehow partly the same

There is a very impressive Jonathan Lethem piece on originality and copyright here which interestingly coincides with what I say in Superheroes about the overrating of originality.

There is also an interesting conversation going on in jennyo about the performative self which overlaps more than one might think with Lethem's topic.

One area in which it overlaps is the role of the unconscious - I don't think I've told the story of how I was reading a crime anthology Virago were about to publish and spotted that an Elizabeth George novella was an expansion of the storyline of a Frederic Brown short short story. I don't for a second think she was plagiarizing, nor that it was mere coincidence, nor that it was an overt homage - she had read the Brown, forgotten it, and wrote a story which opened out characters who in the hundred and fifty word original had hardly existed. And in that situation, who loses?

(no subject)

Things have moved on to a quite remarkable extent if the often odiously wrong-headed Sullivan has moved away from the war he once supported so far that he says this about the Libby trial:

Why would he (Cheney) be scared? The most plausible inference is that he knew he had deliberately rigged the WMD evidence to ensure that the war took place. He knew, even if the president was blithely convinced otherwise, that the WMD evidence was weak, and his success in distorting the evidence was threatened by Wilson. Not that Wilson had all the goods - Cheney must have known this was a minor matter. It was the danger that journalists or skeptics pulling on the thread that Wilson represented could get closer to the much bigger truth of WMD deception. This is a huge deal for one single reason: if true, it means that the White House acted in bad faith in making the case for war. There is no graver charge than that. In fact, if true, it's impeachable.

At greater length here

This still does not excuse Sullivan's original support for the war and a whole bunch of other rightwing idiocies on his part, but I am intrigued that the impeachment meme has moved so far into discourse.