Friday, December 26, 2008
Frontpage dragged down by a PC MC undertow
I used to support Frontpage without reservation. Over the past few months, however, I have been increasingly dismayed by its tendency to show signs of PC MC—mostly in terms of the “Great Brown Hope”—i.e., the hope that a sufficient number of Muslims around the world will become (or already are) reformists and, as such, will help to save us from the problem of Islam. The list of Muslim “reformers” displayed on the lower left of the front page of Frontpage is just one example of this tendency, about which I have written before, here and here.
One of the major problems with Frontpage lies with the opinions of its main editor, Jamie Glazov. More evidence of this I noticed was supplied in a Jihad Watch comments thread by a reader, “Wild Jew”.
Basically, I see this phenomenon as exhibiting a specific dynamic of asymptotic analysis, what in my title I refer to as the “undertow”. Asymptotic analysis inhabits an unstable field bounded at both ends, so to speak—“top” and “bottom”—by two vectors. The upper vector draws the asymptotic analyst toward the holistic position. The lower vector exerts a drag that not only tends to prevent him from graduating to the holistic position, but also tends to pull him down into the field below—that of PC MC. Most asymptotic analysts seem to resist the pull of both vectors, maintaining a kind of limbo in between (which many of them seem to interpret as a kind of realistic centrism or an actually ethical stance short of the dreadful “slippery slope”—or sometimes a more or less incoherent mishmash of both realism and ethics). Most often, the asymptotic analysts are not occupying the same exact coordinate on the asymptotic spectrum, but rather seem to be apportioned out, some relatively closer to the holistic position, some relatively closer to PC MC.
Daniel Pipes is rather on the low end, sometimes accruing an aura of being asymptotic only by virtue of the opprobrium he earns from the PC MC crowd. Both he and Frontpage, I tentatively conclude, in effect have succumbed to the “undertow” and, at best, their legs are being pulled under into the PC MC depth—if they have not entirely acclimated themselves to that murky, subaquatic environment already, swimming with the sharks, the Muslim “reformers”, whom they deem to be harmless fish or perhaps charming dolphins, but whose ravenous menace is all the more dangerous for their sirenic allure of an incredible mermaid that would draw the reckless to shipwreck.
At any rate, I have seen one too many disquieting remark or essay on Frontpage, and for what it’s worth (probably just a symbolic gesture, but principled nonetheless), I can no longer in good conscience support them, since I must take a stand for what in my estimation is not pulling our civilization down but what must be done to keep it afloat out of the water, on board the H.M.S. Hesperado, avoiding the titanic mistake of trusting any Muslim at all. And in that spirit I have hereby eliminated my link to Frontpage (which I had named “alternative news”) from my blogroll here.
What this portends for Robert Spencer—with his close relationship to David Horowitz who captains the helm of Frontpage (and, for that matter, for Horowitz and Jamie Glazov too)—is unclear at the moment, during which, suspended as we in the anti-Islamic movement are in relatively inchoate incoherence, it is difficult to tell just where the Gentlemen's Agreement of silence begins, and where a useful line in the sand ends.
For more analysis on the Pipes Dream variant of Glazovianism, see my comment to the reader “Anonymous” in the comments section below.
To read part 2, click here.