Jan 202003

self-portraitHe died just shy of 100, the greatest and best-known caricaturist of the 20th century, and he drew until the very end. It is odd to say he was underrated, but familiarity bred, if not contempt, then more familiarity and when you saw him every week in the Sunday Times it was easy to forget what a master of line and tone he was, how much he could do with how little.

Early in his career Hirschfeld dated his drawings. When his daughter Nina was born in 1945 he started hiding her name several times in each drawing; NINA-hunting became a popular sport, so he put the number of NINAs next to his signature instead of the date. One day a devoted fan complained to Hirschfeld that of 43 NINAs she could find only 29. (Howard Owens also has a few words.)

Jan 202003

ANSWER, of the pro-Milosevic, pro-Kim-Jong-il, pro-socialist, pro-mass-murder agenda, organizes a rally against war on Iraq. If you march, how much ancillary support do you give to ANSWER?

Oliver Willis and others who say “none” are surely wrong. The point of a rally is the crowd. When you join a crowd you become of the crowd; you put away individual things. Careful intellectual discriminations are not included with the package. Bigger crowds mean more publicity for ANSWER, and all publicity, as bloggers know better than anyone, is good publicity.

Tacitus says “complete” and Megan McArdle almost agrees. They’re wrong too. More accurately, you support the views for which the organizers are widely known. You can hardly be held responsible for their secret (or at least obscure) views. This is why the analogy Megan gives, of a KKK-sponsored rally for abandoned puppies, is tendentious. The Klan is properly associated in the minds of most of us with white supremacism, not animal welfare.

If you attend a rally, you don’t support, in any significant way, the views the organizers hold. What you do support, besides the views for which they’re already known, is the views that they express that day. And if you marched at the anti-war rally you supported various nasty strains of loopy anti-Americanism. Jim Henley can wave his “PEACE NOW SOCIALISM NEVER” sign as vigorously as he likes, but this weekend he, and all the others of similar convictions who marched, gave aid and comfort to the people that they profess to despise, just the same.