Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cohoon the Prophet

A letter to the editor published in the Kitsap Sun today is an almost perfect illustration of the snobbish attitude of many people on the left end of the political spectrum. (Having read other letters from this same fellow, I can attest to the fact that he is a leftist.)

Troy and the Track

The tragedy of this letter to local NASCAR promoters is that they won’t get my literary reference. Like Cassandra’s at Troy, my warnings against bringing NASCAR into Kitsap County will go unheeded. NASCAR fans won’t get it. It won’t matter one whit that the reference comes from one of the earliest and most important literary underpinnings of Western Culture.

I’m talking, of course, about Homer’s Illiad — but I doubt many NASCAR fans will have even heard of it, let alone read and understood it.

And that’s the problem. When I say I can’t talk to those people, this is what I mean. They’ve become too culturally vapid to fully grasp the erosion of Western values and tradition represented in everything associated with NASCAR.

They’ll argue with typical anti-intellectual verve that we’ve moved on to new values. Tragically, they’re right. We have so removed ourselves from our cultural heritage that we do, indeed, now celebrate the inane and glory in the worthless. We have cut ourselves off from our roots and are now adrift in a world of valueless bread and circuses.

I must warn you all, and please believe me, not to bring that NASCAR horse inside the walls or the destruction of all we hold dear is assured.

John C. Cohoon

What a surprise: He can't talk to "those people." I wonder why. Could it be that "those people" don't take kindly to having him look down his nose at them while he's talking?

Cassandra was cursed, so that she had the gift of prophecy but no one would believe her.

Cohoon isn't cursed -- he just has a tragic flaw, i.e., an overweening pride.

Cassandra's prophecy regarding the Trojan horse isn't mentioned in Homer's Iliad. It's in a work done by a Roman several hundred years later -- Virgil's Aeneid.

In his effort to portray himself as a person who is far more culturally refined and educated than "those people," Cohoon's tragic flaw led him to reveal his own carelessness. Had he spent a few minutes checking to see which work of literature told the story to which he wanted to refer, he wouldn't have made such an obvious mistake.

Has he also been careless in forming his opinion about the proposal to build a NASCAR speedway in Kitsap county?

The smart money would bet on "yes." Cohoon's dogmatic approach to most issues ordinarily mutes the impact of the facts on the formation of his opinions. His tragic flaw simply makes matters worse.


Blogger Nathan said...

How utterly asinine. These people call neocons imperialists, but they think absolutely nothing of foisting their own brand of cultural enlightenment off on the rural savages.

Such arrogance offends me.

January 13, 2006 7:12 PM  

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