History’s Greatest Martyr: The Sociological Significance of it All

This collection of quotes from Robert Bork, the towering intellect whose defeated Supreme Court nomination was the greatest injustice in known human history, is another sad manifestation in the politics of personal destruction.  If there’s a dirtier form of politics that quoting Bork’s own words, I don’t know what it is.

And they actually left out one of the choicest ones:

Sooner of later censorship is going to have to be considered as popular culture continues plunging to ever more sickening lows…It is possible to argue for censorship…on the ground that in a republican form of government where the people rule, it is crucial that the character of the citizenry not be debased…Can there be any doubt that as pornography and depictions of violence become increasingly popular and increasingly accessible, attitudes about marriage, fidelity, divorce, obligations to children, the use of force, and permissible public behavior and language will change?…It would be better, I think, to drop the word “feminism” because the movement no longer has a constructive role to play; its work is done. There are no artificial barriers left to women’s achievement.”

But, clearly, Bork’s belief that the government had wide latitude to suppress artistic expression would not have affected his 1st Amendment jurisprudence! And his belief that gender inequality ended the day the 19th Amendment was ratified would not have affected his 14th Amendment jurisprudence, which would have remained as scrupulously apolitical as Antonin Scalia’s! And he was such a charming person to have a martini with at a restricted club, not like that shrill Sonia Sotomayor!

48 comments on this post.
  1. Todd:

    BTW: Shorter Wayne LaPierre today:

    Stuff the schools to the rafters with guns and give me federal money to do it. Oh, and screw Hollywood, or something.

  2. sharculese:

    Christ, what an asshole.

  3. Uncle Kvetch:

    “Canada, for example, one of the five richest countries in the world, is torn and may be destroyed by what, to the outsider, look like utterly senseless ethnic animosities.”

    “some of the worst rappers are white, like Nine Inch Nails”

    “Radical feminists concede that there are two sexes, but they usually claim there are five genders. Though the list varies somewhat, a common classification is men, women, lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.”

    I’ll be honest — I always knew he was loathsome, but I never realized he was also fucking hilarious.

  4. mark f:

    Well, rock ‘n’ roll still had some melody and I don’t think it could express a lot of emotions that the music before that could express. But it still had some melody and some distinction. And the melody gradually dropped out until we just have this rap.

    A lot of people comfort themselves with the thought that this is confined to the black community, but that’s not true — some of the worst rappers are white, like Nine Inch Nails.

    I wanna fuck you like a walrus
    I wanna feel you from the inside

  5. c u n d gulag:

    This collection of quotes from Robert Bork, the towering intellect Tower of Babel of Conservitive Bullsh*t, and soulless mental defective…

    There – fixed it.

  6. sharculese:

    some of the worst rappers are white, like Nine Inch Nails

    A couple of years ago I saw an article that tried to delineate naming trends in various subgenres of rock. One of the claims was that shoegaze bands like one syllable names. After realizing that Ride and Lush don’t constitute a trend, the author added Blur to the list rather than admit the idea was completely fucking stupid.

    Anyway the point is that that was probably the worst misidentification of a band I had ever seen until I saw this.

  7. Deggjr:

    How about “abusive litigation” and “big damage awards” are “national problems” that fall squarely within the commerce power because they are “having a profoundly adverse impact on interstate commerce.” http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-1995-03-09/html/CREC-1995-03-09-pt1-PgS3691-6.htm.

    Of course, Bork wrote this before he sued the Yale Club for $1M after falling off a stage. Apparently Bork was at least partially successful in collecting.

  8. Lecturer:

    That kind of cluelessness actually makes me think of Allan Bloom’s obsessing about The Rolling Stones and their influence on college campuses in 1987.

  9. L2P:

    Truly, the worst possible way to give a false picture of anyone’s beliefs is to quote that person in detail.

  10. Uncle Kvetch:

    After realizing that Ride and Lush don’t constitute a trend

    You could throw in Curve…and it would still be dumb.

  11. Vance Maverick:

    Is there any standpoint from which one could convincingly argue cultural decline? Has anyone ever mounted such an argument without revealing a self-invalidating lack of interest or engagement in the supposedly inferior cultural phase?

  12. John:

    I had thought that Blur’s first album was somewhat shoegazy, if not fully within the genre.

  13. Joe:

    Stop “Borking” him aka quoting him.

  14. Tyto:

    Well, Steel Wheels was no Exile on Main Street…

  15. Manju:

    “some of the worst rappers are white, like Nine Inch Nails”

    If only he’d said “Vanilla Ice”. That would’ve changed everything.

  16. DrDick:

    Or every conservative commentator talking about the Beatles throughout the 1960s.

  17. DrDick:

    Would have had the advantage of actually being true.

  18. DrDick:

    Let’s be clear here. It is always unfair to use a conservative’s own words or positions to characterize them.

  19. sibusisodan:

    Dangit. Beat me to it.

    Can I also highlight this, if only to indicate that the esteemed gentleman was evidently master of the euphemism:

    there on the public access channel was a voluptuous young woman, naked, her body oiled, writhing on the floor while fondling herself intimately…. I watched for some time–-riveted by the sociological significance of it all.

  20. cpinva:

    i believe that would be showing unedited video of mitt romney speaking, anywhere. or quoting, verbatim, the republican party platform. or quoting, verbatim, rush limbaugh, bill o’reilly, sean hannity, ann coulter, michelle malkin, et al.

    If there’s a dirtier form of politics that quoting Bork’s own words, I don’t know what it is.

    actually, it would be having the indecency to quote any republican, anywhere, anytime. those are not meant to be factual statements.

  21. spencer:

    Are they just hypotheticals instead?

  22. gocart mozart:

    alt.sex is on the Internet. That’s a category. They have a variety of things under alt.sex, which is alternative sex. Particularly horrifying was this alt.sex.stories. I don’t know how to work the Internet yet, but I did that research. I found it written up.

    Ha!
    also this

    The very fact that we have gone from Elvis to Snoop Doggy Dogg is the heart of the case for censorship.

  23. MAJeff:

    Please tell us alt.sex has nothing to do with dildos or lumberjacks. That would ruin christmas.

  24. sibusisodan:

    The only thing which could have made it even more special is if he’d quoted a British judge at the end: ‘is this the kind of thing you would want your wife or servants to read?’

  25. Malaclypse:

    alt.sex is on the Internet. That’s a category. They have a variety of things under alt.sex, which is alternative sex. Particularly horrifying was this alt.sex.stories. I don’t know how to work the Internet yet, but I did that research. I found it written up.

    Best of all is that Rule 34 tells us that somewhere there is porn devoted to prudes with hipster beards.

  26. TruthOfAngels:

    Oh dear sweet Jesus, I thought you were joking. I thought you made up those quotes as parody.

    But no, oh no. Poe’s Law weeps in triumph.

  27. TruthOfAngels:

    Not to mention that they were all sort of derivative of My Bloody Valentine, which isn’t a single-syllable word unless you’ve got the hiccups.

  28. Substance McGravitas:

    You need alternative sex because real sex is so scary you need to censor it.

  29. Dave:

    You’d have to spend a long time defining terms, but you could probably get some mileage out of trends relating an increasing sense of personal entitlement to a decline in social solidarity, expressed through a general tendency to disinhibition, disregard for long-term consequences, and the displacement of markers of cultural adulthood by those of extended adolescence in the mass media, marketing, etc. But then you’d be blaming capitalism for the decline of social democracy, and what would that get you, except three cheers?

  30. Hogan:

    alt.sex, which is alternative sex

    Just as alt.music.polkas is about alternative polka music.

  31. rea:

    See yesterday’s Bork porking Bjork thread.

  32. Chilly:

    Somebody needs to make a quiz where you guess whether a given quote is from Robert Bork or Andy Rooney.

  33. DrDick:

    An intellectual colossus!

  34. gocart mozart:

    http://www.booknotes.org/FullPage.aspx?SID=76471-1
    The original source of the quotes. CSpan interview with Brian Lamb

  35. burritoboy:

    Let’s not forget, the purveyor of such idiotic imbecilities was a professor at Yale Law School. Yet again, America’s self-declared meritocratic elite reveals itself to be smart only in it’s own estimation.

    We do have to admit that the Chicago School of Economics was one of the most successful confidence jobs in history. That this fifth-rate adherent of it could ascend as far as he did tells you everything you need to know about elite gullibility. America’s elite wanted, no, even needed this con job on them.

  36. CJColucci:

    That Bork was considered, by many smart and sane people, to be a legal scholar of major consequence was sufficient proof to me that, outside of rather humble, technical precincts, what passes for big-time legal thinking was bullshit.

  37. Manju:

    Yes, that’s why we delete our twitter accounts.

  38. Manju:

    Bloom says straight out in that passage that he’s not concerned with morality. He’s not concerned with students having sex. He just thinks they have bad sex.

    He thinks their artistic tastes are dulled by their singular passion for this type of music.

    He’s more SEK railing against Whitney. Stop Borking Bloom.

  39. Malaclypse:

    Robert Byrd had a twitter account?

  40. Manju:

    don’t make me pull up his dw-nominate score now.

  41. Manju:

    Though, this might be more apropos:

    TO CONFIRM THE NOMINATION OF ROBERT H. BORK, OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO BE AN ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT.

    Nay [D] Byrd, Robert WV

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/100-1987/s348

  42. Pestilence:

    I’m sure the sociological implications were fascinating, for hours even.

  43. Bijan Parsia:

    While not quite the same as Bork, Bloom on Mick still is pretty funny and sad.

  44. Uncle Kvetch:

    He’s not concerned with students having sex. He just thinks they have bad sex.

    How did he know this? Was he watching? Taking pictures? Video?

    And more to the point, why in the fuck did he care about what kind of sex other people were having?

    He thinks their artistic tastes are dulled by their singular passion for this type of music. He’s more SEK railing against Whitney.

    No, he’s more James Watt railing against the Beach Boys. But I’ll give you a solid B+ for effort.

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