Friday, December 12, 2008

David Hoogland Noon, Abominable Academic Wretch

UPDATE: Some in the comments are taking exception to my reference to "Lesbian, Gays and Marriage." My bad. The blog is Lawyers, Guns and Money, and the homosexual reference to "LGM" is an inside joke in the context of a comment at this post. At issue here is David Noon's historical imcompetence. I have no clue as to his sexual orientation, and that's his business if he's some postmodern bum jockey.

**********

One of the more amazing things about blogging is that hopelessly obtuse left-wing buffoons can be found in both the depths of the online fever swamps and in what we'd presume to be the refined halls of academe.

It turns out that Dave Noon, of
Lesbians, Gays and Marriage (aka LGM) and the University of Alaska Southeast, resides in both places, moving back and forth between each in a manner not unlike a three-toed sloth.

Both Dave Noon and
Robert Farley, his similarly dull blogging cohort at LGM, have written poorly-formed essays attacking David Horowitz and Ben Johnson's Party of Defeat. As I've shown in a series of posts at this blog, these two struck out wildly in their attempts to take down Horowitz and Johnson, and in fact their efforts were so bad as to raise serious - even disqualifying - questions of academic competence (and of moral grace as well, for example here).

Noon in particular has had a weird obssession with American Power, and he's gotten to calling me unflattering names like "
AmericaneoClown," a perverted version of my online handle. Yet, his tune's changing a bit, in that he's now feigning a faux-elitist detachment in his more recent attempts to smear my reputation. This turn is evident in Noon's latest response to one my recent essays, "Continuing Partisan Debate on Iraq." In that entry I noted Noon's scandalous dishonesty in making historical assertions completely divorced from reality - I mean really, I was literally was shaking my head in a kind of abject disbelief that this man would make such hare-brained claims.

Well, he's done it again. And, frankly, after a while it seems Noon's cluelessness just kind of blurs together into a supreme concerto of imbecilic accomplishment.

In
the comments to the post above, Noon writes, "Weber's book, for example, makes nothing close to the argument you claim it does ..."

The reference is to Eugen Weber's,
The Hollow Years: France in the 1930s, and my description suggesting that it ...

... examines the collapse of national morale in interwar France that contributed to the country's utter collapse in the face of German power in 1940 (not unlike the evaporation of outrage and resolve among the American left since 9/11).
While Noon asserts the book "makes nothing close to the argument you claim it does," he also alleges that I'm "dishonest" (clearly a tit-for-tat play, since I've proved how well the adjective describes his own pseudo-historical project), and then asks with indignation, "Have you even read these book [sic]?", while admitting he has not!

Okay, let's think about this for a minute: I suggested that Weber's book on interwar France "examines the collapse of national morale" that contributed to the "country's utter collapse" in the face of Nazi expansionism in 1940.

Now, looking at my personal copy (which I did not have in front of me when I wrote the original post), the book jacket describes interwar French culture as follows:


Caught between the memory of a brutal war won at frightful cost and fear of another cataclysm, France in the 1930s suffered a failure of nerve...
Turning to page 6 in the introduction, we have this passage:

In rueful retrospect, the 1920s were l'après-guerre, lively and optimistic. The 1930s are distinctly l'avant-guerre: increasingly morose and ill at ease. Contemporaries varied in their perceptions. A few clear-sighted ones seem to have seen war coming since the negotiations at Versailles. More sensed it in the middle thirties, when German rearmament kicked off in deadly earnest and Hitler began to break with treaties that his country had freely signed. By 1936, when the French stood by while German troops reoccupied the Rhineland, France, in some French eyes, began to lose the next war. Internal peace was also badly troubled when the exaltations and anxieties of the Popular Front spurred talk of civil war that might outmatch the bloody war in Spain.
So, we can see, now that I've gone to the source to support my previous comments on the book in a blog post, Dave Noon doesn't know WTF he's talking about. Not only that, the passage above explicitly rebuts Noon's unhinged claim - in the narrow sense, at least - that there's never been a book based on the thesis that a minority party (or coalition of minor parties, as in the French case) that "bears responsibility for taking the country to the brink of ruin" (again, I stress the narrow sense, as to give Noon room to breathe).

But that's not all. Looking further at Weber's book, we see the following passage on page 244, from chapter 9, "The Nightmare of Fear":


Through most of the 1920s the French talked softly and carried a small stick. Their army was understaffed, undermanned, underpaid, and overrated. Their foreign policy pretended first that Germany could be forced to execute the provisions of Versailles, then that it didn't matter if they didn't. One thing no one bothered to pretend was that force existed to be used. As a Communist deputy eager to cut military expenditure asserted, "You don't want any more victgories. It follows that you're building an army to prevent defeat." Renaud Jean was right: The conquering, offensive doctrines that caused so many deaths between 1914 and 1918 had been discarded. Soldiers had learned that enemy fire kills. They distrusted the offensive doctrines of the prewar Staff College, the emphasis on vitalism and will, the prediliction for charges with the bayonet. The dominant doctrine was now that "the power of the defensive constitutes the most important and least questionable lesson of the war." Prudence, protection, avoidance of risk: The army would be ready, but to do nothing much. Was that why, in February 1932, the former Ministry of War became the Ministry of Defense?
Anyone with the slightest inkling of 20th century French history knows that the fall of France to Hitler's armies, in less than three weeks from the start of the German invasion on May 10, 1940, is one of the most ignominious military defeats in modern history.

Unfortunately, Dave Noon, an historian by formal training, does not know this history, and he's admitted to not even reading Weber's research.

If the fall of France, and the comprehensive social decay that led to it, is not a "moral collapse," I don't know what is. Recall too, that the comparison to the American left following the September 11 attacks is completely appropriate. The political and ideological base of today's Democratic Party can only be described as rooting for America's enemies over these last few years. Blinded by an insane hatred for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the entire administrative apparatus - from the Defense Department, to State, Justice, and beyond, the left's done everything that a political opposition possibly could do - short of blowing up Capitol Hill (knock on wood, Bill Ayers, yo!) - to stab American foreign and defense policy in the back. In the case of top Democratic Party officials, the partisan war on American foreign policy began within months after Congress approved a resolution authorizing the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime. For the antiwar hordes in the streets and online, opposition to a forward response to aggression against the U.S. began almost as soon as bodies were being recovered at Ground Zero. " MoveOn.org opposed Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the campaign to rout the Taliban from power. And in 2003, Columbia University professor Nicholas De Genova, before a crowd of 3,000 students and faculty, called for "a million Mogadishus" when announcing his opposition to the Bush administration's build-up to Iraq. The examples go on and on, ad infinitum.

Dave Noon, and not to mention Robert Farley and the rest of the whacked nihilist crew at LGM, cheers such ignorant anti-Americanism as some cool postmodernist philosophy of righteous repudiation of this country's culture, tradition, and strength.

Noon, ostensibly a professional academic historian, gives his field of training a bad name; and the rest of his allied dunderheaded intellectual poseurs should refrain from commenting on the scholarly issues of the day, as those with genuine professional acumen haven't the time to sweep up after their all too frequent unhinged (and not unembarrassing) pseudo-academic implosions.

13 comments:

Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donald Douglas said...

Thanks Grace.

In this case, I'm just correcting David Noon's historical inaccuracies.

Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JBW said...

Wow. That was spectacular. I wonder Grace, do you also speak in such a long, rambling manner or are these meandering diatribes something you reserve solely for the Internet? The thought of watching you in a university debate about anything is simply side-splitting. I realize that the number of actual gay Muslims on this planet is probably fairly small but I'd wager that those guys are the stuff of your nightmares. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

Don, this is the kind of thing I'm talking about. Don't you want to be better than this?

Donald Douglas said...

JBW: Actually, the reason I started blogging was counter the nihilist left. Check the links, especially "AmericaneoClown," and then ask me again...

JBW said...

So you counter the "nihilist left" by aligning yourself with the nut job right? Which homosexual conspiracies do you think are going to destroy this nation? I get it, the clown thing hurt your feelings but that hardly has anything to do with Grace's lunacy or that of others like her.

Donald Douglas said...

JBW: This is not about gays. It's about the history. LGM stands for Lawyers, Guns and Money, but I rib those guys for fun with "Lesbians, Gays, and Marriage."

Again, read the thrust of the post ... and check the links. It's academic incompetence that's at issue here. And as I said to Grace, I'm just making corrections.

Read critically.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

France also had the misfortune of facing a new improved Furur Teutonicus with almost future military capabilities when she stood against Wehrmacht 1940.

v. Mellenthin's book "Panzer Battles" (this cat fought in Poland, France, Afrika, USSR and France again) wrote the French and the British were totally unprepped for 'blitzkrieg - true - but that Deutschland's operational combat plan against Western Europa was like the Allies "...had seized a wolf by the ears and dared not let loose..."

Donald Douglas said...

Cool citations, GSGF!

JBW said...

Don, The gay conspiracy comment was a reference to your confused acolyte's rantings, it had nothing to do with your post. To be honest, I'm not too interested in Noon or your conflict with him. I'm just wondering why you don't denounce the wingnuttery of your more unhinged commenters but I'm tired of belaboring the point.

And since I already do read critically, especially when it comes to the writings of those on the right like yourself, I hardly need to be told to do so and I'll thank you to keep your commands to yourself in the future.

Donald Douglas said...

Oh, JBW ... don't get all in a fuss. You're the nicest lefty I've ever had around this place, LOL!!

Grace can defend herself. She's passionate and I don't always agree with her, but she's not out to kill babies before they're born and she doesn't enable the Islamist who're blowing up innocents around the world.

JBW said...

Don, if I've ever "gotten all in a fuss" it was when I was still wearing diapers, chief; I just don't like being told what to do by anyone, anywhere.

And I think you underestimate me by characterizing me as being nice. I'm intelligent and polite because my mama made sure that I grew up that way and I treat other people in the same manner out of respect and deference to her, but I never confuse that with knowing when it's time to act otherwise.

And while I dispute your comment that Grace can defend herself (she can rant and she can do her best to sound coherent), saying that you sometimes disagree with her and actually doing so when she goes off on a biblically charged screed are two very different things.

As I've said, I realize that you agree with her on abortion and Muslims and gays (for the most part?) but disagreeing with her and others when they write things that are obviously beyond the pale would show that you aren't just the right-wing hack so many other commenters on this site tell me you are. How about proving them wrong, hmm?

Donald Douglas said...

JBW: Maybe I'm just a right wing hack, LOL! I do try...