Zero Sum

There are those who would have us believe that the root causes of Islamic terrorism are poverty and political oppression, and that if we Americans weren’t such swaggering imperialists, and could just get along a little more amicably with other cultures, we’d have less to worry about. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our friend Jeffery Hodges (is he really out of bed and writing blog posts at 4:09 a.m.?) offers further evidence here.


  1. Out of bed at 4:09 a.m.? Me? Is that what the blog entry showed?

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Of course I’m not.

    No, I’m out of bed at 3:00 a.m., doing my best to save Western civilization. I don’t know why the time recorded was so late. Maybe I websurfed too long. I’ll try to do better from now on…

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 22, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Three o’clock? Why in God’s name are you up at such an hour??? Do you have cows to milk?

    I shall charitably assume you simply haven’t got to bed yet; after all, that’s only an hour two after I usually hit the sack.

    Posted January 22, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Permalink
  3. In God’s name, I am up at that godforsaken hour because — as previously mentioned — I am doing my best to save Western civilization.

    Pay attention!

    Saving the West is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it, especially in those godforsaken hours when even the abstract entities are somnolent and neglecting their duties, so I do indeed rise early.

    No need to thank me. Virtue is its own reward.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 23, 2008 at 1:27 am | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    I guess saving Western civilization can only be accomplished while the banks are open in Los Angeles, or something.

    But to get up at three a.m. (!!!) you must have to go to bed at about eight in the evening or so, an hour at which, in most of the civilized world (or here in Gotham, at least), one is more apt to be discussing an appropriate selection with the sommelier, or flipping through Playbill, waiting for the curtain to rise.

    We appreciate your sacrifice, of course.

    Posted January 23, 2008 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  5. I usually get to bed between 10 and 10:30, so my sacrifice of sleep in indeed great.

    But saving the West — unlike saving money (which nobody does anymore anyway) — requires no open banks, whether in Gotham, The City of Angels, or my very own Seoul.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Permalink
  6. Uh … “is indeed great.” I guess that I need some more shut-eye to have better open-eye.

    But orthography is merely one of those sacrifices…

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    Well, Jeffery, we in the West are in your debt. Your efforts seem to be paying off, so far at least: the seats are full on Broadway, and Lorin Maazel is still swinging the lumber up at Avery Fisher Hall.

    Posted January 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm, I’m tempted to quip:

    Who in the hell
    Is Lorin Maazel?

    Which would be a nice couplet and my shortest poem but also demonstrate my ignorance, so I Wikied him and now know the man.

    I’m gratified to learn that my early morning efforts are paying off my own debt to Western civilization.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    If I may be your instructor —
    He’s a noted conductor.

    Posted January 23, 2008 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  10. Thanks, Malcolm. I’ve been so busy defending Western civilization that I’ve not had much time to learn about it.

    Next time you pass Avery Fisher Hall, give my regards to Mr. Maazel for swinging the lumber and directing his work crew in the ongoing construction of the West…

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

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