This Is Your War Party

Poor Stephen Schwartz. No one takes him seriously, and he knows it. This is not a total negative for Schwartz, to be sure. If the squares out there in Fox News/Weekly Standard/National Review-land took Schwartz seriously as a Trotskyite, labor leader, Muslim mystic, Surrealist poet, etc., they would either recoil or, worse, roll their eyes. The only way they can accept Schwartz as an expert on terrorism is to ignore everything else he purports to be.

So Schwartz makes a living off the squares and may even derive some shallow ironic satisfaction from that fact, but it must eat at him, too. For do not all artistes (even lousy ones) rend their hair at the prospect of selling out? What goes through the mind of an “internationally recognized Surrealist poet” as he buddies up to Bill O’Reilly for the amusement of the booboisie? Surely he’s not so lacking in self-awareness as to never be bothered by the gulf between himself and his darling Andre Breton, he who said,

    The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd.

Which, to be fair, is what Schwartz does almost every time he puts his fingers to the keyboard, his rage redoubled, no doubt, by self-loathing. His revulsion at pandering to the illiterati builds until it must explode in senseless fury, a sort of chronic mental constipation signaled by his obsession with feces and the lower digestive tract. (See, for example, here, here, and the bottom half of this.)

But even though no one sees Schwartz as he wants to be seen, let me repeat: he is not on the fringe of pro-war thought, but in the very mainstream.