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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Marx's Balls 

Did you know that Karl Marx complained about boils on his groin? Did you know that according to Sam Shuster writing in the British Journal of Dermatology that it affected his clarity of thought and deeply influenced his writing of Das Kapital.

According to Shuster, that “skin disease causes tremendous upset" among its sufferers, he added. "When people have got it their self-image goes down and you get self-loathing. And hidradenitis is among the worst for getting you down.”

So there you have it. Karl Marx felt a little insecure, a little down and in his self-loathing figured it best to call for equity between classes.

Dear right wing conservatives, is this really the best that you can do? I mean, is this the Alamo of arguments against Marxism? The man had a skin rash, so he must have been a nutter? What the hell does this say? That people suffering from medical conditions can not have clarity of thought.

Dear Shuster, I’d like to see you carry that argument on to other great thinkers, scientists, athletes and artists that suffer from conditions that might impact their self-esteem. Take Stephen Hawking for example. I am sure that there are days when he gets a bit down on himself.

The last refuge of scoundrels, according to Samuel Johnson, is patriotism. But I think that attacking an individual’s idea through personal defaults is pretty damn close. And, slowly but surely this seems to be occupying a bigger piece of the public imagination.

The other week I heard a commentary from Fox News that attacked Al Gore for being too fat. The newscaster went on to say that while you can critique some of George Bush’s moves, you can’t deny the fact that he is in great shape.

From Fox News I expect that kind of banter. But, from today’s Globe and Mail I would expect better.

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