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July 21, 2004

Stanley Crouch & Senseless Violence

I don't believe that there is a such thing as senseless violence. Violence makes perfect sense to the person doing the violence - they choose it because it makes sense. The term 'senseless violence' is used by people who refuse to recognize what sense it actually makes to the initiator.

Stanley Crouch is being shunned in various chatting circles because of the violence he did to a certain Mr. Peck. Much is being made of the bitchslapping incident in that it arose over some harsh prose written by Mr. Peck. Evidently, writers are not supposed to be fighters with any weapons but words. Clearly, those weren't the rules in Mr. Crouch's neighborhood, nor were they in mine.

I am pleased that Crouch doesn't seem to be on the recieving end of much more than emnity and scorn. Specifically, there doesn't seem to be any legal action pending in the matter. People have seemed to make up their minds that whatever opprobrium can be piled on Crouch's doorstep is an appropriate comeuppance. Not being aware of the circumstances under which Crouch made his decision to move off the page into three dimensional conflict, I am not making any judgement on the merits of the punch. Nevertheless I am pleased that this matter seems to have fallen inside the bounds of chivalry and that no scumbag attorneys have expanded the list of combattants whose opinions count materially.

Three cheers.

Now on the other hand, my informers on the Kwaku Network tell me a couple of important things. Number one, Crouch won't go toe to to with anyone who can put him on the floor. In otherwords, there are some very practical limits to his asskicking ability, and you can generally guess that they have to do with speed, size and power. On the backside of 50 years old, I think he should check himself. I am also privy to the scoops about Stanley's would-be career as a community college football player in the 70s. To wit, he bit, often got hit and couldn't do shit. If that's a formula for growing successful cultural critics, it's a new one to me. But I think we'd all rather have Stanley Crouch than not. After all, he did write Premature Autopsies.

None of this changes the fact that Stanley is Stanley and he will still get invited to any number of flouncy occasions in the Big Apple. It's good to know that two-fisted people still exist in that airy fairy world.

Only one question remains. Is Mr. Peck going to retaliate via Charles Atlas or Strunk & White?

Posted by mbowen at July 21, 2004 12:22 PM

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Weekly Conservative Brotherhood roundup from Ramblings' Journal
This week, the Conservative Brotherhood has been busy (as usual), on a variety of subjects.LaShawn Barber has finally moved her always insightful blog off of BlogSplat! While that is an effort in and of itself (having made the move myself,... [Read More]

Tracked on July 24, 2004 05:36 AM


I am a local politician trying to get a "nude negro law" passed in my town. This law states that all negroes must be nude when out in public. Studies have shown that this will cut down on the outragiously high crime rate amongst the negro population.

Posted by: John Billings at July 21, 2004 05:42 PM

Define 'negro'.

Posted by: cobb at July 21, 2004 07:24 PM

Cobb- You're a bigger man than I! Anyway, I bought a new house! Please update the Brotherhood link: www.lashawnbarber.com

Posted by: La Shawn at July 22, 2004 12:52 PM

Your network's given you the same info on Crouch that I've gotten here and there. I have this vague sense that he lost his critic's gig at the Village Voice after getting physical on one of the other critics,

I've read that he was once upon a time an avant- garde jazz drumer whose capabilities were more aspirational than inspirational--never heard his drumming myself. So perhaps that's why he's so down on free jazz, he figures they're all the fronting fools that he was. Do you think he did more with his MacArthur than Ornette Coleman or Cecil Taylor did with theirs?

No, I've long ago grown tired of Crouch. He's got an interesting prose style, but he's suffering from the petrifaction that comes from being a legend in his own mind.

Posted by: William Benzon at July 24, 2004 02:00 AM

What's different between what Crouch did, and the skirmishes some rapper's crews have?

MF'r is old enough to know better.

Posted by: DarkStar at July 25, 2004 09:17 PM