Ms Ophelia Benson lives on and on,
it turns out, and reads on and on in her own favourite literature,
craftily designed for small minds like hers, for she writes now:
I'm reading Ayaan
Hirsi Ali's Infidel, and she lived through just this breakdown
in Somalia. Some of it is hard to
read - because it was so incredibly hard to live through.
'We are all Hrant
Dink,' they said in Istanbul. We are all Hrant Dink, we are all Mahad
Ahmed Elmi, we are all Ali Iman Sharmarke. We are all Ayaan Hirsi Ali,
we are all Salman Rushdie, we are all Ibn Warraq, we are all Taslima
Nasreen, we are all Tasneem Khalil. Back off - we're connected.
As I said before: "Naturally! Of course, m'dear! Thank
you, dear! Whatsoever you say, sweetie!"
And the asylums used
to be filled with men thinking they're Napoleon. Surely there's now
place for feminists thinking they are Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Mata Hari,
plus a handful of others. Why not?
Ms Benson has some
apparent problems of identity, next to some other problems, of
character and mentality, but then one must remember in partial
exoneration that she is presently close-reading "Ayaan Hirsi Ali's
Infidel", which not only is (she says undoubtedly truth-fully)
"hard to read" (in part at least), but that also happens to be wholly
not written by Ms Ali/Magan,
for the "autobiography" of "herself" is - identity-problems! miracle! -
written by a ghostwriter, in this earthly life an anonymous male
journalist. (The Text Is Authorized by
Ayaan The Blessed Herself though, o ye faithful of the Ayaanic
faith, whose motto must be "As honest
as Ayaan - verily, I swear!".)
Anyway... the logical
mind notices a marked absence of explicit identity of Ms Benson with
Afshan Ellian, Efshan Jami or Geert Wilders, for one so fond of these as
was Ms Benson. Besides, according to Afshan Ellian, Efshan Jami is the
equivalent of Ayaan, and according
to Ayaan Herself (from
Washington, at the AEI, at the feet of the admirable and great Dick
Cheney) Efshan Jami is "A Freedom Fighter".
Also Afshan Ellian is
Efshan Jami's mentor and Ayaan's friend - "koet frient", in Afshan's Dutch - while Efshan Jami is
interested in Geert Wilders and the other
way round, and also is both a great admirer and authentically
genuine imitator of Ms Ali/Magan ... so yes, there is some
connectedness there. Probably not Bensonic - or so one
may hope, rationally and kindly, for the mind boggles at
"we are all
Efsham Jami, we are all Afshan Ellian, we are all Geert Wilders"
- but yes...
"connected"ness there is plenty.
Careerism, insolence, ignorance, populism, ill-written prose, lack of
talent for reason or rationality, enormous pretensions, and the
constantly repeated argumentative trope
"who is not for Us is against Us, and "a loon", "a
nut", "an idiot", if not "an Islamofascist".
(See: A psychological experiment - 2)
But the main
similarity I want to consider - being very tired of Ms Benson
and her hysterical antics - is that, as readers who can read both English and Dutch, there is a marked similarity
between the style and methods of Theo van Gogh and of Ophelia Benson.
If there is any
relevant difference, apart from gender and some topics, it is that
Ophelia is far less honest, and far more prone to quote partially
and out of context, which indeed is her very specialism, and far
less talented, prosaically and otherwise, than Theo was, who - next to
his faults - had genuine wit, honesty, courage and talent.
So let's consider the
relevant analogies and differences a bit:
Both are or were
formidable scolds; both knew how to turn a journalistic phrase; both
are or were blind to their own prejudices; both are or were much moved
by hate and scorn and the desire to offend others; both are or were far
from happy or satisfied; both are or were not very highly educated or
learned, though at least reasonably well-read in some literary and
political matters; both had or have some capacity for bitter
humor (Theo more than Ophelia); both are or were pessimists.
There are more
parallels, and there are some differences too.
Thus Theo was mostly
honest, and always spoke in his own voice and style, whether writing or
speaking (which was one of the things I liked about him, for very few
are this way), and Ophelia is not honest (see A
psychological experiment - 1 and A
psychological experiment - 2), does not speak in her own voice, has
a contrived writing style, and probably is not a really good speaker
(while Theo was) - but indeed I have never heard or seen Ms Benson.
Also, Theo was -
whatever you may think of him - A Personality, and a man of strong and
marked presence wherever he was (if not too drunk or high), and he
could be quite funny, witty and amusing in conversation (and very
obnoxious and overbearing too) and I doubt much Ms Benson is any of
that, apart from obnoxious and overbearing, not for lack of desire but
for lack of personality, talent and courage, for Theo had real courage
too, if not of a wise or self-controlled kind, and died because of it.
Also, while both Theo
and Ophelia are or were more intelligent than most, Theo was more
intelligent than Ophelia is. A marked similarity is again that both had
or have little
Now I have known Theo van Gogh personally (between 1984
and 1990), who was an admirer of me (I have most, possibly all, of his
books and records of that time with his handwritten dedications, for
example), though not conversely (I thought he lacked self-control and
was not what he most desired to be: a great film-director), while I
have only mailed privately with Ms Benson, and read
her Notes & Comments, so I do not know her apart from that
(Deo Gratia!), but there also seems a marked similarity in personal
motivation of Theo and Ophelia.
I have neither the
taste nor the time to enter into that psychological topic, but those
who read Dutch are referred to my
Nedernieuws of 2004, where there is quite a lot about Theo van
Gogh. (Unlike most who wrote publicly at that time about Van Gogh - who
was murdered on 2 november 2004, by a Muslim fanatic, apparently
also not quite of sound mind - I can and do fully stand by what I wrote
Anyway, if I were to
classify Ms Benson, I'd say she is an American leftist feminist very
minor Theo van Gogh, indeed without his balls, his guts, his
intelligence and his talents, apart from a likeness in journalistic
phrasing ability, as far as writing is concerned, and with similar
impertinence and obnoxiousness. And I don't know her looks, but I am
kind enough to hope for her that Theo and Ophelia are not similarly
afflicted that way. Though, speaking as a psychologist ...
isn't it often the lack of looks (and brains) that makes women into faithful fanatical feminists?
Why am I so unfriendly
about little miss wonderful feminist logic,
the mistress of mis-quotation, you may ask?
Well, for one thing, I
don't like to be lied to, not to be misrepresented and not to be
Apart from that, and
more importantly, Ms Benson pretends that she stands on some of
the sides I stand for - science,
rationality, rational and reasonable philosophy
and behaviour - while in reality she
doesn't: she is a mere internet-journalist, who wants to have
her minutes of fame, and something to eat with it too, if possible.
She is not qualified
scientifically, has no knowledge of real science, no talent for
mathematics whatsoever, no real knowledge of philosophy, apart from the
Judy Butler School of Feminist Theory, in which Ms Benson is a great
are "friends" I can miss very well and very happily - while also journalism,
(would be) philosophical or otherwise, isn't my interest or concern
either, and that is Ms Benson's true field and specialism, and
also the thing for which she has some talent too.
praised Ms Benson I must honestly add that I also do think she is -
well, a bit whacky, let's say, to keep it
semi-professional yet friendly (and my judgment is based on
considerably more than the reader has read on my site, though
what is there seems sufficient
rational evidence and support for that notion, unscientific though
descriptively adequate as the terminology is - and anyway, I do have
the handicap or advantage of being (also) a psychologist, excellent
degree and all, but her whackyness is her
problem (or those of her "parent", her "boss" or those "in a
hierarchical position over" her, in her own
words), and indeed not mine. (Judge for yourself, though,
and good evidence is here: A psychological
experiment - 2.)
Also, she may herself
take hope and strength from Seneca, who famously said
"There is no feminist
without a mixture of madness"
fellow-american Edison, who - also famously - diagnosed
"Feminism is one
percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent illusion, delusion or lies".
Yet again - that is
her outlook and problem, and Ms Benson is an adult, and indeed
apparently also quite old (in which capacity she is entitled to at
least a little respect and pity).
And (miracles happen!)
I also may be mistaken, since she may even be -
for all I really know, kind reader! - the very epitome of
feminist mental health and (elderly) feminist physical beauty!
The mind boggles at
the thought, but it surely is a genuine logical
possibility, even without feminist algebra or feminist logic.
There's hope for us all....
Sigh. Let's hope I am
done with her, for she is not a pleasant theme at all, indeed. I take
my consolation, as often, from Chamfort:
Philosophie, rélativement au monde, est d'allier, à son régard, le
sarcasme de gaité avec l'indulgence du mépris."
P.S. For those who
care about these things, and for lawyers and friends of Ms Benson, here
is, by way of an appendix for the
evidence-interested, PuntersComments - or the Sanity of
But I am done with
this feminist twit - and wash my hands off her - "Hazlitt is
credited with having created the denomination
Ultracrepidarianism to describe one who gives opinions on matters
beyond one's knowledge." - no more fame for her by way of my
site, if I can help it.