Thursday, August 20, 2009


I once expressed shock that Peter Singer apparently had never really thought of immigration as a way of reducing world poverty. The guy is a genius who's spent a large part of his life thinking about the question. What's his excuse?

Well, Niall Ferguson is another academic superstar. I've bought several of his books (and someday may read one). He also writes for the FT where he recently said (in an article on the US federal budget deficit)
President Barack Obama reminds me of Felix the Cat. One of the best-loved cartoon characters of the 1920s, Felix was not only black. He was also very, very lucky.
A number of other pundits (most notably James Fallows and Paul Krugman) responded with a collective "What the hell", which Ferguson took issue with and responded that his black friends didn't have a problem with his comparison. He quotes one of these friends with approval
None of us thought of Felix as black, unlike some of the racially-questionable caricatures Disney used. Felix's blackness, like Mickey's and Minnie's, was like a suit of clothes, not a skin color.
Riiiiiggghhhht. So Ferguson thinks the cat's colour is beside the point but compares him to Obama by starting, "Felix was not only black...".

It's just so lame yet he persists. Why?

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