So after all the fuss what did you think? I have to say I didn't think much, I only went to the first one and knew I wouldn't agree with him anyway but wow, to hear him blurt out crap like "Bush's masionic war" and refer to Bush as a "mafia don", seems a bit undergrad to me, and not distinguished linguistic professor!
Anyway, listened to Eamon Dunphy interview him, it was very funny, Dunphy was asking longer questions than Chomsky could answer, he was so chuffed with himself for getting to interview Chomsky. Anyway he put his foot in his mouth when he asked Chomsky did he think that eevry president in the lest 30 years has been freemason, even Chomsky didn't take that one!
I really dont see what all the fuss is about. I gave my tickets to a mate
Kinda boring really - just one guy's opinion - we are all entitled to them.
One thing I noticed ( only heard the Dunphy interview) was that he tends to 'adjust' the question with the first sentence of his reply and the remainder of the reply answers his version of the question. A bit odd coming from a guy castigating politicians who also do not answer questions directly. I found this irritating.
I don't know much about him at all. We did a bit of him in first year during the linguistics section of the course.
like all linguists. So his talent is changing the question to answer somthing that is more suited to him. Kinda like a politician?
I don't rate him. I saw him on Prime Time and it did seem to me like he was avoiding questions. At one stage he stated he was deliberately making something up in order to make the point understandable which I had to raise my eyebrow at.
He also took issue with figures that were put to him by the interviewer.
He seems like an eloquent and learned chap but I'm not very impressed.
IMO the best thing about Chomsky on Tuesday night-was the guy who asked the first question regarding the empowerment of democracy in UCD. It was a great finger at the powers that be very much so in this autocratic university. Especially as HB was sitting approximately two feet away!
I did not think the Chomsky was as stunning or as articulate as he has always being built up and his arguments were immature at points.
Someone said to me the best bit was at the beginning, watching the poor phil soc rep being pushed off the stage by the l+h auditor-that is sooo typical of the bigger societys to get all the glory!
I'd much rather read his work than hear him talk. He is not very articulate when speaking.
I respect his views on the world situation even though I do not fully subscribe to them all.
Had a ticket for the Thursday but failed to make it in
I think he had a couple of good one liners, and a lot of rhetoric. I was kind of hoping for a different view on the war then your average liberal but he didn't deliver. A bit disapointing tbh.
He wasn't avoiding questions, he was batting off childish second-hand insults and accusations by a very third rate RTE journalist.
As for the lectures, unlike most, I went to hear what he said. Having studied democracy promotion, I knew more about his first lecture, on which he was pretty much spot on in my opinion. The Thursday lecture was boring.
He's not a man for rhetorical flourishes, he's a man of facts forensically assembled. In a world of bluster and hyperbole, with politicians and pseudo-intellectuals touting lies left right and centre, it's good to have someone who you can disagree with but someone who you can't deny has a huge amount of moral integrity and analytical consistency.
He wasn't batting off any insults. The interviewer was very articulate and knowledgeable and presented him with quotes and facts that he arrogantly dismissed.
Analytical consistency? The guy doesn't answer any uncomfortable questions, rather he tries to alter the actual questions.
You're basing this opinion on what? One interview?
Mark Little, in my opinion, kept asking the same question in different ways which amounted to, "Mr. Chomsky, isn't it true people disagree with you?" In some cases, he got to some real substantive questions about Cambodia, the Faurisson affair and Serbia. On Serbia, Chomsky openly cited official documents and explained his own analysis on the issue, taking head on OSCE claims about the US decision to strike.
For the record, I think he mischaracterises the conflict as being sparked off by one moment, but I believe he's entirely correct to assert that the US/NATO bombing predated the UN resolution and did, indeed, lead to an excalation of atrocities. On the other hand, I think others misrepresent what he actually said: he said the US circumvented international law, the effect of which was an escalation in Milosevic's murder spree.
He has made some odd omissions from time-to-time, though. In the Times interview last Saturday, he said he could think of only two humantarian interventions that did stop atrocities: Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia to destroy the Khymer Rouge, and India's intervention in East Pakistan. I'd also add to that Tanzania's intervention in Uganda to crush Idi Amin's regime. In all cases, the global powers rebuked these countries. In the case of Vietnam, according to Chomsky, the West started funding the Khymer Rouge. Anyway, I think he could have searched a bit harder, and he may overlook Africa, as so many people do. But maybe he left it out due to brevity. You know, a lot of people criticise Chomsky for not covering *everything*. He's only one man, which is a point it repeats constantly. But in his roundabout way, he was just pointing out the hypocrisy of the Western powers, which must absolutely be done. And he always says, as he did in the interview, that all states seek power - hence all states commit atrocities and do things that require exposure.
He also said, at one of the lectures I think, that UN intervention in Rwanda wasn't justified. I'd argue it was - and it was justified much earlier. I disagree with him that an intervention wouldn't have improved the situation. But it was Clinton and Madeline Albright who obstructed the UNSC to issue the mandate to stop the genocide.
But I think what annoys people about Chomsky is that he doesn't offer any answers, he only assembles information, reports and critiques. He doesn't theorise. This means that he doesnt make a nice story out of everything - he doesn't filter the noise - great atrocities, he would say, are fought over simple ideas. I think beyond campaigning for real democracy, he wants people to be free to decide their own future. He's for institutions that maximise people's freedom, and against those that reduce it.
If people like him weren't there, the world would be a worse place.
I just went to one lecture. I left after 45 minutes. The man is spouting OTT anarchist viewpoints and since its what they want to hear, people praise him.
Its like village magazine, just for people who want to be told what they like.