Saturday, 16 March 2013

Lunch With The FT: Noam Chomsky

The Black Sheep
350 Main St, Cambridge
Clam chowder $5
Tomato soup $5
Kale and salmon salad $14
Mixed salad $14
Coffee x2 $6
Total $0*
John McDermott left a $44 tip

This week's lunch is with Uncle Noam.
What a funny and often fabulous magazine this is...

Still, Chomsky thinks about how hard to hit his targets. He admits as much as our soups arrive. “Suppose I criticise Iran. What impact does that have? The only impact it has is in fortifying those who want to carry out policies I don’t agree with, like bombing.” He argues that any criticisms about, say, Chávez, will invariably get into the mainstream media, whereas those he makes about the US will go unreported. This unfair treatment is the dissident’s lot, according to Chomsky. Intellectuals like to think of themselves as iconoclasts, he says. “But you take a look through history and it’s the exact opposite. The respected intellectuals are those who conform and serve power interests."

* The owner, clearly a fan, picked up the tab.

Chomsky is in London next week, giving the 2013 Edward W Said London Lecture, Reflections On the Middle East, on Monday - which will be put online afterwards - and talking about propaganda at the British Library on Tuesday - there will be a live webcast on the night. Both events are sold out.

PS Today's Guardian Review runs a short piece, My Hero: Noam Chomsky by Charles Glass; "When you know some people better, you see their flaws. With Noam, it was the opposite."

Chomsky Fact! Noam has eaten a turkey on marble rye sandwich for lunch most workdays for the last twenty years, followed by a banana; "Isn’t it interesting”, he pauses, reflecting, “that eating a banana is somehow comical.” BYT Online.

Chomsky Quote! "I never was aware of any other option but to question everything."

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