What Easterbrook could learn from Rousseau

rousseau3.gifEveryone and their mother has been heaping shit on Gregg Easterbrook for his now infamous Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and the Jews blog entry. Frankly, I’m bored with this whole thing (so bored, I’m not bothering to link to Easterbrook’s original essay, his apology, or any of the excellent commentary out there on sites like Radosh and The Antic Muse or to The New York Times article), but all this talk of Gregg writing faster than he thinks, not arranging his thoughts well, etc. reminded me of something Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in his Confessions way back in the early, early days of blogs in 1782:
When I write, my ideas are arranged with the utmost difficulty. They glance on my imagination and ferment till they discompose, heat, and bring on a palpitation; during this state of agitation, I see nothing properly, cannot write a single word, and must wait till it is over. Insensibly the agitation subsides, the chaos acquires form, and each circumstance takes its proper place. Have you never seen an opera in Italy? where during the change of scene everything is in confusion, the decorations are intermingled, and any one would suppose that all would be overthrown; yet by little and little, everything is arranged, nothing appears wanting, and we feel surprised to see the tumult succeeded by the most delightful spectacle. This is a resemblance of what passes in my brain when I attempt to write; had I always waited till that confusion was past, and then pointed, in their natural beauties, the objects that had presented themselves, few authors would have surpassed me.
So, if Gregg had only waited for his thoughts to form properly (and cleaned the pipes regularly like Spanky Rousseau), he might not be in all this trouble now.