Martin Amis: analyze this
September 2, 2006
Martin Amis analyzes the perpetrators of 9/11:
The spectacular attack, “the big one”, was a non-starter until the fortuitous arrival in Kandahar of the “Hamburg contingent” (Atta et al): these men were superficially Westernised, and superficially rational: possessed by just the right kind of functioning insanity.
A fascinating mini-psychodrama is packed into the phrase “functioning insanity”. With the first word, Amis glibly lays claim to clinical expertise, appealing to the sense of “functioning” used in psychiatric assessments. Yet in the very next word, manfully impatient with such bullshit, he invokes the brute, non-clinical idea of “insanity”. In lightning succession, he postures in pretension to medical authority, and then peacocks his courageous rejection of that same authority. Superficially rational, indeed.