Saturday, 10 June 2006

Political Blogging and Its Infinite F'ing Discontents You may remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted a little something about how Jeff Goldstein is a more intellectually substantial opponent than most people think. Not that Jeff hasn't said some ape-shit stupid things. He certainly has. I wonder though if that isn't our fault. How did my fellow far-leftists respond to my original post? By continuing the parade of (perhaps deserved) calumny which has characterized the "debate" from the start. I deleted well over 100 comments which were beyond beyond the pale. They accused Jeff of being things in the very language typical of the thing they accused him of being. He was called a "misogynist" by people who insisted he was a "pussy." He was labelled a "homophobe" by people who called him a "faggot." All of which hinted that there's some disconnect among his leftist critics. Somehow "brain" failed to connect to "words" in some crucial fashion. People who wouldn't dare share a room with Michael Bérubé and call someone "retarded" wrote that Jeff was a "paste-eating 'tard." I would say they "wrote it without a second thought"—but this particular commenter wrote it four times before drawing the conclusion that I would continue to punch "delete" no matter how many times he posted it. And you know what? I'm disgusted. This hypocritical posturing of my compatriots on the left momentarily stuns me to silence. Into it I say, "This cannot continue." The problem with the political blogosphere parallels one I see everywhere in academia. Those who speak have done so to the choir for so long that they are unable to acclimate themselves to criticism. They equate it with hostility and respond with hypocritical stupidity. Why else would someone who fights for gay rights call someone else a "faggot"? (I'm not interested in subterranean homophobia here. That's too obvious. I'm more interested in the clueless things self-identified progressives say.) Why am I suddenly so apoplectic about the political blogosphere? I'm glad you asked. I've spent the past few days vigorously disagreeing with Jeff and his commenters. (I first intervene here.) And what does my stern but vehement objection to his opinion earn me? Emails which encouraged me to write the following form letter: Dear _____, I appreciate your email and think highly of the untainted leftist politics you ostentatiously practice. Their purity confirms your purchase in "the reality-based community." Thank you for bringing to my attention the fact that I am a "servile cunt." Indeed! I understand that my calm contradiction of the arguments proferred by Jeff Goldstein and his commenters disturbs you and find your desire to cut to my quick commendable. As I imagine the placid expression you countenanced as you wrote that I email, I am ashamed, I say, ashamed at my behavior. My decision to oppose Jeff sans invocation of the increasingly funny appellation "paste-eater" clearly shows a lack of requisite creativity on my part. For that I apologize. I will preface any future interaction with Jeff or his "retarded...

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