Monday, 08 September 2008

You wouldn’t like me when I feign anger for rhetorical effect. (x-posted.) (Quick note: if you think someone is being self-congratulatory when he conjures up an image of himself with floaties, you may want want to have your tone-o-meter examined. Just saying.) I’ve a long history of wading into hostile waters without floaties and I’ve no intention to stop doing so, but if I ever did, it’d be because of statements like “I see no difference presently between the terms democrat and progressive.” Or claims that almost-imperceptibly-left-of-center candidates are socialist, communists, Marxists, &c. On the entire internet, this conceptual sloppiness is the only thing that ever threatens my equilibrium. Stupidity I can handle. Ignornace doesn’t bother. Willfully ignoring what I’ve said will only earn you my titular faux-Hulk. But play fast and loose with categories and you’ll piss me off so much I’ll have no choice but to ignore you. Revising my dissertation, I think I’ve come to understand why: in my “professional” life, that’s all I do. I define, re-define, pre-define, counter-define, retroactively define, retroactively re-define, retroactively pre-define, retroactively counter-define, &c. The dissertation has taught me to put items in proper boxes because almost no one will be able to tell when you don’t. Items and boxes entail a responsibility people who put Obama in the Marxist box (or Ayers in the Leninist box and Obama in the Ayers box) don’t understand, except unlike shifting London from the Darwin to the Spencer box, the actions of irresponsible bloviators have a measurable impact on our lives. Stuffing Palin in the feminist box allows a host of anti-feminists in as well, as evidenced by the past week of Republicans in deep dudgeon over the “sexist” attacks on the VP candidate. My metaphor, on the other hand, teeters on actual sexism, so I’ll stop while I’m behind. Wait, can’t stop there either. I don’t mean to say that there were no sexist attacks on Clinton, or that there haven’t been sexist attacks on Palin. I’m simply saying the hypocrites who crow about “sexist” attacks on Palin care not one whit about sexism per se — that is, had McCain not tapped Palin, conservatives would’ve avoid women’s issues for the forty-fourth Presidential election in a row.

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