Monday, May 17, 2004

MEAN GIRLS. Professor Reynolds and his acolytes are in full splutter over somebody who writes about blogs in the Toronto Star. One should think they'd be grateful that anyone bothers to write about our little hobby -- which probably ranks in share-of-cultural-consciousness somewhere between spray-on hair and Ultimate Frisbee -- yet they snarl at columnist Antonia Zurbisias like dissed teenagers, both at Fort Insta ("Fat, drunk, and Canadian," "fool," etc) and in Zurbisias' in-box ("blousy," "fat and stupid," etc). Small wonder that many of these geniuses' retorts are weight-related -- considering that they find Anne Coulter toothsome, normally constituted women must look positively zaftig to them.

Among the annoyed is the madman Lileks, last noted here for tracking the source of our civilization's "rot" to Guy de Maupassant and dictionary editors. Today he re-adjusts his rot-detector and finds a new fountain of evil: Hunter S Thompson!
And it would be irrelevant if this same spirit didn't infect on whom Hunter S. had an immense influence. He's the guy who made nihilism hip. He's the guy who taught a generation that the only thing you should believe is this: don't trust anyone who believes anything. He's the patron saint of journalism, whether journalists know it or not.
Yes, many's the time I've read the metamphetamine-fueled ravings of R.W. Apple or George Will and detected the sinister hand of Thompson, Patron Saint of Journalists.

Speaking of ravings, Tacitus goes to Europe, seems to miss all the cathedrals and museums, and instead sees only statist ugliness caused by Social Democrats. And he's sure that waitress didn't like him because he's American. The cough syrup wears off and and he allows as how, "despite the griping, I like Europe, and come back at every opportunity" -- to remind the natives, as he does here, how we bailed their asses out in WWII, one supposes. This is in the perplexing tradition of conservatives like Bob Bartley and Ned Flanders who address their European "friends" with obvious and corrosive contempt, then wonder why Europeans don't like them.

For the most part this stuff is really beyond the realm of politics, and into that of abnormal pyschology. But I'm beginning to get the feeling that most of what passes for political discourse is that way these days.

No comments:

Post a Comment