Wednesday, May 03, 2006

ARTOTROGUSES AND GLORIOSUSES. Deflection of a popular joke about oneself by owning to it -- as John McLaughlin once did by appearing in Saturday Night Live's parody of his own show -- is an honorable tradition, and carries benefits for both the mockers and the mockee.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work if your sense of humor is so underdeveloped that you have to explain, at length, that you possess one -- especially when this is among the evidence offered.

I think Captain Ed misses the chickenhawk point. It isn't that non-combatants should be disqualified from commenting on military matters. It's that a non-combatant who engages in chest-thumping, star-spangled, locked-and-loaded bellicosity and cute military affectations (like calling blog buddies "deployed" and forming a "Northern Alliance" of warbloggers) is like an Air Raid Warden who thinks he's George Patton -- or a suburban nerd who acts like a rap star -- or anyone whose presumption is out of key with his circumstances: that is, an inviting target for ridicule.

Plautus knew all about it, but try telling that to the Everything Has Changed crowd.

UPDATE. But I would think that, being WaPo's Internet clown of the moment. I will enjoy this while it lasts (nine hours, thirty-five minutes), and pretend that when local mothers pull back their children at my approach, it is because they fear the lash of my tongue, and not because of the posters on the telephone poles.

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