Monday, January 04, 2010

A SLIGHT MISUNDERSTANDING. Matt Welch is angry about a couple of paragraphs I wrote about him in a Voice item. He is right on this matter: "'Warblogging' came to prominence not during the run-up to the Iraq War, but in the run-up to the Afghanistan War." Many of the brethren kept the ball rolling into the Iraq years, but warblogs did start coming out in 2001, and Welch had one. Back in those days he was writing stuff like this:
The Inevitable Neville Chamberlain Comparison: My comrade Catherine Seipp directs my attention to this Pacifist-bashing column by Thomas Sowell, for which I can find no link as yet (update: she just sent it -- it's here. Seipp describes the column as “a welcome antidote to the inane thoughts of Michael ‘Tokyo Rose’ Moore, and other idiocies making the email rounds.” Here’s a taste:...
Also, regarding Bobby Fischer, "I wonder if the strongly anti-war crowd is uncomfortable at all with the fact that many who echo their views are lunatic anti-semites." He seemed then to have a mission of exposing "the loonies of the Left," finding it "important that we record, for history, how some of these buffoons behaved when the chips were down," though he did give some conservatives a hard time, too.

As Welch finds me "full of shit," a "jackass," etc, you should not rely on me to tell you that this is typical, but take the time to scroll around his back numbers and see what you think. He characterizes himself on the Iraq invasion, when that came up, as "Hamlet, not Dick Cheney." This is an interesting interpretation of Hamlet. In 2002, Welch admitted, "I don’t know what the hell we should do in Iraq," then added, "Yeah, the let’s-invade-everybody plan seems a tad ridiculous to me, but I’m not exactly coming up with better solutions. Does this make me 'monstrously hawkish,' Nick?"

Welch also disputes that "my mea culpa was a direct reference to this pro-war belligerence." Reviewing that post, I see he describes the imagined glories of the golden age of warblogging ("yen for critical thinking, a sense of humor that actually translates into people laughing out loud," etc), but doesn't say much about the war part. Nonetheless some people, including many less critical than me, got the impression the warbloggers supported some wars. So maybe "warblogging" was a misnomer all along, and they should have called it critical-thinkingblogging, or laughing-out-loudblogging. That might have cleared up some confusion, and spared us all some grief.

UPDATE. "Hey look again!" updates Welch. "Dude found the search button!" This is the second time he's called me "dude," and I'm beginning to think it's not kindly meant. He also says, "he quotes a couple of my pacifist-bashing posts from September of 2001" -- maybe he thinks I'm cherry-picking; like I said, you can go look around his site and see -- "grudgingly acknowledges that the 'Farewell to Warblogging' column he so grossly mischaracterized 'doesn't say much about the war part'" -- which is true, and you may make of it what you will -- and "makes comments throughout about how 'angry' I am." I did say he was angry at the top; the rest he appears to be inferring from the various quotes from his own work that make him look angry. Those are not hard to find.

No comments:

Post a Comment