Thursday, August 28, 2008

A response

there's many potential ways to respond to the explicit and implicit character attacks in Megan and Ann's little chat. They'd most likely expect the man behind a troll blog to get very, very angry and/or go to lengths to prove that I totally have a life and am cool and dogs like me. But being wrong about what kind of person I am ranks pretty low on the list of mistaken ideas held by them two. I'm not playing too cool for school, I don't care what they think, but I also don't care what they think I think. We're not in a competition with Megan here, we're part of the peanut gallery. We're not jealous of Megan's position, Ann, we're dismayed she has it, like you were when random idiot #1 beat out random idiot #2 on American Idol. Naomi Klein should have that gig, or any of the large number of far better economics bloggers out there. My personal dislike for Megan has no bearing on her lack of qualifications and ability.
Anyhow, there's a couple other things from the diavlog I want to respond directly to. First is Megan's claim that part of the motivation behind this blog is some men can't handle women being smarter than they are. I went to Vassar, and spent three years in love with a young woman who won the Phi Beta Kappa award for her year. I've had the rare privilege of studying with Rachel Kitzinger and Agnes Heller, names most probably won't recognize but women who are giants in their respective fields. There are many women who are much, much smarter than I am, but Megan and Ann are not among them.
More importantly, I want to address the idea that there's a dark fury underlying this blog. That's an easy assertion to make, as we all have a tendency to get a bit pissy here. Our core readership knows that's as much due to Megan's terrible and offensive work as our own natures, but yes, we get mad, sometimes even angry.
But Megan doesn't understand the difference between hatred and loathing, a key distinction that, to be honest, I've never seen someone on the right recognize. Hatred takes you over, it's the flip side of love and thus shares in a passionate nature. Hatred is consuming. That Megan recognizes hatred isn't something you want to dwell in means she's developed the emotional maturity of about a 16 year old. When she's 18 she'll realize hate isn't actually fun; it harms you by twisting you up inside.
We don't hate you Megan, we loathe you. That means I don't carry you around inside me the rest of the day, I don't think about you while I'm doing other things, I never wonder what you're doing right now. If you want to understand the difference between hate and loathing go read Hunter S Thompson's two Fear and Loathing books without focusing on the mentions of guns. It's the difference between HST and Nixon. It's the difference between humanity and an MBA. To loathe something is to regret its existence, to hate is to want to end that thing's existence. This blog is not "Shut up, Megan McArdle" because we don't want her to shut up. We want her fired, because The Atlantic is supposed to be a home for the nation's greatest writers, the folk who can use language in ways that amaze and inspire, not lazy, selfish ideologues who post bland, uncreative recipes and neither proofread their work nor bother to correct the inevitable mistakes.
It is, however, telling that the only motivation Megan can understand is hatred, in ways I'll leave for Susan to explore if she wishes. I'm just going to close with a glance at the bitter irony that Megan is trying to call her critics cruel and heartless while championing policies that leave billions in inescapable poverty, all in service to an abstract ideal that only exists to give cover for the neverending crimes of the capitalist elite.

10 comments:

rickm said...

I, too, studied under a woman. FWIW.

clever pseudonym said...

It really boils the blood when women use their gender to dismiss critics. It would be one thing if you guys were writing stuff like "where does this chick get off covering the subjects only meant for the big boys when she should be knitting a sweater somewhere?" The criticism is directed squarely on her arguments and the poor quality of her writing, yet there she is, saying it's all because she's a girl, over and over. I don't think she should be writing about most the stuff she does, not because of her gender (I'm a girl, too, yet nobody around here seems to shout me down or tell me to mind my place), but because 9 times out of 10, she doesn't have the slightest clue what the fuck she's talking about.

ignatov said...

"all in service to an abstract ideal that only exists to give cover for the neverending crimes of the capitalist elite."

Testify, comrade! By the way, I can't access SN. Has it been hacked by Alkon's minions?

Susan of Texas said...

I can't either. Do you suppose Alkon took them out? She's scrawny but I wouldn't trust those claws.

brad said...

I doubt Amy's sockpuppet has l337 haxor skillz. If we're lucky they're upgrading WordPress to a newer version that isn't powered by raping blind orphans.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

"I'm just going to close with a glance at the bitter irony that Megan is trying to call her critics cruel and heartless while championing policies that leave billions in inescapable poverty, all in service to an abstract ideal that only exists to give cover for the neverending crimes of the capitalist elite."

Were you folks following her blog when she decided that no one should use the word "fascist" unless they were talking about Italo/German politics in the 1920s-40s? Apparently it's offensive to fans of Dick Cheney and the torture state if you even suggest that they might be fascistic.

M. Bouffant said...

Speak for yourself, brad. I know I am beyond obsessed w/ my absolute hatred for Megan, think about her incessantly, etc., as evidenced by how often I post here & comment at her web log.

Anonymous said...

"I'm just going to close with a glance at the bitter irony that Megan is trying to call her critics cruel and heartless while championing policies that leave billions in inescapable poverty, all in service to an abstract ideal that only exists to give cover for the neverending crimes of the capitalist elite."

See what I mean about you folks not just being stupid, but being aggressively proud of how stupid you are?

clever pseudonym said...

Aw, the troll blog finally got a troll of its own.

brad said...

You'll have to enlighten us, anon, as to why free market absolutism isn't a bullshit idea, which Adam Smith was not actually in favor of, that's used to justify corporate crimes.
Your own greed and delusions of eventual wealth are not valid answers.
Neither is a claim that the market is perfect and will fix everything, because it isn't and it won't.
I'm not a socialist, I just find acknowledging the truth to be useful.