Monday, November 12, 2007

Simply bizarre (and wrong)

This strikes me as one of Megan's odder posts, which is, obviously, quite an achievement. I'll get to the wrongness of the post in a moment, but first, I have to ask, does anyone else find it odd that when traveling Megan thinks about old arguments? Not, wow, that Buddhist temple was amazing or what's next or all the things to be done when you get home, but old arguments that you were, like, totally right about? I can be as petty as anyone, hence this blog, but geezuz.

As to the wrongness, first, I've little doubt she's mangling her friend's argument, as claiming "that excessive protestations against homosexuality are often a way to bolster one's masculinity" borders on nonsensical. This bit is, it seems, a continuation of Megan's desire for the left to stop calling (end of the post) the most vitriolic homophobes on the right probable closet cases. She thinks that doing so is in itself homophobic, because it somehow partakes of the notion that being gay is bad. Except that's only part of what she's arguing now.
In general, you don't imply that someone's gay because you think it might lead to a change of heart; you imply that they're gay because it's fun to tweak people with whom you disagree so vehemently. Indulging in this form of name calling feels good, but it's ultimately counterproductive--firstly, because in this case, it does help sustain the notion that calling someone "gay" is some kind of insult; and second, because it just makes everyone angrier. And anger is something that we're currently a bit oversupplied with.
This is the media elite DC village mindset in a nutshell, once again. When, one might ask, do folk on the left respond to folk on the right with charges of being a closet case? Why, I might answer, when those on the right are displaying homophobia that resembles pathology, meaning the issue is far more personal than merely, ewww, icky like most right wingers apparently feel. You see, the proper response to displays of incomprehensible hatred is to calmly argue against the irrational prejudices of your opponent, of course. And, if, for example, you yourself are gay and become angry yourself at displays of hatred of your nature and respond provocatively, you have lost the argument. You see, it in no way suggests gays are the party at fault to fret over the sensibilities of bigots and imply gays need to learn to suck it up and turn the other cheek. The left has to mildly respond to be being called deviants, or traitors, and if we don't we've only proven our detractors' case.
When we call Larry Craig a closet case we're not denigrating him, but noting that his nature and his politics are in such stark opposition that something has to be wrong with him. Being gay is ok, being a self-hating gay isn't, in no small part because it can lead to wanting to deny other gays rights, or even to harm them. I don't think Megan knew enough frat guys in college to understand what homophobia really is.


M. Bouffant said...

In all fairness, she was referring to the travel time to the Far East, so she couldn't be reflecting on what she's seen so far. As a "mature" person I'm highly amused that she's wasting her time playing some portable "Lite" game device. What about those many books she always has going? Or just sleeping (though she strikes me as the type who'd have trouble sleeping or reading on a plane)?
Convincing herself that she's right. Again. That could take some time.

brad said...

Was she? I got the impression she was posting from waiting for a plane home or to another leg of the trip. Either I wasn't paying enough attention or she was unclear in her writing, n lord knows it can't be the latter.

M. Bouffant said...

I'm obsessive, as I've nothing else to do.
She said in the comments that she was in Hanoi till the 19th, I think. I'm wondering if there's a conference or the like in town. And who's paying her way to examine economic & business whatnot. I doubt if it's The Atlantic footing the bill.

Anonymous said...

The conclusion of that post was just downright snobbish. Excuse me, but how is looking down her nose and deciding that SHE should set the standard for what constitutes quality of debate in among blogs a "public service announcement"?

"There you have too much of the blogosphere in a nutshell."

Oh, if everybody were as decent and civilized and perfect as Megan. Give me a break. Yes, there are blogs that really are juvenile and senseless, but the thing is, they're not very widely read and don't really get a lot of attention or merit. If people like that sort of thing, it's their business. It's not for McArdle to decide how everyone else should chose to spend their time on the internet. And no, most blogs are not about "the free exchange of ideas." In fact, most of them aren't even about politics.