In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff


We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.







Try Advanced Search


  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...


CultureBlogs
Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
PhilosoBlog
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Gregdotorg
BookSlut
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Cronaca
Plep
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Seablogger
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette


Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Samizdata
Junius
Joanne Jacobs
CalPundit
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Public Interest.co.uk
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
Spleenville
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
CinderellaBloggerfella
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
InstaPundit
MindFloss
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes


Miscellaneous
Redwood Dragon
IMAO
The Invisible Hand
ScrappleFace
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz

Links


Our Last 50 Referrers







« Political Linkage | Main | About the Subject: Bouguereau vs. Currin »

March 10, 2009

Are We Cranky? Is it the Economy or ...

Dear Blowhards --

"I used to enjoy this blog, but I find the dialogue has been getting crankier and crankier. "

Thus began a comment to a recent posting of Michael's, but it might as easily have been attached to a posting by Friedrich or me. There might be something to the claim, and if there is, I'm wondering what the reason might be.

One possibility, as the headline hints, is the nasty economic downturn of the last six or more months. Perhaps many or most of us are on edge due to concerns about money, job security and other issues that accompany recessions and depressions.

Another factor might be the nature of the subjects of postings. We continue to write about arts, life and oddball stuff. But not all of this makes for comment-fest fodder. Michael has told me that The Wife believes that many of the essays we post are pretty complete in themselves. That is, they are read, understood and appreciated -- but there is little reason for readers to comment.

What stirs up comment swarms seems to be postings about politics or lifestyle-related subjects such as sex or personality. Religion would probably be another hot topic, but that is seldom covered here. Basically, these are the sorts of subjects that polite hostesses of yore wished to avoid at dinner parties -- because they can easily provoke anger if there is disagreement.

Usually disagreements hereabouts remain on a high plane. But sometimes commenters resort to name-calling; perhaps a therapeutic act, but nothing to advance an argument intellectually. A few months ago on comments to some of my postings I saw name-calling in the first sentence and got so fed up that I began deleting such comments, not caring who "started it." On the other hand, I almost always allow comments attacking me to be posted because it gives other readers an insight regarding the personality of the commenter.

So what, then, is going on? Is it stressful times we're living in? A Blowhards self-inflicted problem? Something else? Or is there no problem at all.

Comments welcome.

Later,

Donald

posted by Donald at March 10, 2009




Comments

i check this blog almost everyday or ever few days. it's one of my favorite blogs or websites. i comment very infrequently just because sometimes the topic isn't in my area of interest or knowledge plus sometimes i don't always have something to add, unless it's about film or pop culture or a political discussion about something i can wrap my head around.

Posted by: t. j. on March 10, 2009 12:07 PM



I haven't noticed this blog getting crankier. It seems to still be the eclectic mix of arts, pop culture, and politics.

You wrote
> Perhaps many or most of us are on edge ...

Perhaps. Nevertheless some of us have a new-found appreciation for health, jobs, and family as opposed to iPods, wide-screen TVs, and expensive vacations.

Posted by: Art on March 10, 2009 12:08 PM



Your analysis about user behavior and commenting is accurate, Donald. To draw hundreds of heated responses, you have to behave like an AM news radio dickhead, insulting as many listeners as possible.

I will not name names but in addition to the talking heads who take their bluster to Fox News, some of the writers featured in your blogroll also follow the AM Radio [Dickhead] Model.

Of course, after receiving hundreds of responses, these people are still AM news radio dickheads. Popular maybe, but boring. That is one reason I will keep visiting 2 Blowhards and ignore the fake blowhards.

Posted by: Joe Valdez on March 10, 2009 12:09 PM



Donald, I write as someone who has contributed, and enjoyed contributing, some pretty hard-edged invective on this blog. My own sense has been that things have been rather quiet here lately, with the temperature rising only over the last few weeks or so. But that's just my take.

As for the comment that you quoted that seems to have prompted your post:

I used to enjoy this blog, but I find the dialogue has been getting crankier and crankier.

The commenter did not appear to be exercised, at least fundamentally, about the level of vitriol here, but about the political slant of the post and of its comments. The commenter clearly aimed the complaint at "right-wingers", and felt there was something inappropriate about the entire discussion, with its focus on the problem of Hispanic immigration.

Your concern may be based on much more than just dilettante's single comment. But that comment was clearly an attempt to invalidate certain topics of discussion by attacking the motives and character of the people raising the issue, in the guise of attacking the comments.

The comment wasn't anything to get worried about. The politicized, ideologically driven agenda behind the comment renders it worthless as a guide to manners.

Posted by: PatrickH on March 10, 2009 12:20 PM



t'was me that said that. And, like clockwork, one of your commenters called me a vile racist and helpfully suggested I not let the door hit my ass on the way out. Sigh. Just what is the deal with that? Where does that level of anger come from? And what is the point of the tantrum?

Anyway, to the post in question, I think you are being a bit disingenuous when you say that you were just terse and it was a shorthand way of critiquing immigration policy. Now think for half a second about what the crankazoid apoplectic echo chamber will do with a stat on a whole lotta Messicans invadin' OUR schools. Whaddya gonna get with that? Deep down, you are playing to the Archie Bunkers, and you gotta know any pushback is going to be yelled down. Let's wind up the libtards and then screech at them! Fun! If it works for O'Reilly, it can work for you!

I don't have Chris White's patience, though I do agree with his positions on a lot of things. But I just don't have low enough blood pressure to bite my lip through the kinds of attacks he gets. The most damning critique so far of Chris seems to be "moral preening". To me this seems defensive -- as if you know you've taken the moral low ground and hate to be called on it. And at best, it is an ad hominem argument too.

Anyway, there is a way to frame debate, and there is goading. Your post assumed your readers shared your moral outrage and would start from there (and where else is there to go with that, anyway?). Instead of asking questions -- how sustainable is this? What does this mean for our comunities? can our social services handle this? How does this align with our notions of identity? etc. etc. Instead, the post was "Lotsa brown children in the schools! OMG!"

And now you ask if this is a self inflicted problem? Oh, brother.

I know you think you're being charmingly curmudgeonly and iconoclastic with such things. I gotta tell you though, from here it looks damn ugly.

(Now, go ahead, accuse me of preening, racism, liberal wooly headedness, whatever. Shout Shout Shout. My ass has avoided the door.)

Posted by: dilettante on March 10, 2009 12:42 PM



The current economic situation is having an enormous, and detrimental, impact on our collective state of mind, and no doubt the nature of the comments being posted on this and other blogs. Fear about the present, uncertainty about the future, an understanding that the "system" has become fundamentally unfair (and irrational), and a recognition that many (most?) of our public-sector and private-sector officials and institutions have failed to perform competently over the last several years, either because of ignorance, greed, or hubris. However, keep posting. I love this blog!

Posted by: Larry Phillips on March 10, 2009 1:10 PM



"Instead of asking questions -- how sustainable is this?"
It isn't.

"What does this mean for our communities?"
See above.

"Can our social services handle this?
No.

"How does this align with our notions of identity."
It doesn't.

In any event, those questions are hardly ever asked by liberals. The answers have been decided by them with no debate.


"I know you think you're being charmingly curmudgeonly and iconoclastic with such things. I gotta tell you though, from here it looks damn ugly."
Spoken like a true, well, never mind...

Is there anything else?

Posted by: anon on March 10, 2009 1:33 PM



I for one only find the blog interesting when it descends to name-calling. Donald's collection of booby and ass picks was only slightly interesting the first round. Michael's topics are too erratically chosen for me to take them seriously. And many of the commenters are just jerks. Speaking of... "something i can wrap my head around" is a trite, overused expression that always reminds me of the drug addicted man whore I first heard it from. The pseudonymous poster of the above phrase obviously believes it's far superior to most of the rest of us.

Really, I'm cranky because I grew disenchanted with this blog almost immediately upon discovering it, the books I bought months ago that I'd boxed so lovingly by topic no longer interest me when I pick them up to read, even the roast I bought turned out to be of inferior quality dashing my expectations for a sumptuous dinner. Nothing satisfies because unlike tj, I prefer to sink my teeth into things rather than wrap my head around them. My, the headaches you must get, tj. Take a break once in awhile, won't you?

Time for a good fight I say but you won't find one here among antiseptic intellectuals and pompous bores.

Posted by: shiva on March 10, 2009 1:49 PM



I have the happy temperamental attribute of being equably cranky through time and circumstance. Semper eadem, that's me. Thus I could serve as a useful benchmark. If everyone starts evincing crankiness at or near my standard level, that's probably a sign that people are getting crankier, and a bad sign for society.

Posted by: Moira Breen on March 10, 2009 2:20 PM



Bite me and @#$% off, all of you.

Posted by: Bilwick1 on March 10, 2009 2:23 PM



dilettante – Just a friendly note that Donald (the author of this post) is not Michael (the writer who set off the flame war referenced here). And thanks, BTW for the expression of support.

Donald - While I might prefer a few more tussles over abstraction versus traditional realism or examinations of the cultural significance of Memphis soul and a few less forays into the more contentious areas of race and politics, you guys are doing just fine. Any blog simultaneously generating threads on immigration, the financial crisis, Franz Kline, DFW, and Frank Frazetta is doing something right.

These are difficult times and the arc of the last three decades has seen punditry go from William F. Buckley, Jr. who said things in discussions with those holding opposing views like, “I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.” to Bill O'Reilly, "Shut up!" and "I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out, and I wouldn't have rescued them."

Every so often a thread can go off the rails and lapse into an uncivil flame fest but, all in all, there is not a problem here. Still, it is sometimes helpful for you guys as hosts to remind those of us who comment here to be a bit more polite and respectful of opposing viewpoints.

Moira - LOL. You go girl!

Posted by: Chris White on March 10, 2009 3:25 PM




sN is a rotten son of a bitch who throws words around like a precocious 2-year-old sitting in a sandbox tossing sand in the air. Very impressed with himself.
The guy/gal/thing? has more issues than a magazinephile packrat. By the way who the fuck is he? to comment here hiding behind two letters -I guess his momma's apron wouldn't reach into cyberspace -F(ing) creep. Why doesn't he park his van, untie the little girls and apologize to the world by blowing his worthless fucking-head off. It would be a fitting ending to have an illegal alien mopping up his toxic gray matter or whatever variety of dung it is that constitutes sN's brain. What an ASSHOLE.
sN

Posted by: sN on March 10, 2009 3:31 PM



It't the topics chosen and the way their presented, definitely, which of course is probably influenced by recent economic news. So yeah, a combination. When this was mainly an arts blog, things were much more civil, as they would remain today if the blogs stuck to those art subjects.

I appreciate this here blog mostly for Michael's sometimes maddening and sometimes refreshing blend of boho artistic sensibilities and quasi-libertarian political leanings. I've recently been enjoying Donald's lesser-known artists posts, but must admit I find his political posts simplistic. Frederich's posts on economics are extremely thoughtful and usually far beyond my meager understanding of economics.

As for the commenters, I'm almost always in agreement with Chris White, find PatrickH, Moira and a few others entertaining and intelligent(although I rarely agree with them), and think ST is getting more boorish and boring by the second. But overall, differing viewpoints are presented and argued in a FAR more civil and intelligent manner on this blog than on any other blog I've seen.

Posted by: JV on March 10, 2009 3:31 PM



I'm a very regular reader, but seldom comment. This site and Arts&Letters Daily are among my very few "must checks".

Donald, I don't think comments on this great blog are any more vitriolic than what one finds anywhere else on the Web. Feel free to continue avoiding religion, sex and politics. Those topics are beat to death all over the Web and elsewhere.

Posted by: anton on March 10, 2009 3:42 PM



Many of our "givens" have been called into serious question in the last few years. That limits on the expansion of prosperity exist is the big one for most people.

Virtually nobody but extremist cranks held out against that idea through the last fifteen years, while "conservatives" and "liberals" argued over just a few key points on the fringes of their shared assumptions.

It was easy, and almost a matter of no practical consequence, to identify oneself with one "side" or the other.

But now, so many unanswered questions.

Where's the bottom? Who's an extremist crank, and who's a steely-eyed visionary?

What OTHER essential pieces of the puzzle are hiding in plain view?

I remember when I first came across the business of HBD, just a few years back. It blew a whole assortment of "conservative versus liberal" competing ideals out of the water.

As it turned out, it wasn't that one was "right" and the other "wrong," but that both sides had somewhat willfully missed the whole point.

I was shaken for weeks, months, even, as I tried to make sense of it all. And I said a lot of things, both in my daily life and online, that I wish now I hadn't said.

Confused people are often the angriest.

Posted by: old married woman on March 10, 2009 3:59 PM



The crankiness is endemic. I haven't had a positive, upbeat conversation with anyone in three weeks.

Posted by: jz on March 10, 2009 4:00 PM



JV -- You are correct that my political posts are "simplistic." That is intentional. I could get far more detailed and analytical. But I instead choose to mostly hint about issues, this for reasons I might mention another time.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on March 10, 2009 4:08 PM




The comments speak for themselves and only for themselves. Seems like a great and terrible thing about the Internet. I think it is pretty great on this site. It seems a very feminized mainstream media kind of think to eliminate comments.

You could put up a pay pal, and I would contribute so people who - say - were called assholes by shouting thomas could get whatever number of years of counseling one requires to oversome such a thing.

I do hate the bores, especially the champions of the left who have been trained to bark talk radio, rush limbaugh, o'reilly, RACIST whenever they hear something that hasn't been said on NPR. However, I see only a little harm in them having their say and that harm can be remedied with some Advil.

I had some tangles with Spike Gomes over immigration , so I followed his comments on other posts. Holy shit, I learned he is the kind of smart guy I'd gladly have a beer and conversation with. It doesn't all have to be bad.

However, I think if you want to pick up a "chair" and smash someone over the head with it there is a time and place for it -- that place is the comments section. It can be a rough bar, pilgrims, but jayzus, you gotta go through the door to get to it. You can always stay outside and talk to yourself.
sN

Posted by: sN on March 10, 2009 4:29 PM



Donald, we are indeed living in a very stressful time. Some people are simply blowing off steam but others are being their truly nasty selves.

Posted by: chic noir on March 10, 2009 6:03 PM



Dear Lord! What's your problem Donald?

This is one of the best blogs on the internet and what I most like about it is that it's a cultural blog. Our lives operate within the cultural matrix and so discussion about our culture is fundamental to pretty much everything we do in our lives. The other great thing about this blog is that discussions tend to be "open", it literally is a free speech forum. It's going to get rowdy. I ain't a forum for prissy old maids.

Great ideas are meant to excite the passions. And passionate people tend to be unruly, argumentative and easily offended.
Immigration, race, sex, art, relationships and economics are subjects which grown adults should have formed some form of definite opinion on. These subjects are all in some way related to the good life, and if you don't get angry when beauty, truth and goodness get violated, what sort of man are you?

As for grumpiness, you have every right to be: You are normal. From my perspective across the Pacific, all I can say is WTF has happened to your country? Ditto for England and Australia. I mourn for what our countries have become. The stupidity and rampant corruption chafes, the ugliness offends the eye and soul, our domestic awe, sense of community and things held in common with our forefathers lay in ruins. Our countries are slouching towards Gomorrah, and we are meant to be discussing about such matters politely and calmly over tea and biscuits, making sure no one gets cross? Ummm... No.

Sometimes the shit thrown around is manifestly deserved. You can't argue with a dickhead especially a sanctimonious one, as many of our friends on the Left are. Brown, black and white kids aren't born value neutral, they are bought up in households with certain cultural values, these cultural values eventually get asserted demographically. Is this a good thing? Dunno, because we aren't even allowed to discuss the matter, asking the question is proof of malevolence as decreed by the Left. How do you argue with a man who won't even debate the topic? Or more importantly when such a discussion actually gets going, what do you say to a man who try's to shut it down by besmirching the participants for merely discussing the matter? In other words shutting down the argument by ad hominem attack. The only way to respond to this is to tell the bastard to piss off and get back to the argument.

I think it was Chesterton who once said that the only thought that needs to be emphatically combated is the thought that stops all thinking.Shutting down an argument when people get offended is such a thought. It's the thought that stops cultural development dead in its tracks.

The truth is more important than politeness. Good men will always assert it because being good is more important than being nice. As the Master said, " I will spew you out because you are neither hot or cold", God seems to hate a moderate, he prefers the company of passionate men. Greetings Shouting Thomas!

Posted by: slumlord on March 10, 2009 7:20 PM



The problem is that we live in an era of unprecedented public duplicity and backstabbing. With the ascension of a quota product to the presidency, this is coming to a head. I suspect that the issues involved will lead to large scale social violence. Michael Blowhard has suggested the same many times, although obliquely, through his discussions of secession.

White men are presumed to have no right to prosecute their self interest, while every other group is encouraged to prosecute its self interest to maximum advantage. Where do you go with this system? White men are left with few choices. They can make the despicable choice that Chris White has made: to become a kiss ass for every sissified liberal cause. They can become bigot hunters, forever proving their sainthood by discovering racism in other white men, like Peter L. Winkler or dilettante... yet, another disgraceful choice.

Duplicity and backstabbing have thus become a way of life for the liberal white man. A public pretense of sainted disinterest in one's own self interest is the basic stance.

If I had to state the political perspective of this weblog, I'd say that it is one of the few places where the complete disenfranchisement of white men can be discussed. This is not a discussion that can be friendly and polite. The Chris Whites, Peter L. Winklers and dilettanes of this world are dangerous enemies. They are selling out the property, marriages and lives of other white men to advance their own interests.

Whether or not arguing with them in this forum makes any sense, or has the possibility of making any difference... that's another subject.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 10, 2009 7:30 PM



"I was shaken for weeks, months, even, as I tried to make sense of it all. And I said a lot of things, both in my daily life and online, that I wish now I hadn't said."

Aye, once I discovered that the intellectually endowed are often nut jobs, I grew to have a completely different perspective on how these self-same geniuses described the norms of each racial/ethnic group. There's a reason genius is so rare, a very good reason. ; )

Posted by: shiva on March 10, 2009 7:43 PM



dilettante,

You are about as low a scumbag racist as has ever visit this blog.

What the fuck are you doing with your asshole preening talk about little brown children?

You asshole... half of my family is now Filipino. I have quite a few fucking little brown kids in my family. They arrived in the U.S. legally. Surprisingly, every legal Filipino immigrant I know (every one of them a little brown person) is bitterly opposed to illegal immigration.

As I said, it's a rule of thumb. When assholes carry on the way you do about your sainted views on race... you can bet that asshole is a vile racist.

I thought you were leaving. What's taking you so long? Evidently, you did let the door hit you in the ass.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 10, 2009 7:44 PM



I'll echo JV, this is a far more civil blog than the usual screamfests. You guys have a stellar group of regular commenters, witty and articulate.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on March 10, 2009 7:46 PM



Just in case anyone is wondering, I'm letting all commenters say what they please on this thread.

And I'll add that what is posted does not necessarily represent the views of 2Blowhards management -- possibly including the present comment.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on March 10, 2009 8:15 PM



Cheer up: compare yourselves with some other high quality blogs. Just contemplate the decline in standard of comments suffered by Megan McArdle when she moved her blog to The Atlantic. Or the witless drivel that passes for comment on the Calculated Risk blog. I could name others except that I seem to have expunged them from both my Favourites list and my memory.
You don't even need to Blowharder; carry on, gentlemen.

Posted by: dearieme on March 10, 2009 8:45 PM



Threads on immigration often lead to vitriolic comments on many different forums. It must be a highly controversial and emotional topic.

Posted by: Peter on March 10, 2009 10:17 PM



I have to second the idea that calm, well-reasoned posts gather few comments. It seems kind of sad that the most worthy posts on any blog will usually have only a scatter of comments, and those short. After all, if the author really has said it all, what can you add?

It is interesting. If a topic has too many comments, it has probably degenerated into a flame-war between two or three commenters. Personally, while I do try to keep away from the invective (even if I seem to invite a fair bit), there's an odd pleasure to slipping into the ring and defending what one believes.

Besides, I'm far more interested in finding weaknesses in my own beliefs. (I presume I know the weaknesses in those I oppose.) Who is going to point those weaknesses out but those who believe quite the opposite. And if my opponents have no counter-argument but invective, then I've won :-).

Posted by: Tom West on March 10, 2009 10:43 PM



Nevertheless some of us have a new-found appreciation for health, jobs, and family as opposed to iPods, wide-screen TVs, and expensive vacations.

I can't condemn wide-screen TVs. I've had one for a while now and every time I settle down to watch a movie on it I get a lot of pleasure from the brilliant color and large, wide-screen format picture that allows me to watch the movie very much like I would have seen it in a theater. Much of the stuff people spend money on is crap and I have no time for it. But a good quality wide-screen TV is a thing of beauty, a fine tool that I use often and with great pleasure.

As for the statistic about the huge numbers of non-white children in the schools: I think Mexicans are perfectly fine human beings and I wish them all the best, but I don't want to live as a minority in my country. Especially not as a white man in a country run by triumphalist non-whites looking for payback for perceived historical wrongs or for the injury to their dignity caused by the relative prosperity and achievement of my people.

There is no people on earth that would be indifferent to becoming a minority in their own country. There is no upside to it. It means being at the mercy of the majority.

To my knowledge, white liberals are the only people in history who are indifferent to becoming a minority in their own country. They are the only people I know of who persecute their own kind for trying to maintain majorityhood and control.

The reason they do it, I think, is misguided idealism. I think northern Europeans are the most idealistic people in the world. The upside of idealism is non-corrupt governments and police, and honest elections. The downside is that if we decide something is right, we'll stick to it even if it kills us. In fact, the bigger the cost, the more obvious the depth of our commitment becomes. The bigger the sacrifice, the greater the virtue. White liberals are willing to sacrifice Western civilization to prove their commitment. I think many of them find the prospect of it an ultimate expression of their nobility. They'd rather our people vanish than see their principles violated.

The problem is that a lot of us aren't convinced that their liberalism is what's right. Certainly not to the extent that we'd be willing to become a powerless minority in the country our ancestors built and passed on to us. And I think this means that either liberals are going to have to wake up to the reality of what their choices are doing to us or there is going to be a war between liberal whites and whites who want to preserve ourselves. And unfortunately, as in the recent election, liberals whites will have plenty of non-whites and other grievance groups who will be happy to help them defeat us.

This isn't about hate or bigotry or xenophobia. It's about the reality of what it means to live as a minority in a country. It is a matter of cool, logical evaluation of history and the realities of the way human populations interact.

You may believe that America is the exception, that it won't hurt white people to become the minority. I'm not willing to take that chance and I don't see any reason that I should have to.

Posted by: Mark on March 11, 2009 2:20 AM



Donald,

I don't perceive any increase in crankiness on the part of you or the Blowhards. However, it does seem that the number of stupid people leaving idiotic comments has increased slightly.

I encourage you and the Blowhards to continue posting whatever the hell you feel like posting, in whatever tone you feel like posting it. It's your site, damn it!

Posted by: Laikastes on March 11, 2009 6:04 AM



Cranky? Maybe people are just calling bullshit when they hear it. When jerkoffs like Chris White talk about "paybacks" don't be surprised if people respond in kind.

Posted by: none on March 11, 2009 1:28 PM



I think there's more going on than economic insecurity, serious as that is. It may be that liberty is dying. You lunkhead! some of you are thinking, it died long ago. Well, yes, in the sense that we, all of us, cannot possibly know what it was to live a whole life practically untouched by the heavy hand of the state: the dominant experience of 19th century Americans. Even so, some of us grew to maturity before PC. Before the self-censorship that comes with knowing that many things, many vital things, just aren't said. Because to say them...well, there goes the career, or there goes inclusion in the social groups that one wants, needs, to be a part of.
The heavy steel curtains are coming down. That's what I feel. For one who grew up in liberty, relative liberty, the end of that liberty is tantamount to the end of humanity. Reason enough to be cranky, and then some.

Posted by: ricpic on March 11, 2009 7:44 PM



I may think the Chris Whites of the world are misguided morons, but I'd never call them evil.
But Chris and his ilk truly believe that the other side of the aisle is populated by evil people. I think that's part of the problem here; the Shouting Thomases of the world will NOT be lectured by those they consider feckless weenies.

Not that a good ad hominum attack once in a while isn't fun!

Posted by: Brutus on March 11, 2009 8:38 PM



dilettante, Mar 9: "This post has caused me to delete this site from my bookmarks"

dilettante, Mar 10: "My ass has avoided the door."

Apparently not, you still seem to be on this side of it.

Anyway, you accuse people of "crankazoid apoplectic" shouting and put misspelled words in their mouths. If you're looking for cranky fanatical shouters who prefer "goading" to "fram[ing] debate," look in the mirror. You're as guilty as anyone here, my friend. Your posts have been anything but calm or constructive.

Posted by: Lawful Neutral on March 12, 2009 1:02 AM



Yes, there is more vitriol than there used to be. It's a law of nature, I think - any forum which is not explicitly restricted to civil discussion of reasonable topics will degenerate into shouting matches over insoluble controversies.

It happened with USENET, for instance.

There are some people who actively enjoy provoking such decline. For instance, someone commenting here as "shiva" seems to delight in gratuitous insult.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on March 12, 2009 3:52 AM



@Mark above. Thank you for that statement.

Posted by: jz on March 12, 2009 10:50 AM



I think hardcore conservatives are going insane at the moment because of the implosion of their ideology, their party, their economy, and perhaps worst of all the ascension of a black President. They see the apocalypse at hand. That is reflected in the comments on far right blogs; this blog is often eclectic politically (especially FvB), but in terms of temperment and prejudices the major posters are far to the right and this is reflected in the commenters.

But Chris and his ilk truly believe that the other side of the aisle is populated by evil people. I think that's part of the problem here; the Shouting Thomases of the world will NOT be lectured by those they consider feckless weenies.

ummmm, Chris White is obviously far more polite and civil to those on the other side of the aisle than ST is.

Posted by: MQ on March 12, 2009 9:31 PM



"There are some people who actively enjoy provoking such decline. For instance, someone commenting here as "shiva" seems to delight in gratuitous insult."

You're so provocative, Rich. Yawn.

BTW, do you actually have a substantial proboscis?

Posted by: shiva on March 12, 2009 11:21 PM




MQ,
I am sure I qualify as a far right poster. I did not like any of the candidates, but choosing from the TWO - I could handle Obama getting the prize. The country was in a rut and there was just something terribly distasteful about letting that old creep McCain take the steering wheel at that point. A bit of hope was actually needed.

I thought perhaps Obama would do the right thing or left thing (go moderate with a small goody bag for the left) if for no other reason than to preserve that precious image of his. I also imagined Obama might have a sense of restraint coming from his being the first black president and not wanting to taint that.

Instead Obama posted one of those false ads on CraigsList -- where an ANGRY person gives away their vacationing neighbor's (taxpayers') house and appliances. The blank-faced bastards in Congress (Pelosi, Reid, ect.--has anyone ever heard Reid or Pelosi actually have a coversation?) showed up with their pickups and loaded up. The social worker lobby took the potted plants and everyone said they might be back for the pipes and door knobs.

Yeah, that can piss off people. And it should be the end of (surprise) leftist ideology, not conservatism, when obamaism crashes and burns. The debt of his actions amounts to taking out a credit card for your grandkids and great grandkids. (I think our politicians should be forced to carry around a giant credit card at all times - like those giant checks they give lottery winners -- to remind the politicians of the hole they have dug for us all.)

The Right allowed Bush to put the nails in its coffin, and the Left seems to be willing to let Obama do the job for them. However, Bush was not a conservative, even if he did tarnish that label. So, the Right may return? Obama is leftism; so, it is do or die for that team.

As for the Apocalypse, I do think the Right probably has more of a sense of that in their dispositions. But it could be like those economists who for 39 years have forecasted doom -- finally they were right. Perhaps, the Right is going to stumble into prophecy as they yip at the heels of the messiah.
sN

Posted by: sN on March 12, 2009 11:22 PM



Angry and loud is NOT evil, MQ. And unlike ST, I don't have to listen to posters here with their blah blah blah racist Shouting Thomas, a guy with more "minority" relations than anyone here. His anger and volume are justified!

Yeah, the Right is going insane, but not due to idealogical collapse. Thrift, honesty, personal responsibility and the wish to associate with those believing in those things will never go away inspite of the efforts of those on the Left to make it so. But it would make anyone insane to listen to the Code Pink and Daily Kos freakazoids over the past 8 years screaming "Not my president!", then have those same people calling you a traitor for saying the same thing about Obambi! But you can't expect consistency from people with an ideology based on feelings not facts.

Most right-leaning posters to this site are a bit more informed than the common ruck, and they saw the pig in a poke that the country was buying with this guy. Like me, they shouted from the rooftops about his being in touch with his inner Mau Mau, as opposed to the bill of goods he was selling. Caveat emptor...

But if you wish to see REAL insanity, go to Zombietime and see the lefties going psychotic in the streets during the election season.

Posted by: Brutus on March 14, 2009 11:19 AM






Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:



Remember your info?