Saturday, June 06, 2009

Unclear on the Concept

So the inimitable Charles Pierce has just released a book excoriating the morons that have gleefully infested the body politic (and always have, of course, but now are uniquely empowered by technology). Naturally some bozo with the enterprising handle of "Kcoruol" ('cuz dude it's, like, "Lourock", but backwards! Duuude!!1!) has his one-star review ready with teabags on, waiting for a good solid fisking:

This book is more a liberal's rant against conservatism than against the truely stupid in America. A majority of liberals in America actually thought SNL's Tina Fey was actually Sarah Palin. Most of America doesn't know which party controls congress. Most American's couldn't tell you the capital of America. The children of 3rd world countries are out performing American children in math and science. I was expecting something more along these lines. This book is empty rhetoric.

Sigh. It must be nice to damn a book as "empty rhetoric" in a single paragraph consisting of exactly that. This is exactly the sort of person Pierce is writing about. The word "truly" does not have an "e", though it would not be surprising to find out that most Americans think it does. Also, "Americans" in the plural sense does not have an apostrophe. It's true, you can look it up and everything, bro-ham.

And so forth. The utter lack of self-awareness is exactly what's gotten us to this point as a society, and again, the heart of what Pierce appears to be writing about. This is not a review; it's a pastiche of baseless, uncitable assertions. "A majority of liberals in America actually thought SNL's Tina Fey was actually Sarah Palin." Who told him that, Sean Hannity? Yes, and they also thought Chevy Chase really was Gerald Ford.

The fact that this dipshit really seems to believe this -- without, ironically, realizing that one of the Fey/Palin skits actually used a Palin interview transcript almost verbatim -- even more entertaining than his epic struggles with basic punctuation, spelling, and critical thinking. Maybe what Keep On Rockin' In The Lou World meant to say was that a majority of liberals thought that Fey would make a better vice-president than Palin, which would then have the added benefit of actually being plausible, as well as true.

The one sentence that has a nugget of truth is that children in lesser-developed nations are outperforming ours in math, science, and engineering. Maybe that's because the kids in those countries are not being schlepped to a "museum" that has a dinosaur wearing a saddle and preaches a hopelessly bastardized parody of science.

It happens to be true that "conservatism", in its current form, has perpetuated and rhetorically supported that sort of nonsense, and any true classic form of conservatism seems to have died by the end of the first Bush administration. So yes, it makes sense that a liberal might more easily recognize the ways that the Republican Party and movement conservatism have served to ventriloquize some ridiculous people and notions.

I confess, I am really intrigued by the concept that the "GOP rocks". Who among the Republican Party "rocks", and in what form might that "rocking" take? Not that the Democrats are any great shakes; they sure as hell do not "rock" with any adequacy nor conviction. But the Republicans we see and hear from, who pollute our airwaves and printing presses, oh my this is rich. Does Dick Cheney rock as he defends and endorses war based on lies and torture based on paranoia, or is it his swingin' feint toward the usual "states' rights" dodge on gay marriage? Does Newt Gingrich rock as he peddles another unreadable book cobbled together from another random assemblage of warmed-over Six Sigma prattle? Fred Thompson? Huckleberry Graham? John McCain? Fuck, these are the same people who used Won't Get Fooled Again not once, but twice as their campaign song, completely without irony. These people "rock" like an octogenarian polka band in dry-dock.

So that leaves their newest crush, little Miss Baked Alaska, and just because Palin scratches their little naughty librarian itch does not excuse her inane, nonsensical word-salad responses to the simplest of questions. If this is what qualifies as rockin' in that intemellectual quadrant, it's no wonder they haven't figured out how to use an apostrophe. I know, it's not exactly the Freeper site, it's just one yahoo in the Amazon review area, but every cockroach needs a good stomping.


ThePoliticalCat said...

I can't tell you how glad I am, after a long absence, to return to blogtopia and find you still whupping teh fools upside teh head with your trusty hammer.

Marius said...

An alarming number of Americans, college students included, cannot distinguish the singular genitive from the plural nominative; hell, they have trouble telling its from it's. But right-wing cavemen have been waging a real battle against correct spelling for decades now; at this, they've been more successful than in the War on Some Drugs. They are keyboard warriors, but not in the sense that they mean it.

Heywood J. said...


Thanks. I'm not around as much as I'd like to be these days, but toward the end of this month and hopefully a good chunk of the summer should be more frequent. After that we'll see. Too many things (good, but time-consuming) going on. As long as it's therapeutic to rant about various breeds of morons and people dig reading that, I'll be in at least periodically.


I'm not a linguist or an etymologist, nor do I play one on teevee, but it seems that in the long run, many changes in spelling and other constructional conventions are precipitated by usage errors that gain popular traction somehow. But plural and possessive apostrophe rules are pretty clear; people have to practically try to screw those up.

Bottom line, though -- anyone growing the balls to call other people "stupid" had better at least know how to spell "truly", and when not to use an apostrophe. (And, you know, maybe be a bit skeptical about some weird fake stat about "liberals" seriously mistaking Tina Fey for Sarah Palin. Jeezus.) Their real jihad is against rational thought and common sense.