Monday, February 9, 2009

On Snark and TBogg

The other day, in response to my essay, "How New Deal Policies Prolonged the Depression," TBogg of Firedoglake left this in the comments:

Be careful what you wish for Donald. I would hate to see the definition of a "socialist" become: " a pro-victory associate professor who lost his job because the state didn't get enough stimulus money".

And I'm not being snarky.

Best of luck to you.
TBogg says he's "not being snarky."

Okay, then what is he being? He's certainly not being caring or compassionate. That's not his intent at all, since his entire blogging schtick is snark.

TBogg, for example, in "
F-Me Pumps," smeared Alaska Governor following last October's vice-presidential debate - where she was wearing red high-heels - as an Alaskan hillbilly, the political personification of Amy Winehouse's no-nightlife sluts. TBogg's also had a longrunning hostility to Townhall's young conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro. Ridiculed as "Virgin Ben," TBogg has attacked Shapiro for his sexual abstinence, and when Shapiro got married in Israel last summer, TBogg wrote a post entitled, "Mazel Tov! Now why don’t we do it in the road…", saying "The Virgin Ben, had gone Full Metal Conjugal back in July with his new bride, the now Mrs. Probably Not A Virgin Ben ...

And now
TBogg claims that his comment at my post wasn't "snarky"? Well, perhaps a little childish excoriation wasn't up to the task needed to take me down more than a few notches, that is, to destroy me for speaking truth to Democratic power.

I'm halfway through reading David Denby's, Snark, a book on the increasing corrosion of public discusion in American life. Now, I'm no fan of Denby. In a later section of the book, in a chapter devoted to Maureen Dowd, he slams the New York Times columnist for the inadequacies of her snarky essays in attacking President George W. Bush, who Denby calls a tyrant (and then pleads that he's not comparing President Bush to "Hitler").

That said, in Snark, Denby is judicious in his analysis, and the book's worth a look for those still sorting out the venom of a life of political blogging. Denby, by the way, is not attacking satire or spoof, irreverence or irony. He's especially not taking on hate speech or Internet trolls. Denby sees snark (which is the use of malicious sarcasm) as a "pinkeye" infecting the national conversation.

In his historical review of snark, Denby says some of those who professionally attack others intend their words to be strong enough to "make their victims disappear - go away, give up, even kill themselves."

This, then, perfectlly captures TBogg's comment above.

I'm one neoconservative blogger who "just won't die," and when I'm actually strengthened by the abuse and invective from folks like TBogg, they'll abandon snark to just sow fear - in this case job loss for a professor like me employed by the state community college system.

It's not just, "How dare you ridicule the Democratic socialist agenda? Don't you know that you'll lose your job?" It's "I hope and pray you lose your job you wingnut freak, and that you die in the wet gutter of the unemployment lines. We've had it with neocons like you who've raked this country over the coals with war and economic catastrophe." TBogg's beyond just flipping conservatives the bird of dismissal. His intent here is to feign serious concern - "Best of luck to you" - in disguise of the dark spells of death and destruction.

This is what's at the heart of the left. Both sides do snark, of course, as Denby indicates to full extent in is book.

But people like TBogg have truly abandoned any modicum of divine grace and reason for the witch's spell of contumely and ridicule. This is the faux humor of secular demonology. It's not for fun and laughs. It's to denigrate and destroy those whose values and ideas stand in the way of the left's progressive nihilism that's seeking a chokehold on the vitality of this nation.


Norm said...

Professor, thank you for being that blogger who "just won't die". You represent millions of Americans. The TBoggs of this country are free to write whatever they want as long as they understand that they are enemy of democracy and freedom.

Anonymous said...

Not "snarky"? Name me one moonbat who isn't.

Sorry I haven't been around for a while. I have relocated to my new web site.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I love sarcasm, but not of the personal attack variety. A well placed barb serves a purpose and sometimes it to deflate the overly inflated. These guys are happy whacking on somebody from a distance because it is safe to do so. Bully are simply cowards. Stay on offense. I'm a fan.

Dan Collins said...

Who? James Wolcott's Salacious Crumb?

Anonymous said...

Oh Donald.

If the people didn't have snark to vent the pressure, they'd wind up having to resort to violence. And since the majority of the military these days consists of the poor & downtrodden, well. I wouldn't put much jack on you & your neoconservatives fates winding up more positive than, say, lying bleeding in a dog-poo-filled alley.

Honestly, you should PRAY for snark. It's the only thing standing between you and a pitchfork.

Dan Collins said...

Oh, Marlo-

The majority of the military today hardly consists of the poor and downtrodden. That may change, of course, if right-thinking people like Conyers get to reinstitute a draft to make sure that the US military is properly politicized. But considering that the military stands between you and a lot of Islamist nut jobs who'd like to treat you like some kind of Polish engineer, it's really unseemly that you're such a jackass.

Can we take pictures of coffins now, huh, can we?

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what you are taking about. The vast number of people in the military, officers and enlisted a like, are more educated than your average leftist poster. The military spends large sums of money to improve its members education through various programs.
Also, most people in the military are conservative in their political philosophy. That would explain why the Dems do everything possible to discount the votes of military members by any means possible.
It is just that most of us, retired and active still believe in freedom of speech and the Constitution. We do defend you rights which is something most leftists would not do. It is why PC comes from the left.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, are you just making stuff up?

I'll show you mine. Will you show me yours?

Looks like there's a reason the military spends large sums of money to educate recruits.

Anonymous said...

Note: I stated military and the Army is not the only service that makes up the military.

LFC said...

DD:You've outdone yourself w/ this post. This is one of the more ludicrous things, esp the conclusion, that I've read by you. "The witch's brew of contumely and ridicule"? The "wet gutter of the unemployment lines"? Reading this post is like a reading a dime novelist who's taken something (what, I'll leave up to readers' imaginations).

LFC said...

Sorry - an extra "a" got in there. Typo - pls ignore.

M. Bouffant said...

If the right weren't speaking from where the sun doesn't shine (note civility) all day & all night & all afternoon, it wouldn't be so easy to commit snark against you.

Case in point: Norm, the first commenter. What?

Anonymous said...

Note: I stated military and the Army is not the only service that makes up the military.

Wow, you really got me there, Dennis. Mea culpa and no mas. I'm sure there is a 1000% difference.

bjkeefe said...

"I hope and pray you lose your job you wingnut freak, and that you die in the wet gutter of the unemployment lines. We've had it with neocons like you who've raked this country over the coals with war and economic catastrophe."

We've also had it with your delusions of persecution, your knee-jerk hysteria, and your instinct for donning the victim cloak whenever your blatherings provoke any response other than fawning from mouth-breathers.

I haven't read a post so simultaneously whiny, self-aggrandizing, and pathetically seeking blogospheric attention since normal people stopped caring about Ann Althouse.

This is the faux humor of secular demonology.

I'll leave alone the oxymoron inherent in the last two words, but as for faux? No.

TBogg is genuinely funny. Every single day. He makes dealing with people like you easier. As Marlo Thomas observed above, you should be just as glad for him as we are.

Anonymous said...

Donald Douglas,
I believe the point of TBogg's comment was that it is interesting to see somebody rail against government spending, when that person is dependent on government spending for his source of income.

Can you respond to that?

Anonymous said...

Jeebus, dude, paranoid much?

As president of IRONY! Fan Club, I just love that a guy who rails against government spending collects a state paycheck.

(As opposed to a Lefty Fetus Eating Islamo-commie-facsist like me who owns a small business and writes paychecks to his employees. I only do it because it's, ya know, ironic.)

Anonymous said...

Lighten up, Donnie. All tbogg did was grab at some low-hanging fruit. And you must admit that you're pretty low.

Unknown said...

OMG. This is hilarious! Poor Professor, so, so clueless. LOLOLOLOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

As usual, the rightwing reaction to a salient observation that exposes the core hypocrisy of their argument is to go all victimhood on the reply. Look who's using invective and hostile language in reaction to a simple point of fact. You might be reading a book on snark, but you really aren't comprehending what the point of it is....

You lost this rhetorical argument the minute you posted this response. Thanks for being yet another example of a RW posting pinata that gives us so much reading entertainment on the web.