Re: Comments

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describe to someone how he managed to do it...

...and how, eventually, he failed...


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:30 AM
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Huh. I'd always credited Unf.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:32 AM
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Unf is just the figurehead, SCMT. Bob is the man behind the curtain.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:37 AM
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I just commented on McMegan's comment policy over at FTA:

I was thinking of posting on McMegan's comments. While the gender issues are real, I think a big chunk of what's happening to her is that she's gotten screwed by being personable and charming enough to have a whole bunch of liberal blogger friends who think she's a really nice person and link to her whenever she says something they can kind of agree with, or at least productively disagree with, despite the fact that her politics are well right of center.

So she ends up with an endless stream of commenters who come from the links from her liberal friends. And the commenters aren't personal friends of hers, so they react to her politics straight, and it gets nasty.

Most bloggers can rely on the bulk of their commenters being people who agree with them; McMegan's personal friend network messes that up for her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:42 AM
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4 makes sense.

I know that Unfogged could never have created the sense of community that it has today were it not for Ogged's active participation in the comments here.

Except during the disgraceful episode when he curtailed the use of creative font sizes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:44 AM
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I fully support McMegan's comments policy. Some principles are so important that they override personal hatred.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:45 AM
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The swimming vids and pool stories from Ogged have the effect of driving away all but the most committed members of the Unfoggedenzia. Ingenious and Darwinian method of moderation/community building.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:48 AM
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6. is right. Good policy, shame about the politics.

Most bloggers can rely on the bulk of their commenters being people who agree with them

Successful blogs are echo chambers? Sounds a bit depressing. Surely there can be more?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:49 AM
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3: No one has more respect for the yeoman's work that Bob did than I, but it's a mistake--or maybe something worse--to try to read Unf out of his position of primary responsibility. The blog, after all, is "Unfogged", not "Oggedunf" or "Bobogged." I'm wiling to accept that the comments were the synthetic result of the dialectic between Unf and Bob, with ogged playing the part of a particularly truculent student who each seeks to convince. I feel obliged to note that my acceptance doesn't make it true, though.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:49 AM
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Successful blogs are echo chambers? Sounds a bit depressing.

Yeah, mostly. Readers read things they enjoy. The kind of person who constantly reads and comments on things they disagree with tends to be quite a strong personality, predisposed to trolldom.

The best way to get around this is to have a blog containing multiple bloggers with wildly divergent politics. Maybe the Atlantic Monthly should have lumped all its "VOICES" together onto one page, like other magazine blogs.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:53 AM
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8: Well, there's 'echo chamber' and then there's 'agree on most of the fundamental premises'. There are divides across which no one's like to move anyone else, and it's hard to have a civil conversation that isn't formal -- informality plus fundamental disagreement tends to go straight to "which are you, psychotic or evil?" Even where the conversation stays formally civil, as it does at Obsidian Wings mostly, to pick someplace else that has a lot of fundamental disagreements kicking around, the cross-ideological arguments deteriorate into straight nastiness very quickly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:55 AM
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likelikely


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:56 AM
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I'm wiling

Your wiles have no effect on me, Tim.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 9:58 AM
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An ominous series of developments. If comment policies become ubiquitous, where will the trolls go? Back to the streets, that's where. Crime has been dropping nationwide as blogs have been gaining popularity, and I don't think that can be written off as coincidence. If people can't act on their sadistic/anti-social impulses in (relatively harmless*) online forums, they're going to revert to harrassment of real people in real life.

Perhaps they can all just be corralled on Youtube.com or something like that (the internet equivalent of Escape from New York City?). But I am not optimistic.

*Not to minimize the real trauma that can accompany online harrassment, but it is in most cases significantly overshadowed by the trauma of harrassment in the flesh.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:00 AM
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Yeah, flame wars are much more fun than comity.

I think that the range of political opinion is too wide for there to be much inter-ideological communication.

Unfogged has a wider than average range, and even without our token Republicans we can have pretty intense political disagreement here.

People are openminded in different directions. With certain partial exceptions (some left libertarians and culturally conservative New Dealers) I'm not at open open to the right, whereas I'm able to communicate with Greens and leftists. I'm here among you liberals as a missionary of sorts.

I really only troll liberals. I quit going to McMegan's some time ago when I realized where she was coming from.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:00 AM
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McMegan's personal friend network messes that up for her.

Her general obtuseness as a political writer doesn't help her much, either. (Having said that, her comments policy seems fine excepting the according-to-Hoyle-ism she gets into with the F-word.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:05 AM
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how, eventually, he failed

He stopped using fear quite so often.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:10 AM
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Usenet has proven that any succesfl, text based, online community needs a shared set of values and wsill drive away those who do not share them. Inside this culture arguments are not just accepted but wanted, but arguments about those values quickly become wearisome.

Too wide a tolerance never works because there are too many assholes wanting to take advantage.

Or, complain about swimming videos at your own risk.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:16 AM
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Without dismissing 4, McMegan's specific politics have to come into it as well. Among online liberals at least, Douthat style catholic curmudgeons beget bemused appreciation, social conservatives earn disgust, warbloggers get piles of scorn, but its libertarians who really stir up the beehive--especially when they tend toward the glib, as McMegan does on occasion.


Posted by: Glenn | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:16 AM
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4: Here's my personal testimonial confirming your view: It was a link of yours here that led to my obnoxious and probably unwelcome commenting on McArdle's blog.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:16 AM
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Well, yeah, and I pay more attention to her blog because she's a RW friend/acquaintance of Becks', and of a lot of other liberal bloggers I read.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:18 AM
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19: "libertarians" s/b "schmibertarians"


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:22 AM
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21: On first read, RW went into my head as "right-wing".


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:25 AM
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There's a reason that Jim Henley doesn't get the same sort of nastiness directed at him that McArdle does, and it isn't just reducible to their respective genders. Specifically, I've never read a Henley post that could be reduced to "Liberals are stupid. Tee hee!"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:26 AM
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"libertarians" s/b "schmibertarians"

This is the problem: apparently well-intentioned, intelligent people who favor policy positions such as McArdle's come across not only as wrong, but dishonest. Which is not to say that she's dishonest, but it's harder to believe that someone as evidently smart and well-read as she wouldn't be aware of the mountains of evidence against her positions.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:26 AM
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she's gotten screwed by being personable and charming enough to have a whole bunch of liberal blogger friends who think she's a really nice person and link to her whenever she says something they can kind of agree with, or at least productively disagree with, despite the fact that her politics are well right of center.

This is an interesting use of "screwed." McArdle's liberal friends - and the friendly links they've periodically tossed her - are a big part of how she acquired that sheen of faux-independent respectability The Atlantic covets so much. For a writer who basically subscribes to Glenn Reynolds's worldview to get consistently promoted by the likes of Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein is not a small thing.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:27 AM
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Oh, I hardly ever agree with her, and I can't understand why she says the things she does. I'm just saying that without her personal network, she'd get mostly ignored on the left as generally wrong but rarely excitingly offensive: she'd just drop off our radar. It's the steady trickle of links she gets that makes leftish readers pay attention to her as: wrong; still wrong; goes on being wrong, why?; what's wrong with the woman?

Henley gets read by leftish readers because he's often right about stuff, and where I disagree with him, I can see how he gets there reasonably.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:31 AM
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As for her comments policy, deleting abusive and off-topic comments is fine; deleting curse words is schoolmarmish and inane; deleting references to "Fascism" and "Communism" is deeply revealing.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:32 AM
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Yeah, blogcrush aside, I very rarely respond to a McMegan post with "hmm, good point" whereas Henley prompts this reaction on a regular basis. I think the Stras explanation has to be taken seriously.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:32 AM
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17:

He stopped using fear quite so often.

This is quite possibly correct.

21:

I pay more attention to her blog because she's a RW friend/acquaintance of Becks', and of a lot of other liberal bloggers I read.

Alas. Because, and I realize I offer an entirely unsolicited and likely unwelcome view here, but I could care less what McArdle is blogging about, and it's a bit much to keep being directed to her here.

Sorry. Not my blog.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:32 AM
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Cory Doctorow needs Theresa Nielsen Hayden to defend his posts about DRM, Disney paraphernalia and The Wonderful World of Cory Doctorow (Sundays at 8/7 Central!) from the cruel hordes who actually seek to take advantage of the immediacy and other virtues of the Internet miracle that he so evangelizes to criticize him?

[Snicker.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:33 AM
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26: Yeah, 'screwed' isn't a simple concept there. The liberal linkage gives her a hostile comment section, but it's perfectly possible it's been a net career benefit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:33 AM
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19: That's part of it, but not the whole thing. Certainly there is a path dependence to it, due to fucking instapundit. I suspect, in addition, that it's a matter of many liberals and libertarians holding roughly similar priors, which makes their obtuseness on certain issues (healthcare, for example, in McMegan's case) even more infuriating.

There's other factors in play as well--even Burke and Holbo, who have but the faintest of libertarian sympathie, get tagged for it on occasion. I can't put my finger on it but I suspect it's aesthetic.


Posted by: Glenn | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:35 AM
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24, 25. Thing is, Henley (and his co-bloggers) recognise that their outlook is hard to defend in a humane way, so they work quite hard on it, issue by issue, and usually fail, but get respect for trying.

Many pseudo-libertarians though are all "Hallo sky, hallo trees", and screw the humanity. Probably they're not like that IRL, but the hell with that, they're never going to buy me a drink.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:36 AM
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27: Yeah, but my point is that it's not like she's enduring net suffering from those friendly liberal links, is it? She went from a dime-a-dozen asinine propertarian blogger to the Economist's payroll to being a paid blogger for the Atlantic Monthly. Having liberal friends who overlook the substance of her views and argumentation in order to plug a pal has been good for her career. All she's had to put up with is some testy liberals in her comment section, and her buddies continue to promote "McMegan's" inane, amoral latest.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:37 AM
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34: That's not at all what makes Henley work. He just isn't laden with ressentiment, so he doesn't feel the urge to say stupid things simply to get in a "Silly liberals and their hidebound conventional wisdom." That psychological payoff is the mothers milk of many of the most annoying glibertarians--hence the reflexive contrarianism.


Posted by: Glenn | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:46 AM
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I find the hatred of McCardle baffling. In terms of politics, she's basically has the same editorial position as The Economist. Her style is occasionally glib, but certainly not mean-spirited or dismissive. And the topics she focuses on aren't the usual partisan lightening rods (Iraq, torture, gender issues).

Despite this, you see Ezra Klein's commentators talking about how evil she is. Can someone explain this to me?


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:50 AM
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Some people get more personal attacks than others. Definitely this includes women (also Applebaum and, from me, Cox), but with Jonah Goldberg and Tucker Carlson it also gets personal, and as far as that goes, all the warbloggers. Douthat would get attacked if he had a higher profile; partly McMegan's success in building her brand is part of her problem.

All I'll ever have to say about a lot of the bigtime guys (Will, Brooks, et al) is that they're odious and detestable (or the equivalent) but I don't go on about it. The fact that some people think McMegan is worth bothering with makes ttacking her seem more necessary.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:53 AM
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Putting torture on that list is odd, considering that a couple of the threads that went nasty at her new blog were exactly about her position on torture.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:53 AM
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I find the hatred of McCardle baffling. In terms of politics, she's basically has the same editorial position as The Economist.

Sentence 2 is the answer to sentence 1. There is a reason why the Economist doesn't use bylines.

Also I agree heartily with "glib" (and often downright patronising, on the basis of zero knowledge) but disagree with "not mean spirited" and "not dismissive". That blog is on a level with Glenn Reynolds in terms of political bad faith.

Also, I'd note that the comments section there really isn't any rougher than, say, Tim Worstall's and substantially less so than Crooked Timber. It's just that she whines.

If every third post on D^2 Digest was me going "gosh all my commenters are being so bloody personal and nasty and mean! Why can't they just engage with my intellectual argument instead of making hurtful, hurtful personal remarks!" then it would have a subliminal effect on you over time and despite the fact that 100% of my comments these days are from the same group of three people discussing which pub we're going to meet up in, you'd be going "god poor Danny has a terrible time with those animals in his comments!".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:55 AM
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McMegan baits people.

Nobody like The Economist either, but it's hard to personalize an editorial policy. People just cancel their subscriptions.

Frankly, though, anyone who talks libertarian at all without talking at all about Bush's depradations is evil. That's most libertarians, unfortunately.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:55 AM
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40: As opposed to the current state of the blog, which is devoted to endless promises of your Freakonomics review? I'm not even interested in Freakonomics, and I keep on checking back just to find out if it exists, or if you're just putting us on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 10:58 AM
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Has there ever been a book with a more irritating title than Freakonomics? I cringe every time I see it.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:01 AM
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34, 36: Real, honest libertarians like Henley, Radley Balko, and Arthur Silber are important to have around because they're much more likely to focus on issues that mainstream liberals just don't spend as much time on (the drug war, the prison state, etc.). I've also found their critique of American foreign policy to be both broader and more comprehensive than the current liberal critique, which seems to be hoping that the current disaster is a momentary hiccup that can be fixed by swapping out bad personnel. Good libertarians, in my experience, are more likely to view Iraq not as an aberration, but as a natural outgrowth of dominant trends in American foreign policy - just as leftists would - while liberals are far more sanguine about the notion of a post-Iraq foreign policy that greatly resembles our pre-Iraq foreign policy.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:01 AM
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Am I the only one who can't read the word "McMegan" without wanting to go out and shoot a buffalo? What's wrong with McArdle?


Posted by: Teddy Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:01 AM
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Nope, "McMegan" doth irk.

Also, that comments policy is a mess.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:02 AM
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Ditto, "McMegan" is awful.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:04 AM
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Has there ever been a book with a more irritating title than Freakonomics?

No. This is why people who aren't all that interested otherwise are waiting for Daniel's takedown, popcorn at the ready. (It may not be a takedown, but I daresay it'll be a better read than the book.)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:04 AM
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Eh, it's not all that different from everybody else's real comments policy, which is that the blogger will delete what they find annoying enough. I mean, we don't delete much around here, but we've banned a couple of people (Bad Charlie's the one that comes to mind, as well as the Troll of Sorrow), and there have been deletions for excessive nastiness. She's just announcing that she plans to go there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:05 AM
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Specifically, I've never read a Henley post that could be reduced to "Liberals are stupid. Tee hee!"

She's been doing this for years. Combine this with a network of people who drive readers guaranteed to disagree with her to her site and yeah, that's a recipe for disaster. McArdle might very well be a pleasant person--and I might like her if I met her at a party--but between her and her commenters, life's just too short for me to spend time reading what she has to say.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:06 AM
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#42 I am now actually weeping as a result of your horrible hurtful comment.

Actually I think I will start adopting this wounded fawn persona for real going forward. There are one or two CT commenters who I think it will really irritate.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:12 AM
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If I come up with a more annoying tag for that person than "McMegan", I'll use it. "Zombie Slime Princess" would be OK, but it would take too long to get it accepted.

I successfully ignored her for a long time, but her recent promotions are irksome, just as Glenn Beck's, Jonah Goldberg's, Ana Maria Cox's, Ross Douthat's, Whatshisname Kagan's, and a few others I can't remember. Backwards progress.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:14 AM
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49: That's really not the case. She's specifically barring the use of the descriptors "fascist" and "communist" to describe anything other than previously existing historical movements which self-identified as fascist or communist. This isn't just a policy of "I'll delete whatever annoys me," it's a policy of "this is a really touchy subject for me and I don't want to talk about it and please please make it go away, la la la la la," which is not the most desirable trait to find in someone who's supposed to be paid for political commentary.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:14 AM
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The problem with "McMegan" isn't that it's insulting but that it's incredibly grating and twee.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:15 AM
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37: Emerson notwithstanding, the Large Media analog to McArdle is Brooks, who has taken a hell of a lot of abuse on blogs in the past. And in both cases, it's for the same reason: no small part of their value to employers, potential readers, etc. is their position as Reds in Good Standing with Blues. Which is irritating, because neither Brooks or McArdle do stand well ideologically with a lot of Blues. It's the same sort of thing that engendered the fury at "even the liberal New Republic," or at Air Miles Friedman. There's something about the affiliation with Dems/Blues/whatever that smacks of (unintentional) deception, and that infuriates people.

That said, the bitching about her comment policy--which I haven't read, and won't--is inane. She should delete whatever the hell she wants. I think it might be an act of grace to even indicate that you've deleted something, or not simply indicate it by replacing the text with "Deleted because I hate you." If you don't like what she'd done with her blog, try very hard to get a magic browser that doesn't land you there. Or criticize her from your own blog. Jeebus.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:16 AM
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53:Okay, that bit is nuts.

51: That should be entertaining, although you don't seem to know what 'for real' means.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:16 AM
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Oh my god, I hate David Brooks with a furious passion, though one of the main reasons is that the very first thing I read by him was a completely incorrect but extremely confidently delivered "profile" of the county I lived in at the time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:18 AM
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CT is somewhat unique in that it maintains a sustained and mostly stable ideological disjunction among its commentariat. I don't think I have seen another blog that has kept such a spread over such a period--everywhere else, one side eventually drives out the other. Of course, this is because the liberal-left battle lines are so entrenched from the pre-internets that the commenter's are too busy dying from dysentery to mount an effective assault.


Posted by: Glenn | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:19 AM
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Nobody like The Economist either

Who else has correspondents in Africa, Brazil, and China? It's unfortunately right-wing especially with the new editor, especially on US politics, but the world news is competent and the scope is great. The special report sections vary widely in quality, though. I'd be happy to read something else with good coverage, but what?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:19 AM
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OK, "Zombie SLime Princess" it is. Twee I cannot be.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:20 AM
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49: Don't do this. Don't do that. Plus, she's not conveying a sense of humor about it. (You're welcome for the pastries.)

I think it's almost always a mistake for the blogger/board admin/whatever to get very involved in policing comments, especially when it's at the level of nitpicking over calling someone a moron. I think she'd be better off ignoring the nasty ones, responding to those that have serious criticisms and comments, and growing a community that way. It takes a little longer, but it's more effective when your commentariat takes out the troll rather than when the blogger does.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:20 AM
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Who else has correspondents in Africa, Brazil, and China?

Most major newspapers?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:22 AM
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People say the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal news side if Murdoch doesn't trash it.

The Economist opinion and US coverage sides are what people hate, and some of the business-econ news. If there's good stuff there, read it (it's like the WSJ that way). But the Zombie Slime Princess was hired to the bad side of the Economist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:23 AM
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As a rider to 53, and as yet another reminder of how absolutely absurd it is that anyone could consider this person a "libertarian," the actual libertarians I've read were among the first to call this administration a bunch of fascists. Libertarians have never been shy about throwing around that label. But it makes McArdle queasy because she can't bring herself to give a fuck about torture, and the people who do kind of creep her out, because look at all this money and these shiny things!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:24 AM
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no small part of their value to employers, potential readers, etc. is their position as Reds in Good Standing with Blues.

This seems on point. A sense I get from some of Klein's commentators is that there simply should be no such person.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:24 AM
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I think it's almost always a mistake for the blogger/board admin/whatever to get very involved in policing comments, especially when it's at the level of nitpicking over calling someone a moron.

Huh. I dunno about this. I think this place stays lively because the bloggers do an awful lot of policing. Now, it's mostly soft policing; one of us starting, or joining in with, the call for pastries, or asking one regular to tone down what they're calling another (as I somewhat absurdly did the other day in relation to baa, asking someone else not to call him a troll after I'd just sworn at him).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:26 AM
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65: For certain definitions of Reds, I wholeheartedly agree.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:27 AM
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s I somewhat absurdly did the other day in relation to baa, asking someone else not to call him a troll after I'd just sworn at him

But that was really appreciated!


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:27 AM
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56 - He meant "for reals".

I recognize that this isn't meant to be the all-bash-McArdle all-the-time blog, so I'll just agree with what y'all said and add: will Sausagely regret promoting his cake-baking lazy thinker friend with the bad politics when she goes on to have a better career than him?

As re: Boing Boing, I'd personally like to stab Cory in the foot with a limited-edition Japanese Donald Duck umbrella, but hiring TNH to police the comments is a very savvy move. I made fun of the BB gang for stopping comments in the first place, but she'll keep the signal-to-noise ratio high enough to produce enough page views to pay for herself and then some, I suspect.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:28 AM
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I especially think this about Brooks, but perhaps it's true of our Princess also. I see Brooks as not only a conservative, but a movement Republican; even though he wanders very occasionally, he's someone the Republicans can count on to come through for them when needed (e.g., election night 2004). But I think that his main function is to provide as much intellectual cover as possible for genteel independents and moderate Republicans who aren't very interested in politics or very well informed, but are starting to sense that Bush has been a disaster. He'll gild the turd as best he can, and perhaps only 1% of the electorate might be influenced by him, but that 1% is his assignment, and in a close race it makes a difference.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:30 AM
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65: More that it's not really true in her case, or Brooks', except in her case on an interpersonal level, and it's irksome having them presented as "Someone your kind accepts as persuasive believes [some godawful thing]." It's hard to resist responding to that with "No, we don't find her persuasive. Not at all. Even a little. How much hostility do I need to express before you stop saying that?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:30 AM
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Oh my god, I hate David Brooks with a furious passion, though one of the main reasons is that the very first thing I read by him was a completely incorrect but extremely confidently delivered "profile" of the county I lived in at the time.

IIRC, he was making fun of the art house in Bethesda, which was showing the totally non-mainstream latte-sipping liberal elitist My Big Fat Greek Wedding at the time.

I should note that I do work for one of the gangs of Internet monkeys that implemented the new Boing Boing setup, although I had nothing to do with that project.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:31 AM
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68: Thanks. I do get mad, and I try not to let my having lost it to be taken as the general signal to "Unleash the hounds!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:31 AM
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"A sense I get from some of Klein's commentators is that there simply should be no such person."

This position is, for reasons beyond my comprehension, best filled by the reasonable but firm Catholic--aka Douthat.


Posted by: Glenn | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:32 AM
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I am 100% in favor of active policing. Drum and Yglesias and Crooked Timber let the trolls run wild.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:32 AM
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But this place is only tangentially a blog about politics, so it's got a much more personable feel.

And it's VERY soft policing done by people who are usually also part of the conversation. If you just swept in after a post to complain that stras said 'fuck', it would have a much different atmosphere. I don't see a 'no troll sign' or 'trolls will be given pastries' or 'commenters are required to have a sense of humor about cock jokes' up. It's pretty hands-off.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:32 AM
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31, 69: Okay, anyone want to clue me in on the Cory Doctorow bashing? I'm clearly not the religious BoingBoing reader you people are, so I didn't know I was supposed to be pissed at the bloggers while they posted random pictures of PC mods and rants against the DMCA, but the phrase I'd use to describe the BoingBoing people is "affable fluff." What's to get mad at?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:33 AM
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Can I just note, you people need to get your demented Red/Blue symbolism reversal sorted.

Everywhere in the known world the symbolism is the other way round.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:33 AM
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IIRC, he was making fun of the art house in Bethesda, which was showing the totally non-mainstream latte-sipping liberal elitist My Big Fat Greek Wedding at the time

He was also acting as if Montgomery County was coterminous with Bethesda, which made me want to grab him by the collar and fling him into the intersection of Piney Branch and Flower.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:33 AM
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re: 77

He's a self-aggrandising-but-actually-shit writer?

[I'm basing this on the one of his books I tried to read, he may be absolutely charming in person ... ]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:35 AM
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78: Yep.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:37 AM
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80: And this makes him unique how? I've never read his books, I read the blog.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:38 AM
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re: 82

He's pretty egregiously bad in that respect. I realise that's hardly unique, but, still, mildly annoying.

I was sort of shocked at how bad his fiction was, since his BoingBoing stuff was neither especially good or especially bad.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:39 AM
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The prohibition of "fascism" and "communism" seems not unreasonable. We're all very fond of calling people, places and things (especially Mother, Father and movies that we don't think other people should like) fascist, but it's kind of been done to death.

There are all sorts of things that I'd prohibit if I were enthusiastic enough to maintain a blog (inter alia, the word "yummy," the unword "teh," any and all discussion of food, dating, body image, home improvement, academia, the NBA, the WNBA, PETA, Star Wars, how much you hate C.S. Lewis). Now that I think of it, any blog that I maintained would consist pretty much entirely of light verse and aphorisms about comic books.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:39 AM
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What 80 said, plus I've come to resent his "gee-whiz" enthusiasm for newly acquired quirks that will be dropped when the mood disappears or it's no longer the cool thing for him to promote within his set. His comments about not appreciating Little Nemo in Slumberland until someone tipped him off that there was a (lovely) oversized edition kind of summed it up -- I suspect that in the light of the full moon, he transforms into Wired's Christmas Shopping Guide.

Also, there is Xeni.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:39 AM
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65: It's the way their affiliations work within political or policy "arguments." (I grow less and less confident that anyone has ever convinced anyone else of anything.) Bill Kristol is a virulent form of cancer that someone else has; David Brooks is a milder cancer that I have. I sympathize about the former, but it seems more important to me to excise the latter.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:40 AM
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Also, despite the fact that he's on the side of the angels, I find many of his comments about DRM, open source, and IP law range from factually inaccurate to willfully disingenuous.

Also, there is Xeni.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:41 AM
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84: Fascist!


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:41 AM
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77: Cory Doctorow killed any joy that I might ever have taken in William Gibson, Warren Ellis, Gene Wolfe and SFF generally. He also wears nerdy Buddy Holly glasses.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:42 AM
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88: Wow, you really got me. Do you write your own material?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:44 AM
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85: Why do you read BoingBoing at all, then? It's all about posting random links to random crap, and a lot of the random links are to "gee whiz" type stuff.

Also, there is Xeni.

Is this supposed to mean something? Or have I hit upon yet another buried vein of intense internet nerd resentment whose roots run far too deep to possibly uncover?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:44 AM
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Damn! Do I hate C.S. Lewis!

Thanks for reminding me, Flippanter. I sometimes forget.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:45 AM
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91: Other people hate Xeni Jardin much, much more than I bother to, and a great many of them seem to be nerds who would like to touch her and ladynerds who would like to beat her to death with a chair, but I would note that (i) that isn't her real name and (ii) she was quoted in the LA Times as saying, during a photo shoot for a profile therein, "Make blog to the camera."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:48 AM
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85: Why do you read BoingBoing at all, then? It's all about posting random links to random crap, and a lot of the random links are to "gee whiz" type stuff.

I don't any more. My feelings date from about 18 months ago, when I gave up on the site altogether, and it should have boiled away a couple years from now. Maybe not, though; you could hook me to a turbine and generate electricity from the heat of my resentment if I turn out to hate Boing Boing as deeply and passionately as I do, say, American Beauty.

Xeni.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:48 AM
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Is this supposed to mean something? Or have I hit upon yet another buried vein of intense internet nerd resentment whose roots run far too deep to possibly uncover?

Xeni's obnoxiousness is not self-evident? Interesting.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:48 AM
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The prohibition of "fascism" and "communism"

I can understand this. It's an annoying tic with some people, like emoticons or ending sentences with 12 exclamation points. However, this is complicated by the fact that the current administration actually does have strong fascist undercurrents.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:50 AM
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Xeni's obnoxiousness is not self-evident? Interesting.

Evidently not.

Snarkout, I've been to Xeni Jardin's site before. I'm still not getting whatever weird nerd resentment thing I'm supposed to have gotten from it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:51 AM
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Lunar Rockette had a lot to say about resentment toward Doctorow not too long ago.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:53 AM
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like emoticons or ending sentences with 12 exclamation points

Seriously. I was going to say that it's the political equivalent of all caps.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:55 AM
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I can understand this. It's an annoying tic with some people, like emoticons or ending sentences with 12 exclamation points. However, this is complicated by the fact that the current administration actually does have strong fascist undercurrents.

See, given the context - nominally libertarian blogger gets new liberal bloggers who continually bring up her consistent support for a right-wing administration with strong fascist leanings - I'm not as inclined to be so understanding. This doesn't sound like a case of "these hippies are calling everybody fascist," this sounds like "I'm uncomfortable with these people pointing out that I'm ideologically cozy with fascists."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:56 AM
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If you're a Boing Boing reader and neither recognize her name nor instinctively recognize what's awful about her, you clearly don't have the negative reaction to her that I do. More power to you. Shine on, you crazy diamond.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:57 AM
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Can I just note, you people need to get your demented Red/Blue symbolism reversal sorted. Everywhere in the known world the symbolism is the other way round.

Adapt or be "assimilated," ttaM. Blue looks better on me.

However, this is complicated by the fact that the current administration actually does have strong fascist undercurrents.

I'm obviously sympathetic to this point, but the definition of "fascism" is more labile than the definition of "populism." It's not that people are using it in bad faith, but that two people using it in good faith will use it to mean directly contradictory things. One in response to the other. It doesn't strike me as all that different from the analogy ban.

But mostly I think she should be able to delete whatever she wants.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:57 AM
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Seriously. I was going to say that it's the political equivalent of all caps.

Of course, you're also ideologically cozy with fascists, so that's entirely expected.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:58 AM
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96. The prohibition of "fascism" and "communism"

The term "Fascist" is used too loosely, although whoever it was the other day who suggested it should be constrained to Mussolini's Italy was talking nonsense - it was colloquially used to refer to the Nazis, Primo de Rivera, Metaxas etc. before WWII. The problem is that by being used as a loose term of abuse, it's devalued, so that if you really need to point out the Fascist (old sense) aspects of some modern government, your terminology has been devalued in advance.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is what McArdle means.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 11:59 AM
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If you're a Boing Boing reader and neither recognize her name nor instinctively recognize what's awful about her

Oh, I recognize her name. I just didn't get how citing the existence of Xeni Jardin was, in and of itself, a case against BoingBoing and Cory Doctorow. But then I'm unenlightened like that.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:00 PM
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The correlation between the frequent use of "fascist" or "communist" in the discussion of US policy and being a dingbat is enormously strong. If Franco had a blog, he would be justified in adopting the same policy.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:02 PM
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It doesn't strike me as all that different from the analogy ban.

But the analogy ban is stupid, which is why we ignore it anyway.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:02 PM
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The correlation between the frequent use of "fascist" or "communist" in the discussion of US policy and being a dingbat is enormously strong

Much stronger correlation with dingbathood: voting for Bush in '04.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:03 PM
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Official comment policies are both annoying and a masssive, massive pain in the ass to enforce, because anyone who wants to be a pill is going to quibble endlessly about whether X is profanity, whether you're squelching "free speech," whether Y is a personal attack, and so on forever. The only sensible approach is what LB said upthread: the blogger will delete what they find annoying enough or my own "obnoxious comments get deleted." And yes, whether or not that means the blog becomes an echo chamber depends entirely on the blog owner's/moderator's tastes and preferences, which is *just fine*.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:04 PM
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I don't read McArdle, but I'll forever cherish the impression stras and OFE have created of her for me:

La la la la la la, hallo sky, hallo trees, la la la la la.

Does she whistle, too?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:04 PM
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109: Comment policies like those are entirely understandable. Arbitrary rules like McArdle's - or the ones they have on various Crooked Timber threads where you're not allowed to mention Israel/Palestine, for instance - are much more irritating.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:07 PM
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107: The analogy ban is a good thing. It gets ignored constantly, but it does force people (okay, me) to at least try to construct a coherent argument rather than resorting to imperfect comparisons.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:12 PM
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"hallo sky, hallo trees" is indeed great.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:14 PM
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112: But analogies can be useful, and "banning" them from discourse is stupid and silly. Are we really going to rehash this argument? It would be like... well, it would be like an analogy I can't think of at the moment, because I'm kind of tired and in need caffeine.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:15 PM
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If Franco had a blog, he would be justified in adopting the same policy.

Cripes, more right wing lies. Like Franco's dead, and never had a blog under the nom de plume of Ta/ci/tus.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:17 PM
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115 made me laugh


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:19 PM
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113. "hallo sky, hallo trees" is, to be fair, entirely a literary reference, which I find, to my shame, I have misquoted.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:19 PM
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114: stras, dood, go get some caffeine. Who's rehashing the analogy ban?

Why is everyone so fucking querulous around here?

Why doncha all go pop a zit or something?

Meh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:21 PM
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Bah, it's much funnier as "hallo" than "hullo." Something...crazily nasal.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:22 PM
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I didn't know bad charlie was banned. I didn't even know there was a bad charlie.

...and how, eventually, he failed...

I think ogged lost his influence over comments when he reconciled with bitch. He lost the appearance of being willing to go to crazy, angry extremes to enforce his own murky netiquette.


Posted by: good charlie | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:25 PM
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Foreign correspondents? Most major newspapers?

Not especially true, unfortunately. The WaPo usually has someone intelligent for China, Philip Pan is reliably good now. Both Post and Times are terrible for Colombia, Brazil, and India, IMO. If there are writers you know of that seem worth reading, I'd be interested to know.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:27 PM
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120: By caving in to B's terrorist demands, ogged merely emboldened the femicommunoid enemy.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:28 PM
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We give you permission to read the Economist as long as you hate it too. I don't see the difficulty.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:28 PM
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It doesn't strike me as all that different from the analogy ban.

Am I the only one who caught the (unintentional?) irony here?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:30 PM
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124: I totally would've caught it but I'm tired. Go away! Today's all sleepy!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:32 PM
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And I don't get the hating on McArdle either. She strikes me as a Chicago Economic libertarian with many failed thought experiments, i.e., her heart ain't in the torture, she is just amusing herself with it. Kinda like Seb/ast/ian Hols/claw. These are not Volokhs. (which should be what we call schmibertarians, since Klingon is taken)

Decent libs not mentioned in this thread may be Sanchez and Wilkinson, although Will is so smart and specialized he could be the Devil himself for all I could tell.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:32 PM
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I think ogged lost his influence over comments when he reconciled with bitch. He lost the appearance of being willing to go to crazy, angry extremes to enforce his own murky netiquette.

You lot are terrible readers. What happened is that I moderated my tone significantly and developed a sense of humor because I was taking meds.

Willing though I am to always pretend that Ogged is the bad guy, honor compels me to admit that though IMHO he overreacted to me back in the day, he had a point.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:36 PM
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I moderated my tone significantly

Holy crap. Things musta been, uh, lively here in the old days.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:40 PM
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Oh, go read the archives. You, of all people, will be able to tell the difference between frustrated genuine anger and self-consciously amusing mock-anger. Though there are plenty, I think, who can't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:41 PM
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As far as Cory Doctorow, he's like a third-rate imitation of some of my friends who has (naturally) become much more prominent than them because he's a relentless self promoter.

I'm sure this comment will come back to haunt me, but hey, I'm a jerk!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:43 PM
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129: funner to stand naively agape.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:43 PM
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he had a point.

Who are you, and what have you done to B?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:45 PM
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Also, there is Xeni.

I rather like Xeni, actually. Partly because so many people seem to dislike her so much, partly because I sort of admire her relentless efforts at making herself the star of her own life, and partly because I think her whole human/alien princess look is hot.

Now what goes for McArdle, goes double for Xeni: who knows if I could stand her IRL? I even see how the personas she and Doctorow choose to present can be tedious and annoying. But I'm always a little amazed at the strength of the dislike they seem to inspire in some parts.

(Which isn't to say that I don't have similar trivial hatreds of my own, necessarily.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:46 PM
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131 is the justification for 132. I was also considering something like:

he had a point.

Whoa, B, maybe you need to ease up on those meds a bit.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:49 PM
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You, of all people, will be able to tell the difference between frustrated genuine anger and self- consciously amusing mock-anger. Though there are plenty, I think, who can't.

Yes, I think I need meta tags to differentiate.


Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:50 PM
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Whoa, B, maybe you need to ease up on those meds a bit.

Check out the thread above on bathrooms before you make that rec. I think the comment just shows how far she'll go for a good fight...


Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:52 PM
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135: I didn't want to say anything, but I really am not sure I'm particularly expert at that. I just assume nobody's ever serious about anything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:53 PM
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Megan is my diametrical opposite politically: an authoritarianism-friendly (at best authoritarianism-neutral) freemarketer. Her dabbling in libertarianism makes it much worse because of the fraudulence. Her taunting mannerisms make it still worse. The fact that some people think that she's not a pariah intensifies the obnoxiousness still more. Her undeserved success is the last straw.

Right now the Atlantic is balancing one sensible moderate Democrat with three partly housebroken conservatives and libertarians. It's like a political hire the handicapped program. That kind of balance is characteristic of our media world.

Still mysterious?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:56 PM
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I am putting on this sock puppet just so I can see "Comments comments on Comments" in the Latest Comments sidebar, if only for a few glorious minutes.


Posted by: Comments | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:57 PM
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[delurk] Re: #109, the reason for the 'arbitrary' don't get into the merits of Israel v. Palestine rule on some threads is that the results when people _were_ allowed to get into the merits were usually pretty nasty - lots of unpleasant personal accusations going back and forth. I seem to remember at least one regular unfogged commenter saying a while ago that he'd stopped commenting on CT after being accused of anti-Semitism. Not that this is a overall policy or anything - dsquared has presided as ringmaster over a couple of free-for-alls (but he's more willing to wade into the pit than some of the rest of us).

On Cory D. - I can understand why some people find him annoying, but he's also _really_ smart from my (limited) interactions with him. The one time I met him properly was at a breakfast in Toronto with PNH and TNH - I honestly wasn't able to keep up with them in the conversation. Also, his third book is much better than the first two imho [/delurk]


Posted by: Henry Farrell | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 12:59 PM
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funner to stand naively agape

In a wide stance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:04 PM
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Her undeserved success is the last straw.

Sometimes you're surprisingly romantic, Old Man.

Right now the Atlantic is balancing one sensible moderate Democrat with three partly housebroken conservatives and libertarians.

That doesn't seem so crazy for a right-of-center magazine. What is confusing is that it is an Atlantic/NE magazine, and what was quite recently regionally right of center is a little bit to the left of HRC. Which is why people seem to be assuming that that Fallows is a Democrat. (And maybe he is; I couldn't say why I assume otherwise.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:06 PM
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140: Totally Stickist.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:07 PM
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139 - N00b.


Posted by: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:07 PM
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Tim, I never renounced envy and resentment.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:10 PM
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140: Israel/Palestine discussions almost invariably get nasty, but in general I think the fear of discussing Israel/Palestine is much more destructive than the occasional ad hominem tossed around in an I/P argument. If the what's worrisome is abusive language/behavior, then it's the abusive language/behavior that should be banned, not the subject itself.

I should make clear that my utter bafflement at the weird anti-Doctorow/Boing Boing backlash is that all the Boing Boing people seem so incredibly innocuous. It's like getting worked up about the Poppin' Fresh dough boy.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:13 PM
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145: "Undeserved" seems to imply that virtue is rewarded in this world, Old Man. It's not quite "Love will set you free," but it's close.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:13 PM
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It's like getting worked up about the Poppin' Fresh dough boy.

Agreed (though I usually use "vanilla yogurt" as my analogy).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:16 PM
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"Undeserved" seems to imply that virtue is rewarded in this world, Old Man.

It doesn't imply that virtue is rewarded, only that it should be. Mind your ought/is, Tim.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:17 PM
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Fair point. I continue to believe that "ought" remains romantic.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:25 PM
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146: Surely there is something aggravating or even menacing about the relentlessly innocuous. Indeed, a major motion picture cast the Staypuff Marshmallow Man as a figure of unprecedented cosmic evil.


Posted by: Glenn | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:30 PM
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Again!


Posted by: Comments | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:32 PM
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146: "Limited" does so much work in that comment. It's like poetry.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:33 PM
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Oh yeah?


Posted by: Comments on Comments | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:33 PM
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Indeed, a major motion picture early Bill Murray comedy cast the Staypuff Marshmallow Man as a figure of unprecedented cosmic evil.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:34 PM
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153: ?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:35 PM
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156: Sorry, I was referring through 146 to 140 and Henry Farrell's thin-blooded defense of the Canadian Government Surplus Powdered Vanilla Yogurt Man.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:37 PM
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Israel-Palestine threads invariably get taken over by hardline Israel-Palestine specialists who end up taking over and talking only to each other, repeatedly and at great length. I think that that's the reason, not the nastiness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:38 PM
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153 probably to 140.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:38 PM
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I count any movie which spawned an X-Treme television series as a major cinematic event. They were the wellsprings of all worthwhile mid-90's art.


Posted by: Glenn | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:40 PM
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I'm basically coming away from the Doctorow portions of this thread with the deepened suspicion that the Doctorow-bashing extends from a sort of twitchingly ingrown nerd envy.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:42 PM
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I have no feeling about Doctorow, but it's purely from ignorance and in some pro forma way I absolutely hate him. I feel that I'm letting down the side by being so feeble about it, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:43 PM
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I'm vaguely disturbed by how well I knew Doctorow's name before I had any idea at all what he was famous for. I don't read BoingBoing, and hadn't read any of his fiction, and yet had a clear idea that he was some sort of public intellectual who I should be vaguely embarrassed about not knowing more about, before I had any idea why.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:45 PM
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161: Yes, everyone who dislikes anybody or, especially, anybody's public persona, is just a player-hater.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:46 PM
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161: sort of. Also the mainstreaming of the formely slightly-less-mainstream. Also the taking of things I enjoy and making them queasily lowbrow and digestible. Also the general sense of glib, menace-free techno-optimism, despite the often quite dark things he talks about. Also a general sense of having been there and done that, and not being too into seeing it recycled into some vaguely talentless nerd's meal ticket.

Really, though, I'm kind of ambivalent. Just trying to fit in, doncha know.

(yes, queasily digestible. What of it?)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:46 PM
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queasily digestible. What of it?

It makes me think, for no particular reason, of jenkem. (Trip description here)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:51 PM
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Wow, that's pretty unspeakably sad, apo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:53 PM
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Breaking (from Yglesias):

Jessica Valenti reads USA Today's writeup of a study concluding that married women do more housework than do cohabiting women, and concludes that she may have to stay single.

A step in the right, relationship-free direction.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:53 PM
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Israel-Palestine threads invariably get taken over by hardline Israel-Palestine specialists who end up taking over and talking only to each other, repeatedly and at great length. I think that that's the reason, not the nastiness.

But that's just as lame. There needs to be more discussion of Israel/Palestine, not less, and it's genuinely frustrating when existing liberal discussion forums run away from or squelch discussion of the subject. For nearly the first week of the Lebanon war, most of the major liberal bloggers were pretending nothing was going on - some of them just put up posts about how they weren't going to post about it because, basically, they were scared of things getting too nasty. Given that current American policy on Israel/Palestine is unhealthy and insane, and that it isn't going to change until Americans start pressuring policymakers to change it, it's really not a good sign that left-of-center discussion forums get so queasy about the subject. Crooked Timber's policy seems particularly bizarre, because it's repeatedly involved making posts related to Israel/Palestine, and then telling the commenters they can't stray into a general discussion of Israel/Palestine. The center-left's attitude toward discourse on Middle East politics is totally fucked up here.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:55 PM
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168: Dude, can't you see we're busy player-hating? Do your relationship-hating in the chores thread.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:55 PM
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167: The existence of jenkem, or that you made me think of it?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:55 PM
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I think what annoys me about McArdle is that she's pretty obviously capable of doing better but insists on producing sloppy, hackish crap anyway, apparently because of some combination of how she was raised, careerism, and having pigeonholed herself with that God-awful pseud. I had mostly stopped trying to figure out what the actual mix is, but have started reading her again to see whether losing the pseud and being paid to write for a more liberal audience will cause her to finally start producing better stuff.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:56 PM
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171: the street kid part of it. The trip report, on the other hand, was sort of hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:57 PM
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Also, I'm wondering what's happened to the real Stras and B.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 1:59 PM
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172: Megan was raised by liberals, she says. I only just found that out, but I think that it accounts for the skillful and nasty liberal-baiting she specializes in. Tee hee.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:01 PM
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re: doctorow: I don't shit about him, but comments like 89 scare the hell out of me, so I'm happy to remain ignorant.

re:169 and I/P: The problem of I/P discourse is by no means limited to liberal blogs, which is why it was so frustrating when smart guys like Mearsheimer and Walt took a wonderful concept and fucked up the execution so badly. Has anyone read their book? Is it any better than the paper?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:02 PM
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Also, I'm wondering what's happened to the real Stras and B.

I'm about to go get some more coffee, then visit my partner at work and maybe bring her a muffin. If I run into the fake Stras I'll say hi.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:02 PM
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don't know shit. Damn.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:03 PM
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I certainly shit about him. Right next to Terry Gross blowing Daniel Schorr, too!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:04 PM
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Megan was raised by liberals

Which would explain her understanding of their pack hierarchy and hunting methods.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:05 PM
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Stras, the I/P discussion is hopeless because the I side controls both parties. No possible real-world payoff until something changes. It's not just that the sides are hardened (as with abortion), but also that it isn't even politically polarized by parties, so one side is defeated in advance.

Drug prohibition is another hopeless issue. Until it stops being a bullet issue for 30-40% of the voters, no discussion will get anywhere.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:06 PM
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Well, no wonder she's always on about fresh air.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:07 PM
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172:

I think what annoys me about McArdle is that she's pretty obviously capable of doing better

Arghhh.

Look, dsquared is right in 40 about McArdle: she whines, she's glib, she offers poor arguments that we are apparently supposed to take seriously. It's insulting.

I don't give a flying fuck whether she is capable of doing better. She is not doing better. End of story.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:07 PM
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182->179.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:08 PM
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175: I thought I remembered her saying somewhere that she was raised Republican, but maybe not.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:08 PM
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If only we could figure out a away to blame the Israeli/Palestinian thing on poor black people.*

*The above is sarcasm, and does not represent the genuine opinions of Flippanter Blog Comments Ltd.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:08 PM
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she whines, she's glib, she offers poor arguments that we are apparently supposed to take seriously

In other words, she's Ann Althouse?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:08 PM
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182: and always chatting up celebrities.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:11 PM
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183: I don't really disagree--I'd basically written her off a long time ago--but I am curious to see how she changes now that she's at the Atlantic. But the interest has nothing to do with her politics (I'm not actually sure what it does have to do with).


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:12 PM
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In other words, she's Ann Althouse?

Heh. Uh, I think someone said just that not long ago.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 2:16 PM
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Who else has correspondents in Africa, Brazil, and China?

The Christian Science Monitor?

I haven't been a regular reader for the last two years or so, but they are notable for having foreign correspondents who are actually based in the countries they report from, rather than hiring stringers as so many of the major American papers seem to do. For a long time they had Fred Weir in Russia, Bob Marquand in China, and a husband-and-wife team I am blanking on at the moment.

They also seem to have long-term staff -- people who stay with the paper for years, allowing you to get a more nuanced picture of a country or region from their reporting over time.

Even some of their short-term writers are good -- David Rohde did some outstanding work from the Balkans in the '90s before he went on to write for the Washington Post or wherever he is now. I think he actually won a Pulitzer for his Monitor work.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 3:48 PM
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In re: McMegan

How about some rhyming slang? Call her "Waxy"
Waxie's dargle=Megan McArdle


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 3:56 PM
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Or just "Megan the Lesser". "Megan 43", for short.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 3:58 PM
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I'm glad Doctorow-bashing erupted again today, because I meant to ask what it was all about the last time, but let the moment pass. I like BoingBoing, although I almost wonder why - the area of overlap between the authors' interests and mine is fairly small (I'm totally uninterested in scifi, comics, most electronic gadgets, body art/mods, robots, and actively loathe Disneyland/world). Maybe that's why I don't get the hate, there's not much for me to take personally.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 4:12 PM
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I agree that "banning people who annoy you" is a perfectly good comments policy, and one more way the personality of the blogger(s) determines the quality of the site. I don't ever click through to comments on Drum's or Atrios' sites because they're so lousy with trolls, and dullards who respond to them. In addition to the participation of the bloggers here, as has been noted, I think one reason the comments at Unfogged are so good is that the response to trolls (the few times I've seen them come around) is so good; they're mostly ignored and/or mildly made fun of.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 4:18 PM
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I vote for calling her "Arthur," from "Arthur Scargill."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 4:19 PM
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Nice thread. I thought 55 was particularly accurate. McMegan just combines the most annoying characteristics of Instapundit and Brooks. There's the pretense at thoughtful openness while baiting everyone to their left, the affectation of libertarianism while supporting authoritarianism, and the smarmy, patronizing tone. There are numerous libertarians I respect and like to read (Henley, Julian Sanchez, Radley Balko etc.), same for trad conservatives (Andrew Bacevich, Larison, The American Conservative), but the common denominator is that they see through Bush and reject authoritarianism.

Here's McMegan arguing for beating war protestors with two-by-fours:

http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/003959.html

I like McMegan, by the way, it's pleasantly twee.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 8:08 PM
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Actually, Megan's better than Instapundit, I want to be fair here.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 8:14 PM
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197. Wow. That post and comments (and she participates in the comments) don't make me want to start reading her stuff. That guy d^2 does hold his own there.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 8:34 PM
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197 refreshes my dislike of the Zombie Slime Princess. Her deliberate taunting, which her acolytes pick up and multiply, is the worst thing about her.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-30-07 8:52 PM
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#194: Doctorow is a relentless self promotor and many of his posts read like a celebration of how wonderful his life is, while any humour he may posses is carefully hidden.

Compare him to John Scalzi, who is also a relentless selfpromotor but who has the ability to laugh at himself.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-31-07 5:13 AM
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The comment thread linked in 197 is remarkable for the sheer density of wankers involved.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-31-07 5:50 AM
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